Wendens Ambo Circular walk

North West Essex hills and pretty villages

Picnic spot on Wicken Water, Arkesden SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

Picnic spot on Wicken Water, Arkesden

SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

27-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Cottage, pargeted house in Wendens Ambo SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

The Cottage, pargeted house in Wendens Ambo

SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

27-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Tomb for the Cutte family, St. Mary the Virgin, Arkesden (full size) SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

Tomb for the Cutte family, St. Mary the Virgin, Arkesden (full size)

SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

27-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk116 24981340069 G-T-TG

Wicken Water, Arkesden SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

Wicken Water, Arkesden

SWC Walk 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular

27-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Old houses , Wendens Ambo Wendens Ambo Circular

Old houses , Wendens Ambo

Wendens Ambo Circular

21-Apr-13 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk116 8679068528 T

Wood anenomes Wendens Ambo Circular

Wood anenomes

Wendens Ambo Circular

21-Apr-13 • moontiger on Flickr

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Thatched cottage Arkesden Wendens Ambo Circular

Thatched cottage Arkesden

Wendens Ambo Circular

21-Apr-13 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk116 8679073222 T

Length

23.7 km (14.7 mi), with 258m ascent/descent. For a shorter or a longer walk see below Walk Options.

Toughness

4 out of 10, with 5 hours 15 minutes walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 ½ hours.

Walk Notes

This is a relaxing walk in the quiet chalky uplands of north-west Essex, on the borders of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, very much off the beaten track, and with gently rolling hills, plenty of woods and copses as well as some pretty villages. Right from the start the walk takes you past picturesque thatched cottages with ample examples of pargeting, a decorative medieval plastering technique, and on through some farmland to the early lunch stop in Arkesden, one of the prettiest villages in Essex with one of the best pubs and loveliest churches.
The route then gently ascends to Chrishall, the dedicated lunch stop on the full walk, along field boundaries and green lanes. Chrishall village is close to Essex’ highest point and the approach offers fine views into a corner of the Cambridgeshire plain and back down the wide ‘winding valley’ that gives Wendens Ambo its name. After lunch you follow the Icknield Way to Elmdon, with more views north out across the Cambridgeshire plain to Cambridge, then later alongside a high hedge with views off to your right into the winding valley back to Wendens Ambo.

Walk Options

It is possible to shorten the walk by 6.2 km (3.9 mi), this cuts out most of the higher ground including the outlying villages of Chrishall and Elmdon and is rated 3/10.
It is possible to shorten the walk by 3.0 km (1.9 mi), this cuts out Chrishall and is rated 3/10.
It is possible to lengthen the walk by 2.0 km (1.3 mi), going over Essex’ highest point, this is rated 5/10.

Maps

OS Explorer: 194 (Hertford & Bishop’s Stortford) and 195 (Braintree & Saffron Walden)
OS Landranger: 154 (Cambridge & Newmarket) and 167 (Chelmsford)

Travel

Audley End Station, map reference TL 515 363, is 60 km north east of Charing Cross, 23 km south south east of Cambridge, 68m above sea level and in Essex. It is on the West Anglia Main Line from Liverpool Street to Cambridge (two trains per hour), with a journey time of between 53 to 63 minutes. Trains usually stop at Tottenham Hale for connections with Stratford services and the Victoria Line.

Saturday Walkers' Club: take the train closest to 10.30 hours if intending to eat in Arkesden, or the train closest to 9.30 hours if intending to eat in Chrishall, and if walking the extended walk.

Lunch

The Axe & Compasses, Arkesden, CB11 4EX (01799 550 272). The Axe & Compasses is located 4.9 km (3.0 mi) into the walk and a fine example of a family-run 17th century traditional thatched country pub and restaurant.
The Red Cow, Chrishall, SG8 8RN (01763 838 792). The Red Cow is located 13.1 km (8.2 mi) into the full walk and 15.1 km (9.4 mi) into the long walk.
The Maltings, Elmdon. The Maltings (formerly The Elmdon Dial) is located 12.1 km (7.5 mi) into the shortened walk, 15.1 km (9.4 mi) into the full walk and 17.1 km (10.7 mi) into the long walk. The Elmdon Dial shut in May 2013 when the then new Landlord suddenly died, a subsequent application for re-classification as dwellings failed and it was sold at auction in early 2018. A lengthy refurbishment seems to have now stalled. Check the website for details. Currently closed.

Tea

The Bell Inn, Royston Road, Wendens Ambo, CB11 4JY (01799 540 382). The Bell is located 830m from the station.
The Fighting Cocks, London Road, Wendens Ambo, CB11 4JN (01799 541 279). The Cocks are located 300m off-route beyond the station. Currently closed for an extension project.

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-21 Thomas G

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

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