Red campion

Wickford to Battlesbridge

08-Jun-13 • moontiger on Flickr

pretty wildflowers book3 swcwalks walk157

Living fence

Hanningfield Nature Reserve Wickford to Battlesbridge

08-Jun-13 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk157

Cow parsley with view

Wickford to Battlesbridge

08-Jun-13 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk157

Cow parsley

Wickford to Battlesbridge

08-Jun-13 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk157

Tree, hedge, and buttercups

Wickford to Battlesbridge

08-Jun-13 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk157

Wickford to Battlesbridge or South Woodham Ferrers walk

Grassy fields, quiet lanes, a smattering of woods, Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve and the tidal River Crouch.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Tue, 29-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sat, 23-Jun-18 10

Saturday Walk - Wickford to Battlesbridge

Wickford to Battlesbridge T=swc.157

Length: 21.6 km (13.4 mi) 4 out of 10 (Longer option to South Woodham Ferrers 16 miles)

This surprisingly diverse and rural walk avoids industrial and suburban features often associated with walking in Essex, but instead leads through plenty of rolling grassy fields, quiet lanes and a smattering of woods, before heading through the enchanting - Wildlife Trust run - Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve. After a short stretch along the reservoir itself it then heads for the lunch pub: The Old Windmill in South Hanningfield. The afternoon route leads through more grassy fields, valleys and wooded strips, before following the tidal River Crouch into Battlesbridge.

Given the long daylight hours, there is the option of a longer ending to South Woodham Ferrers, which is 16 miles (" extremely tranquil and very coastal in character. It is especially attractive at low tide") (4pm today).

Trains: Get the 0955 Southend train to Wickford 1031 from Liverpool Street (Stratford 1002). Return trains are Battlebridge xx20 xx50 change at Wickford (5 minutes) for platform 3 xx31 xx51 to London. Return to Battlebridge or SWF if contemplating the longer walk. (SWF is xx16 & xx46)

Lunch: The recommended lunch stop is the Old Windmill Inn (01268 712 280) in South Hanningfield (5.7 miles/9.2 km into the walk).
Apologies to the lady SWC regular I met at the station this morning. I got on the wrong Southend bound train, only discovering my error too late. I didn't actually leave the station on a train,so I'm christening it the 'Liverpool Street Station Circular', a not especially valuable addition to the SWC menu. Wonderfully helpful staff at ticket office. Note You can get a full refund if you claim within an hour. Hope the Wickford walk went well.
10 walkers on this warm sunny day. The pre lunch section of the walk was very enjoyable and The Old Windmill was a pleasant surprise with an interesting menu and large garden. Unfortunately the afternoon section was very flat with the overgrown paths that seem a regular feature of Essex walks. All did the standard Battlesbridge ending and most had refreshments in the garden of The Hawk Inn near the station where a local band was playing.
Sat, 10-Dec-16 15

Saturday Third Walk -- Grassy Fields, Quiet Lanes, a Nature Reserve and Tidal River

SWC Walk 157: Wickford to South Woodham Ferrers (with Shortcut I)

Distance: 12.8 Miles or 20.5 km for those more metrically minded (or 18.9 miles/30.3 km with full extension)
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (up to 6 out of 10 with full extension)

Train: Take the 9:55 AM Greater Anglia Southend Victoria train from London Liverpool Street (10:02 Stratford), arriving at Wickford at 10:31. Return trains from South Woodham Ferrers are at XX:16 and 56 past odd hours and XX:36 past even hours, until 23:16. Buy a day return to South Woodham Ferrers.
This surprisingly diverse and rural walk avoids the industrial and suburban features usually associated with walking in Essex; rather, you encounter a nature reserve at Hanningfield Reservoir, gently rolling fields, quiet lanes and a tidal river. Another beneficial feature of this outing is the accordion ending in South Woodham Ferrers providing the opportunity to extend the walk to various lengths around the marshland on the outskirts of the town through another nature reserve, along Fenn Creek and ultimately the tidal River Crouch. With any luck, after a refreshment stop, it may even be possible to catch an almost 3/4 moon reflecting from the marshlands while doing some or all of the extension! You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch stop is the Old Windmill Inn (01268 712 280) in South Hanningfield (5.7 miles/9.2 km into the walk). Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at Shaw Farm (open until late) or various other establishments mentioned in the walk notes.

