SWC 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular - re-routed after a pub closure and fully written up
Length: 23.7 km (14.7 mi)
[longer and shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 280 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¼ hours
Toughness: 5 out of 10
Take the 09.28 Cambridge train from Liverpool Street (Tottenham Hale 09.40), arriving Audley End at 10.30.
Return trains: direct at XX.19 and XX.40, or with a change at Stansted Airport at XX.25 and XX.45.
Buy an Audley End return.
First posting of this former map led walk, now slightly re-routed to involve a new lunch pub, we will take the opportunity to check the walk directions.
To quote the write-up: "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 the Hertfordshire plain and back down the wide ‘winding valley’ that gives Wendens Ambo its name.
After lunch you follow the Icknield Way to Elmdon, with views north out across the Cambridgeshire plain to Cambridge, then alongside a high hedge with views off to your right into the winding valley back to Wendens Ambo.
A slightly longer, more westerly route (25.7 km/16.0 mi) takes you over Essex’ highest point itself to Chrishall, this is rated 6/10. A shorter route (16.8 km/10.5 mi) cuts out most of the higher ground including the outlying villages of Chrishall and Elmdon, this is rated 3/10." For the short walk you should take the 10.28 train, so as not to arrive too early at the lunch pub in Arkesden.
The recommended lunch options are The Axe & Compasses
(4.9 km/3.0 mi) for the short walk or The Red Cow
(13.1 km/8.2 mi) [a table has been booked]. For tea it’s either The Bell Inn
, 10 minutes from the station, or The Fighting Cocks
, 5 minutes beyond the station.
For walk directions
. Due to server trouble, Grandmaster David C had to create this link
for us to the gpx files
(one each for main walk, extension and shortcut).