• Start: Norsey Wood Nature Reserve, GR688956
  • End: Norsey Wood Nature Reserve, GR688956
  • Country: England
  • County: Essex
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Shops en route, picnic site and toilets at Norsey Wood
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 175 Southend on Sea and Basildon
  • Difficulty: Medium
Google Map


Norsey Woods are full of bluebells throughout May, making this month a very special time for completing this charming woodland walk

step 1
Starting from Norsey Wood car park, continue down the track from the car park past the field gate in to the reserve. Stay on the main wide track, at the first junction keep straight ahead and then take the right fork down hill. Throughout Norsey Wood you can see the woodland management technique of coppicing in action. Coppicing involves chopping the tree down leaving a stool, then multiple shoots grow from that one stool. This prolongs the life of the tree and one hornbeam stool in the wood is reputed to be between 600 to 1,000 years old. Coppiced woodlands are usually done in strict rotation, which is why you will see areas of Norsey Wood with no trees, others with very young shoots and more mature woodland. Norsey is coppiced on a 21-year rotation. This is also excellent for wildlife, providing many different habitats in a small area. Keep straight ahead at the red-topped post. The wood eventually opens up and the path passes behind houses. Go through the gate and turn right on to Deerbank Road. The road is named after the Deerbank that surrounded Norsey Wood, the bank continues to the south and east. The bank is an historic feature which prevented deer and cattle from getting in to the woodland to feed on the coppiced shoots. Cross over the main road and take the footpath through to St Johns Road. At the main road, turn left along the pavement. Cross at the zebra crossing, continuing in the same direction, and take the second road on the right, Cromwell Avenue. About halfway down the road, take the footpath on the right signed to Lake Meadows Queens Park. The path opens out by the boating lake. Here you can either continue on the footpath ahead or go in to the park and walk by the lake, a much nicer option. If you walk by the lake, you can re-join the walk at the blue gate, just after the weir. Turn right out of the gate.

step 2
Turn left at the road, crossing it when safe. Turn right at the roundabout into Queens Park Avenue, cross over and take Allyssum Walk, signposted to Queens Park Country Park. At the new houses, keep ahead following the signs to the country park. As the estate road turns right, keep ahead on a footpath, cross the road and go back into the woods. The path passes by Queens Park Country Park. Continue ahead over the bridge and through the gate. At the crossroads (before the house) turn right on to a bridleway. After a while cross a bridge and turn left. The path winds round the back of the country park with views across farmland. The bridleway becomes an access road, signposted to Perry Street and runs alongside Stock Brook Country Club and its golf course.

step 3
Take care as the bridleway ends at the entrance to the golf club. Cross the road and take the path to the right of the post box. Follow this to Perry Street. At Perry Street, turn right and then left on to Orchard Avenue. As it meets Stock Road, cross at the zebra crossing and take the path on the right before the bus stop. Ignore the road on the left, but continue ahead round the back of houses on a pleasant path. The bridleway comes out on to Mercer Road, turn right and keep following Mercer Road to its end. At the main road, opposite the large house, turn left. Just after the bus stop, turn right through the gates and back in to Norsey Wood. Follow the path round, back through another gate. Keep walking and the trail leads back to the car park.

Essential Checklist

Distance: 5 miles / 7.8 km / 2 hours
Terrain: A mixture of urban and rural paths, no stiles
Start / Parking: Norsey Wood Nature Reserve, GR688956
Map: OS Explorer 175 Southend on Sea and Basildon
Refreshments: Shops en route, picnic site and toilets at Norsey Wood
Tourist Information Centre: Brentwood Tourist Information Centre, Pepperell House
44 High Street, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4AJ 01277 200300
Places to visit: Why not explore Norsey Woods further? Call 01277 624553 or 01268 550088 for more information

About Open Access
Open Access Land means that where you see this symbol you can walk without sticking to the mapped paths. For more information on Open Access and the right to roam visit or call 0845 100 3290

Each month Essex County Councils Public Rights of Way team provide Essex Life with a walk in the county. Walking, riding and cycling leaflets are available to download from
or call 08457 430430

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