South Woodham Ferrers Circular / SWF to North Fambridge
SWC walk 159
The circular version of this walk is 11.9 miles 19.2 km Difficulty 4/10
The full walk to North Fambridge is either 14.1 or 15.9 miles (22.7 or 25.5 km) depending on how full you want to make it. Difficulty 5/10.
Real hardnuts (and by that, I mean the macadamia
- hardest of all the nuts) could even extend it to 17.8 miles 28.6km.
This varied and (for Essex) fairly hilly walk offers splendid views of the Crouch Valley. It winds its way out of South Woodham Ferrers through fields, over rolling hills, past an RHS Garden
, an overgrown cemetery and more fields to lunch. On return, near SWF you can choose whether to end there or go further.
The circular option seems more more appropriate for Sunday, lengthwise. However there are compelling reasons for pushing on to North Fambridge. One is the CAMRA-award-winning Prince of Wales
en route. Another is the serene finish, along the tidal River Crouch and through the salt marshes of a Nature Reserve. Trains
Get the 10:14
Southend train from Liverpool St (Stratford 10:21) changing at Wickford to a Southminster train (arr 11:03 dep 11:06), arriving South Woodham Ferrers at 11:14. The connection at Wickford is tight and hourly so, if you're early enough, you might prefer to get the 9:44 as far as Wickford.
Trains return from South Woodham Ferrers at xx:26
, changing at Wickford. Again, you have only 3 mins to get the xx:40 on Platform 3 so don’t hang about (connections are half-hourly this direction).
Trains return from North Fambridge at xx:21
, also changing at Wickford.
Get a return to South Woodham Ferrers for the circular or North Fambridge for the longer. A return to North Fambridge (the further station) is only slightly more and would cover both endings. Lunch:
The Folly Bistro
in East Hanningfield 01245 400 315 Formerly the "Windmill Tavern". (More pub than bistro last time we visited) Tea places in South Woodham Ferrers
: Shaw Farm
Old Wickford Road, South Woodham Ferrers, 01245 320916, Ex farm building with rose gardens, huge back garden and lake. Has recently changed hands. The Whalebone Inn/Scrimshaw’s Restaurant
Old Wickford Road, 01245 320231, The Railway
, Hullbridge Road, South Woodham Ferrers, 01245 320262 Tea Places for N Fambridge The Prince of Wales
, Stow Maries, 01621 828 971 An early stop, renowned for its beer. The Ferry Boat Inn
, Ferry Road, North Fambridge, 01621 740208, A 500 year old riverside pub. Directions here