Essex's best walks: A circular between Ridgewell and Tilbury Juxta Clare
PUBLISHED: 11:25 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:25 11 June 2019
This delightful walk from the village of Ridgwell to the neighbouring hamlet of Tilbury Juxta Clare and back follows quiet country lanes and footpaths, perfect for a summer walk | Words and photos: Laurie Page Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council
1) Go to the end of Church Lane and through the parish churchyard along the grass path. Exit the churchyard via the metal kissing gate and at the footpath fork soon after, take the right option, through the meadow to a footbridge where you cross into the next crop field, following along the edge.
Keep straight on at the next footpath junction and then go across the crop field. (If the path has not been re-instated you can follow around the field boundary to the right). Head for the footpath finger post on the far side where you descend the steps to the lane. Turn right along the lane.
2) After a short distance, opposite the next hedge line, turn left onto a footpath following a concrete track. Proceed straight on, going around a metal gate. The track bends left and you reach a track T-junction. Turn right and soon after you reach three bridges, a brick bridge and two footpath bridges.
Take the path to the left over a stile and with the brook to the right. Bear left to join another track. Then keep straight ahead. After passing an old brick barn on the left, you reach a track junction where you go left. The concrete track bends left. Continue to the next gate, getting over a stile on the left.
Keep straight on a wide surfaced drive then, at Tilbury Hall Farm, head through a wooden gate onto an unmade track. Go through a wooden kissing gate passing Tilbury Hall to your right. At the next double gate you reach Tilbury Church with its brick tower.
3) Pass the church and proceed along a good track to the lane (Airfield Road). Turn left along the lane. Continue for some distance, going gently uphill. As the road bends left there are distant views to both left and right. When you reach the next road junction, turn left. Go gently down to where the lane bends sharp right.
4) Take the footpath which runs parallel with the lane, keeping to the left of the hedge. Just before the corner of the field, bear right descending the steps to the lane. Turn left along the lane. At the road T-junction soon after, turn right. Proceed past the farm called Pannells.
At the end of the picket fence, go left onto a footpath which runs along the boundary of a large crop field. This bends right towards the church. At the corner of the field, pass through a metal kissing gate and cross the meadow back to St Laurence's Church, which usually stays open to the public. Retrace you steps to Church Lane back to where you started.
Ordnance Survey maps are available from all good booksellers and outdoor stores or visit the online shop www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/al
Distance: 3.8 miles (6.2km)
Starting point: Church Lane, Ridgewell CO9 4SA
How to get there: The A1017 between Saffron Walden and Great Yeldham runs directly through the village. Park in Church Lane on the east side off the main road near the village centre
Parking: If you visit at the weekend or holiday times, you can park in the car park next to the school at the end of Church Lane. Otherwise park in Church Lane near the main road.
Map: OS Explorer 195 Braintree & Saffron Walden
Refreshment: There are two pubs in the village, both on the main road. The White Horse at the southern end of the village and the Kings Head in the centre.
Places of interest nearby: The village of Castle Hedingham is 5 miles further south along the A1017. Near here you will find the Colne Valley Railway, where you can take a ride on a steam locomotive. Also in the village is the magnificent Norman keep of Hedingham Castle, which is open to visitors. It was the home of the de Vere family, the Earls of Oxford.