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6 beautiful winter walks in Essex with cosy pubs along the way

09:59 23 December 2015

Winter walks through woodlands, nature reserves and Dedham Vale | ‘Dedham Vale misty dawn’ by Nick Rowland under licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0, Flickr

Winter walks through woodlands, nature reserves and Dedham Vale | ‘Dedham Vale misty dawn’ by Nick Rowland under licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0, Flickr

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From woodlands and nature reserves to Dedham Vale, we pick 6 perfect places for countryside walks plus some of the best cosy pubs en route

Explore Essex this winter| ‘Mountnessing Post Mill’ by synx508 licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0, FlickrExplore Essex this winter| ‘Mountnessing Post Mill’ by synx508 licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0, Flickr

 

 

Wrap up warm for a family outing this winter with a gentle stroll around a pretty Essex village or a woodland walk to blow away the cobwebs. Luckily there are a great number of well signposted walks and walking maps available for keen ramblers and dog walkers, but if you still can’t decide where to go for a walk, here are six of our favourites, plus the all important country pubs to check into on the way.

 

 

1. Dedham Vale walk

Distance: 5 miles

Take a stroll around the sights and sounds that inspired John Constable to paint some of his most well-known landscape scenes with a walk around Dedham Vale and Constable Country.

Pub: Head to The Marlborough Head Inn in Dedham. The traditional pub boasts a log fire, two bars and a restaurant.

See the Route for the Dedham Vale walk…

2. Saffron Walden walk

Distance: 4 miles

This short walk allows you time to take in the delights of Saffron Walden as well as viewing the picturesque Audley End House and its surrounding grounds.

Pub: Nestled in the heart of Littlebury, The Queens Head Inn is a cosy 14th century coaching inn full of period features. Warm up by the fire with a drink from the well stocked bar or sample one of the home cooked meals from the menu.

See the route for the Saffron Walden walk…

3. Mountnessing walk

Distance: 4 miles

Explore some of the oldest settlements of Mountnessing with this meander past Mountnessing Hall, an iron church and the timeless charm of the village windmill.

Pub: The Prince of Wales in Mountnessing specialises in hearty pub food with a unique twist. Expect to find real ales, cider and lager plus a reasonably priced-wine list.

See the route for the Mountnessing walk…

4. Widdington walk

Distance: 3 miles

Widdington, in the north-east of Essex, lies in a beautiful and historic part of the county, as this walk featuring old manor houses and medieval barns reveals.

Pub: Real ale fans will enjoy a post-walk visit to The Fleur De Lys. A long-standing entry into the Good Beer Guide, the free house offers a selection of draught guest ales plus East Anglian favourites, Woodfords Wherry and Adnams bitter.

See the route for the Widdington walk…

5. Great Leighs walk

Distance: 5 miles

Starting at Great Leighs village hall, this rewarding circular route takes comprises fields, farm meadows and woodland

Pub: The Compasses in Littley Green, where you can sample an Essex huffer (a soft white roll stuffed with meat or a fruit filling before being baked).

See the route for the Great Leighs walk…

6. Old Harlow walk

Distance: 3 miles

Mention Harlow and many people’s thoughts will turn to the famous new town, but this walk explores the beauty of Old Harlow, with its authentic, village feel.

Pub: With a seasonal menu and a selection of real ales, The Queens Head is an ideal pit stop for weary walkers.

See the route for the Old Harlow walk…

 

Like this? Check out 17 awe-inspiring winter scenes in Essex.

 

 

 

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