Extra Walk 158a – Ingatestone to Wickford
Length: 18.8km (11.7 miles) Toughness: 3/10 10:02
Ipswich train from Liverpool Street
(Stratford 10:09) arriving at Ingatestone
Return trains from Wickford to Liverpool Street are at xx:10 and xx:40 (journey time 49 mins). Buy an off-peak day return to Wickford, which should be valid for the outward journey too, though you might be asked to buy a single ticket for the one stop section from Shenfield to Ingatestone.
The full 25km version of this pleasant and rewarding Essex walk, goes from Ingatestone to Battlesbridge. This shortened version, finishing in Wickford, is more suited to a winter walk.. It is still moderately long, but not too testing, and the short journey time should ensure that you can comfortably complete it before dusk. The walk initially traverses the Wid valley before ascending to the lunch stop in Stock, later going through woods and fields to Wickford, in a reversal of the start of Walk 157 (Wickford to Battlesbridge). The diversion to Wickford occurs halfway through the afternoon, so continuing the main walk to Battlesbridge is an option at that point if you reckon you still have sufficient energy and daylight available.
The recommended lunchtime pub is The Bakers Arms
in Stock (01277 841831) and there are also two other pubs in the village. These are all reached fairly early in the walk, but if you prefer to press on, a possible later lunch pub is the Beauvoir Arms
(01268 711115) in Downham, close to where the afternoon routes diverge. This is not mentioned in the walk directions, but if you follow the Alternative Ending in Wickford directions, towards the end of the first paragraph turn left
instead of right on the pavement to reach the pub in 350 metres Retrace your steps afterwards. From this pub there’s only another 5km to do, so you can afford to linger over lunch. There are several possible tea stops around the High Street in Wickford, but these have not yet been researched, so it would be helpful if someone could post a report on them on this walk’s Feedback page.
You will need to download the Walk Directions
, and follow the Alternative Ending printed at the end of the main walk directions.