Blow away the cobwebs in Little Burstead
PUBLISHED: 11:27 15 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:27 15 December 2014
Enjoy a winter walk with lots of variety around the quiet village of Little Burstead, near Billericay. Words and Pictures by Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way team at Essex County Council
Distance: 3½ miles
Starting point: Opposite the Dukes Head pub on Laindon Common Road.
How to get there: From the A176 south of Billericay, take the turning on the right into Laindon Common Road. About 400 metres along this road on the left there is a public parking area in front of the pub.
Map: OS Explorer 175 Southend & Basildon
Refreshments: The Dukes Head pub at the starting point. Sat Nav: CM12 9TA . Call 01277 651333
Tourist information Centre: 44 High Street, Brentwood CM14 4AJ 01277 200300
Places of interest nearby: The Barleylands Farm Museum and Craft Village is about two miles to the east of Little Burstead. There is a Discovery Centre, vintage tractors, farm animals, birds of prey and play areas. There is also a range of craft workshops running events throughout the year. In December you can meet Father Christmas and there is a Festive Farmers Market on December 23. You will find Barleylands on Barleylands Road, Billericay. Call 01268 288886
1 From the pub, take the footpath on the right next to the fishpond leading to the recreation ground. Cross the playing field and leave the field in the corner by the blue cabins and onto a path through the trees. This soon takes you to a stile leading to a large meadow with a ditch and hedge to your left. Proceed into the next field and then past a wooden gate into another field. At the end of this one, at the field signpost by the circular drain, go right along the field edge and descend the steps over a footbridge into the woods, then climb back up through the trees and emerge onto a Tarmac track passing residences. At the track junction bear right and at the next footpath post, follow the track round to the right, taking you to the road.
2 Turn left using the pavement on the other side of the road. Continue past the village hall and the old school house, to the road junction by the war memorial. Take the left turn along Rectory Road. Soon after on the first bend, take Footpath 57 on the right. Proceed along the field edge with the hedge to the right. There are distant views of the Essex countryside and the village church. Follow the bank between the fields then descend by the long grass to cross the footbridge. Turn right and as you leave the ditch, follow a vague grass path to the end of the field. Turn left along the field edge with a ditch to your right. When you reach the farm track turn right along a permissive route (as the public footpath is not currently available at the time of going to press) going gently uphill towards the farm. At the top take the right fork at the track junction and follow this concrete track passing Chase Farm on the left. Pass the farm buildings and proceed down the track going round the black gate to the road.
3 Turn right along the road but watch out for the traffic. Continue to Bridleway 166 on the left. This goes through the trees and uphill to eventually join the road. Continue to the road junction at Tye Common Road. Take Byway 45 opposite along a wide stony surface. After Avalon Cottage, look out for a narrow unmarked footpath on the right just before the wooden fence. Go up the steps through
a kissing gate and onto the golf course.
4 Go straight on following the line of the ditch to your right. When you reach the trees around the lake, go left. Keep the hedge to your right. Before the end, look out for a rickety bridge on the right. Cross the ditch and turn left on the other side of the bridge. Then proceed straight on for some distance with the hedge now on your left. At the end cross a footbridge into the trees and then turn right soon after.
There are two parallel paths; take the wider far path which is a bridleway going through the trees. There is a long wooden fence to the right. This terminates at the road (Laindon Common Road) opposite the Dukes Head pub where you started.