24.8 km (15.4 mi), of which 4.9 km (3.0 mi) on tarmac or pavements.
|Toughness||5 out of 10|
|OS Maps||OS Landranger Map: 167 (Chelmsford) and 168 (Colchester) and 178 (Thames Estuary).
OS Explorer Map: 183 (Chelmsford & The Rodings) and 175 (Southend-on-Sea & Basildon)
This rewarding Essex walk avoids major roads and all remnants of industry and suburbia to initially traverse through grassy fields in the Wid Valley and follow the Wid itself for a while, before ascending through a delightful wood to the lunch stop in Stock. Afterwards several charming woods (some of them good bluebell woods) and Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve are passed through, before a late lunch/early tea stop in South Hanningfield is reached. From there the route descends through more woods and fields into the Crouch Valley to the finish in Battlesbridge.
Shortcuts: It is possible to shorten the walk by taking a bus either from the early lunch pub in Stock to Billericay (frequent service), or from the late lunch/early tea pub in South Hanningfield to Wickford (approx. every two hours but not on Sundays).
Alternative Ending at Wickford
Length: 18.8 km (11.7 mi), of which 3.9 km (2.4 mi) on tarmac or pavements. Cumulative ascent/descent: 166/208m. Toughness: 3 out of 10
While the main walk leads through Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve and then rolling fields and woods, this much shorter alternative heads for Wickford station on a direct route, through a few woods, but mainly grassy fields and reverses the start of SWC Walk 157 Wickford to Battlesbridge.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk