Walk guide: beautiful Manuden
PUBLISHED: 13:51 03 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 February 2016
This winter walk tours the pretty village of Manuden and the route uses hard road surfaces for much of the way, giving you the chance to stride out whatever the weather
Distance: 4 miles
Starting point: Manuden Community Centre on David Collins Drive at the north end of the village
How to get there: Manuden is less than 2 miles northwest of Stansted Mountfitchet. It can be reached from the B1383 that runs through Mountfitchet or via Hazelend from Bishop’s Stortford. David Collins Drive is off The Street, the main road that runs through the village
Map: OS Explorer 183 Chelmsford and the Rodings
Refreshments: The Yew Tree pub in the village, en route
Tourist Information: 2 Market Square, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 3UU. Call 01279 655831
Places of interest nearby: At Stansted Mountfitchet is the Castle and Norman Village (which is an excellent attraction), the House on the Hill Toy Museum next door and the windmill. Stansted Airport, for plane watchers, is also nearby
1. Exit from the community centre, turning right out of David Collins Drive using the wide grass verge and at the road junction turn left towards the unfortunately-named Maggots End. Head up the lane for a little way then take the next turning left along a narrow lane, which soon provides good views of the village to the left. Continue to the next road junction and turn right along a leafy lane (Butt Lane).
2. The lane bends sharp right then left. After some distance you reach some houses and the route ahead becomes an unmade surface. The sheltered path opens out with a large field to the left. Continue on and where the track bends left go straight ahead along a wide grass path. Follow this until you reach a junction of tracks at the bottom. Go straight on but then immediately go left up the bank where there is a footpath way-marker post. Follow along the edge of a huge field on a wide grass path which narrows towards the far end, where it emerges onto a wide dirt track. Bear right to the Tarmac road at Mallows Green.
3. Turn left along the road. Go over the road bridge and then the lane bends right. Pass a cottage and proceed to the next road junction at the Uppend sign. Go straight ahead, continuing past Parsonage Farm. Pass a cottage on the left and then immediately after a second house on the left, Ark End, look out for a footpath through the trees which is part of the Harcamlow Way, a long footpath trail. (If it is very wet weather, you can continue along the lane into the village.) Where the trees end, turn right across the crop field, taking you to the lane at the other end.
4. Go straight over following footpath no. 23 running from Harlow to Cambridge. Go gently down along the field edge. At the end, go almost straight over through the church yard. Continue on to the pretty parish church of St Mary the Virgin, which is usually open if you would like to visit. Leave the church yard by the gate at the end and be careful how you cross the bend in the road running through the village. Turn left (there is a good pub for refreshment). Otherwise continue along the main street through the village which bends right.
Towards the other end of the village you pass some pretty thatched cottages, where, to avoid the road, there is a footpath to the right. This runs parallel with the road and brings you to David Collins Drive on your right, where you started.
Words and pictures by Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way team at Essex County Council