Essex’s best walks: Sheering via Hatfield Heath and Matching
PUBLISHED: 15:56 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 16 August 2018
Words and photos: Laurie Page Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council
1) Go to the end of the church car park and at the end of the grass area to the left is the footpath way-marker. Follow the path right, over the footbridge then go immediately left into a large crop field with the hedge to your left.
There are good distant countryside views to the right. Further along you are guided left into the next field. Follow around the field boundary keeping the hedge to your left. Swing right at the corner. Pass the recreation ground. Proceed into the next field and bear right across the ditch, but continue eastwards alongside the field edge.
The path swings right by the farm.
2) Continue gently downhill along a wide farm track. Pass a large lake to your left. At the bottom the path bends to the left alongside Downhall Wood. Follow the path all the way around the wood on a wide grass path, until you come to a vehicle barrier.
On the other side is a lane. Turn right over the road bridge and walk up the lane (keeping on the right side of the road). Pass the Down Hall Country House Hotel. After the yellow brick house on the left, look out for an unmarked footpath on the right going into the next field with the hedge to the right.
3) At the end of the field bear right over a stile and follow the way-markers. At the old rusty gate go right into a meadow bordered by trees. Halfway along follow the way-markers taking you left over a stile and into the trees. When you emerge into a field soon after, go right.
Follow around the field edge and continue until you reach the bridleway T-junction. Here turn right. At the end of the bridleway, at Parsonage Farm, turn left to the road.
4) At the telephone box, go right along the lane. Pass High Lane and proceed down about half a mile to the next junction (the other end of High Lane). Keep straight on and cross the road bridge.
Further along on the right take the footpath through the gap in the hedge going between crops, then along a field edge with trees to the left. This takes you back to the churchyard.
Go back over the footbridge and left to return to the car park.
Distance: 3.5 miles (5.66 km)
Starting point: Sheering Church Hall car park
How to get there: Sheering is on the B183 between Hatfield Heath and Harlow. Turn off the B183 at The Cock Inn pub into Church Lane and the car park is on the left.
Sat Nav: CM22 7NR
Map: OS Explorer 183 Chelmsford & The Rodings.
Refreshments: There are two pubs in Sheering. The Cock Inn close to the church and The Crown further west down the main street.
Places of interest nearby: At Lower Sheering a few miles west is The Maltings, the location of the Herts and Essex Antiques Centre. There are about 70 independent dealers offering a wide range of interesting, rare and retro items including furniture, clocks ceramics, glass, silver, jewellery, collectables and curios. There is something for everybody as well as a tea room for refreshments.