Walk: Exploring The Belchamps
PUBLISHED: 13:30 18 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:30 18 February 2014
1From the entrance to the Half Moon pub, go left along the road, walking along the wide grass verge on the right side of the road. Continue until you reach the last building on the left opposite the large, white thatched house called Community House. Turn left onto the footpath which is a wide grass path along the field edge. Proceed on past the hedge line on the left to the end of the field. Cross the little wooden plank bridge and go right.
2 Follow the winding path around the edge of the corn field. A path joins from the left. The path bends left by a hedgerow and at the path junction by an oak go straight on ahead across a crop field to another large oak. Here go left along a concrete track. Towards the end, go around a metal gate towards the road leading to Belchamp Otten. Turn right at the road and proceed to the next road junction with Fowes Lane.
3 For a much shorter walk, go left along the lane past the water pump and red telephone box to the footpath on the left, rejoining the route at point 7.
Otherwise, go straight ahead on footpath 17 along the field edge with a hedge on the left. Proceed over a bridge and onto a path which goes across a field. At the next path junction continue straight on into the next field past three large oaks then across another crop field. Cross over another bridge and into a meadow. There may be no distinct path that is obvious but head for a gap between two bushes on the far side of the field. This brings you to the lane.
4 Turn left along the lane. At Larret’s Farm, where the road bends left, take the footpath on the right side of the road. At the gap in the next hedge, where there is a concealed footpath post at a footpath crossroads, turn right, keeping the hedge to your left. Bear right across a culvert so the hedge is now on the right, then cross a bridge and the airstrip before going gently uphill across a crop field to the road. Turn left along the lane (Soft Road). Pass a pond opposite Wait’s Farm and you soon reach the little village of Belchamp Walter. There are some pretty cottages and houses, the village sign and a pond.
5 Turn left at the crossroads and soon after take the footpath on the left next to the village hall. At the field, turn left and follow around the edge of the field alongside a hedge. As the hedge line turns 90 degrees left, you go straight on across a large field for some distance. As this path ends, (there is no marker post) turn right, going slightly downhill. Just before the wooden fence turn left along the other side of the ditch. At the next path junction continue straight on along the bridleway, walking through a pretty shaded tree-lined path. Bear right following the main track which soon swings left, taking you to the lane.
6 Turn left and after the pond, take the footpath on the right, going through a gap in the hedge. The path veers right then left along a track. At the next hedge turn right, keeping the hedge on the left. This brings you to the road opposite Otten Hall. Turn left along the road past the old quaint church of St Ethelbert & All Saints Church. After the road curves to the left, look out for a footpath on the right marked by a concrete post.
7 This narrow path goes alongside a wooden fence bordering a horse field. When the fence ends the path veers left across the field and back to the lane (Otten Road). Turn right along the road for a short distance. At the next bend there are two footpaths on the left. Take the one to the right going along the field edge with hedge to the right. This passes Larks farmhouse. When you reach the track, go right then as the track bends right soon after, watch out for a gap in the hedge on the left which is an unsigned footpath which follows the field edge, swinging left then right, past the school field and over the concrete bridge to the road. Turn left to the Village Green and the Half Moon pub.