Enjoy the walk!

Essex means large arable fields, electricity pylons and distant road noise, right? Wrong in the morning of this walk, which started in gently hilly pasture and carried on through woods along a reservoir (whose water levels were very low). Even on a grey and gloomy day, this was pleasant scenery. Of the 15 on this walk, 11 of us then enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the pub, only slightly slowed by its insistence on taking food orders at the table.

Spooked by the forecast of afternoon rain seven walkers then took the bus to Wickford. Eight of us carried on into more classic Essex territory of the kind described in the opening sentence, its bleakness somewhat softened by the gathering gloom and a lack of any serious mud (though enough still accrued to our boots). Some even said this territory made a nice change from the usual.

Only the last 20 minutes of the walk were truly in the dark, and only at this point did it start to rain a bit. We were soon in the very cosy tea pub, however. Alas, the weather scotched plans for a moonlight walk and the last of us got the 18.16 train home.
For future reference: the bus stops right outside the lunch pub, The Old Windmill. There is a time table on the wall inside the pub, the staff is also very familiar with the time table. Bus number 13, and 14. They run every two hours at 2:38pm and 4:38pm to Wickford train station, cost £1.60. It may be worthwhile to add this to the instruction.
it says that (and has always done so) on the webpage and on page 2 of the pdf.
the walk author
car park closed and both gates locked at end of reservoir
however wire mesh fencing has been broken down to an almost convenient level
Sun, 05-Jul-15

Sunday Walk 2

SWC walk 157 Wickford to Battlesbridge
21.6 km 13.4 miles Difficulty 4/10

Surprisingly diverse rural walk through rolling grassy fields, quiet lanes, woods, and an Essex Wildlife Trust reserve to lunch. The afternoon goes through more fields, valleys and wooded strips, finally following the river Crouch into Battlesbridge.
It is possible to reduce the length to 12.7 miles 20.5 km by following alternative directions to South Woodham Ferrers.
There are also longer routes to SWF that incorporate sections of the coast. Real hardnuts, and by that I mean brazils with their shells still on, will be excited by the 18.8 mile option.

Trains Get the 10:14 Southend train from Liverpool St (Stratford 10:21) arriving Wickford at 11:03.
Return from Battlesbridge at xx:30 changing at Wickford for London. You have 3 mins to get the xx:40 on Plat 3 so don’t hang about (your next connection in half an hour).
Trains return from South Woodham Ferrers at xx:26, also changing at Wickford.
A return to Battlesbridge will do you. A return to South Woodham Ferrers (one stop more) costs the same and covers both endings.
Café On The Water Hanningfield Reservoir, (01268 712182, serves a selection of main meals, sandwiches, salads and desserts, along with alcoholic and soft drinks, and has a large decking area overlooking the reservoir.
The Old Windmill, South Hanningfield (01268 712280, has been serving food and ale to locals since at least 1799. Hopefully not the same food!
Tea places in Battlesbridge:
The Hawk Hawk Hill, (01268 7672).
The Barge Inn, Hawk Hill, E (01268 732 622).
Haybarn Tea Rooms Hawk Hill, J (01268 763 500). Open 10.30-16.00
Tea places in South Woodham Ferrers:
Macawbers Café Tropical Wings Zoo, Wickford Road (01245 425394), Open 09.00-17.30 summer, (note the pun).
Shaw Farm Old Wickford Road, (01245 320916), used to be a farm and dates back to the 17th Century. Huge back garden with a sizeable lake.
The Whalebone Inn/Scrimshaw’s Restaurant Old Wickford Road, (01245 320231).
The Railway 50 Hullbridge Road,(01245 320262).
Vicky’s Kitchen Marsh Farm Rd, (01245 321552), Open 11.00-17.00 Weekends.
Walk directions here
Sat, 08-Jun-13 9 Wickford to Battlesbridge
Wed, 06-Jun-12 Wickford to Battlesbridge