Essex’s best walks: 3.5-mile village circular at Wickham Bishops
PUBLISHED: 15:16 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 29 May 2020
Take the chance to enjoy a summer stroll around the village of Wickham Bishops, following the old railway line which used to run to the west of the village | Words and pictures by Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way team at Essex County Council
This article was written prior to lockdown and all information should be checked before you head out
1) Go to the end of the car park by the churchyard and opposite the church entrance turn left out on to the road. Go along the road but watch out for traffic. Take the second turning on the right into Church Green.
Opposite number 21, take Footpath 12 on the left, running between fences and hedges. The path goes left of the gate to Wynmor Farm and becomes narrower. It S bends left and right before emerging at a little lane.
Turn right along the lane passing houses and bungalows. Soon afterwards, take the first of two footpaths on the left which takes you into a large crop field with a hedge to your right.
2) Proceed along this path for some distance. It veers right then left but still follows the hedge line. The path dog-legs again and passes through the hedge line into the next field. There are good views of the Essex countryside ahead.
The path skirts a wood to your right and goes out through a gate and into a field where you go right, then bear left soon after, going between the crops towards the farm buildings.
At the road by Reigate Barn you go left either along the field boundary or, if this is overgrown, along the road. Soon after, next to Reigate Bungalow, turn right down the bridleway.
3) Follow the bridle path along the field boundary. Go straight ahead at the end of the field where there is a little grass cross roads and up a ridge and immediately after turn right along the raised bank which is the old railway cutting running between the trees.
Proceed along this path for some distance. Go under a high bridge and cross over a track to Wickham Hall. Continue on for about another half a mile.
Eventually the route takes you left up a bank to a path junction. You may wish to go left to visit the little secluded chapel of St Peter. Otherwise go right, up a wide track to the road.
4) Cross the road and take the Footpath opposite. Keep to the left, going steadily up a gentle slope for some distance. Near the top cross a track and continue around a metal gate, going straight ahead and still keeping to the left.
Pass an apple orchard. Just after the house on your left, go right onto an unsigned wide grass path which immediately veers left past shrub and rambling roses. At the end go out through the hedge onto the narrow lane and turn left.
At the top at the road junction, turn right along the road, but keep your eye out for traffic. Follow the road round to the right (Church Road) and the car park where you started is on the left.
Distance: 3.5 miles.
Starting point: The car park opposite the parish church of St Bartholomew.
How to get there: From the B1018 between Witham and Maldon, turn off at Station Road signed to the village. At the end the road bends left then right into Church Road. The car park is on the left opposite the church.
Map: OS Explorer 183 Chelmsford & the Rodings
Refreshments: There are two pubs in the village, the Chequers and the Mitre.
Tourist Information Centre: Maldon TIC Wenlock Way, Maldon CM9 5AD 01621 856503
Places of interest nearby: To the south is the historic town of Maldon, overlooking the River Blackwater estuary. Promenade Park is by the river, where boat trips are available up and down the Blackwater on the magnificent old Thames barges which are moored there. There is also the Moot Hall in the High Street, a very early brick building, and nearby the Thomas Plume 18th century library. Beeleigh Abbey’s gardens are now open to the public on selected days too.