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|West Bergholt Hall and the Colne Valley|
|Author: Steve Hallam, Published: 18 Mar 2017||Walk Rating:|
|This is an easy 3 mile circular walk through some of the more attractive scenery in Essex. It starts at West Bergholt Hall and old church, leading through two nature reserves and riverside meadows. Hillhouse Wood is particularly worth visiting in April and May, as it has superb displays of Bluebells and other woodland flowers, as well as singing Nightingales. There are also lovely views down the Colne Valley. |
The walk contains one noticeable, but steady, climb. There are a few short stretches that can get muddy, so it is best to wear boots in winter and after rain. There are no stiles on the route, as the council has replaced all of these with gates. One small footbridge has bars at both ends that you will need to step over. The route crosses a couple of grazing meadows which may be holding livestock at times. Allow 1.5 hours.
West Bergholt is located about 3 miles north west of Colchester in Essex, near the border with Suffolk. The walk starts and finishes at St Mary's Old Church, located north-west of the village, where there is parking for several cars. Approximate post code CO6 3DU. There are two buses that pass close to the start of the walk. Chambers Buses routes 753 and 754 stop 600 metres away, on the B1508, at the end of Old Church Lane. The First Essex bus 66 stops on Lexden Road in West Bergholt , near the end of Hall Road, which is 700 metres away.
|Start to Hillhouse Wood Entrance|
Start point: 51.9171 lat, 0.8391 long
Take the track that heads west, down the side of the old church. You will pass the graveyard and then the walled garden of the Hall both on your left.
|Hillhouse Wood Entrance to Concrete Footbridge|
Start point: 51.9184 lat, 0.8295 long
Take the path that leads off the track into the wood, by the large sign shown in the photo. Follow this path past a large pond on your right. Just after the pond, and by a small wooden noticeboard that says 'Hillhouse Wood', take the path that forks right.
|Concrete Footbridge to Chancers Farm|
Start point: 51.9184 lat, 0.825 long
Having crossed the stream, walk up the slope keeping the field boundary hedge on your left.
|Chancers Farm to Cookes Hall Farm|
Start point: 51.9158 lat, 0.8155 long
Turn left off the metalled road, by a concrete footpath sign, and walk past the farm, keeping the farm buildings (which have been converted into light industrial units) on your right. At the end of the farm, by a sign that says 'RT Roofing', keep straight on down the field boundary. Follow this path all the way down to the river, keeping the hedge to your left.
|Cookes Hall Farm to End|
Start point: 51.9117 lat, 0.8326 long
At the start of Cookes Hall Farm (no longer used, at the time of writing, other than to store some machinery) the track turns to concrete. Go straight on, passing farm buildings on both sides of the track. Once through the farm, follow the farm access road that goes slightly left, up a slope and between two hedges. At the start of this road there is a small, rather manky looking pond on your left.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author SteveHallam and may not be reproduced without permission.
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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