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|Author: Claire, Published: 05 Jul 2013||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 4 mile circular walk from the idyllic medieval village of Castle Hedingham in Essex. The route follows a loop north into the surrounding arable farmland and you will also have the opportunity to visit the namesake Norman Castle should you wish (limited opening times and entrance fees apply). |
The route is relatively flat with just a few gentle gradients. There are no stiles and just a couple of gates within the church yard. The paths are a mixture of wide stone tracks with a few narrow field paths, the latter of which can be quite muddy. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours (longer if you wish to explore the castle).
Castle Hedingham is in north east Essex, about 4 miles north-west of Halstead. The walk starts from St Nicholas’ Church in the centre of Castle Hedingham. There is roadside parking available in the village including marked bays along the main B1058 St James’ Street. Approximate post code CO9 3EJ.
|Start to Castle Entrance|
Start point: 51.9906 lat, 0.5976 long
Start the walk by making your way into the grounds of St Nicholas’ Church. Work on this late Norman Gothic church began in 1180 and it still retains many of its Norman features including three original Norman doors. The iron work on the doors is very well preserved and on the south door there is an iron boar – one of the emblems of the de Vere family (more to come on the de Vere’s later...). The east window is thought to be one of only five surviving Norman wheel windows in the country. The church roof design is attributed to Thomas Loveday, who is best known for his work on St John’s College in Cambridge.
|Castle Entrance to Yeoman's Cottage|
Start point: 51.9911 lat, 0.6004 long
From the entrance, turn right along the pavement with the grounds on the left and continue until you reach the T-junction. Turn left (signed Great Maplestead). Pass New Park Road to the right and just a few paces later turn left through a staggered barrier onto a narrow public footpath.
|Yeoman's Cottage to Brick Tower|
Start point: 51.9969 lat, 0.6024 long
Ignore the kissing gate to the left here – but you may wish to enjoy the views from this point. Keep ahead on the main tarmac lane. Pass the Rushley Green barn conversions on the left and follow the main track as it swings hard right.
|Brick Tower to Kirby Hall Farm|
Start point: 52.0081 lat, 0.596 long
Turn left here onto the signed footpath between crop fields. This path will lead you to the end of a line of trees where you’ll see a waymark post. Turn right here and follow this path which passes through the centre of the crop field. If the field is planted, you’ll have a chance to really appreciate the scale of modern arable farming, with single crops running as far as the eye can see.
|Kirby Hall Farm to End|
Start point: 52.0053 lat, 0.5885 long
Turn left along the main tarmac drive. Keep ahead and then, where the lane bends right with a white property on the left, go straight ahead onto the signed public footpath, a track between crop fields. The tower of Hedingham Castle soon comes into view ahead. As you reach a line of trees running away from you, bear slightly right to follow the field edge footpath following the line of trees on the left.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Enjoyable, easy and well-marked walk with some lovely wide vistas over arable land and some spectacular old oak trees en route.
|By timperleyear on 21 Aug 2016|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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