GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Essex Cycle Routes

There's plenty to see on your bike in Essex with plenty of countryside and some lovely signed routes in Lee Valley park and Epping Forest.

Essex is truly a county of contrasts. Steeped in history and infused with unique architectural, historic and natural treasures, encapsulating everything that is great about the coast, the countryside and market towns. With each element there is a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be discovered and explored. For more information on walking and cycling in Essex as well as information on visitor attractions, things to do, events to go to and places to stay please go to

Use the links to view full route information including elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Essex Cycle Map>>

There are several National Cycle Network signed routes in the county many of which have been mapped and can be viewed and downloaded below.
For more information on NCN routes in the county (including free cycle maps) please click here

For more information on cycle routes in Essex including tips, advice and free cycle maps please click here

Route NamePhotoDistanceDescription
Abberton Reservoir10 miles (16 km)This is a circular cycle ride on the quiet roads and country lanes surrounding this large reservoir near Colchester, Essex. Abberton is thefourth largestreservoir in England with an area of nearly 5 square kilometres (1,200 acres). View Full Details>>
Belhus Woods Country Park2 miles (3.5 km)Enjoy the pretty lakes and peaceful woodland trails in this country park near Dagenham View Full Details>>
Bishop's Stortford to Braintree22 miles (35 km)This route follows NCN route 16 from Hertfordshire into Essex View Full Details>>
Bishop's Stortford to Witham32 miles (52 km)The route starts in Bishop's Stortford and after a short spell along the View Full Details>>
Blackwater Rail Trail6 miles (10 km)This is a nice, easy cycle or walk along a disused railway line between Witham and Maldon in Essex View Full Details>>
Braintree to Colchester31 miles (50 km)This route starts near Braintree rail station and heads to Witham along NCN route 16 and country lanes View Full Details>>
Cambridge to Stansted Mountfitchet31 miles (50 km)Travel from Cambridgeshire to Essex along NCN route 11 View Full Details>>
Chelmsford to Maldon12 miles (20 km) View Full Details>>
Cheshunt to Hertford16 miles (25 km)This route follows National Cycle route 1 passing through Hertfordshire and Essex. The ride starts by Cheshunt rail station by Cheshunt lake and begins with a spell through the lovely Lee Valley Park taking you onto Clayton Hill Country Park in Lower Nazeing. You then follow the towing path of the River Lee, first to St Margarets, and then onto the finish point in Hertford by the tourist information centre. View Full Details>>
Colchester to Harwich25 miles (40 km)This route follows NCN route 51 to the Essex coast View Full Details>>
Danbury Common2 miles (2.5 km)This large area of woodland and heath is managed by the National Trust. As such you will find a number of well maintained footpaths taking you through the common. The site includes the Backwarden Nature Reserve where you'll find woodland, common, heath, wild flowers, streams and bogs. Look out for a variety of wildlife in this area including adders, nesting birds and butterflies. View Full Details>>
Epping Forest19 miles (30 km)This circular route starts at Epping tube station and takes you through the quiet roads in and around Epping Forest.
The route is on road so will suit all types of bike but if you're on an MTB or Hybrid it's well worth exploring the signed off road paths and tracks in the forest. View Full Details>>
Flitch Way15 miles (24 km)The Flitch Way is a cycle and walking route running along a decomissioned railway line through Essex View Full Details>>
Great Notley Country Park3 miles (5 km)A short walk or cycle around the 100 acre Great Notley Country Park in Braintree, Essex View Full Details>>
Greenwich to Cheshunt21 miles (34 km)Follow National Cycle route 1 on this pleasant ride or walk through north London into Hertfordshire. You start by the Thames at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and crosses to the Isle of Dogs via the Greenwich tunnel. This section gives splendid views of the River Thames and Canary Wharf. View Full Details>>
Hadleigh Country Park3 miles (5.5 km)This lovely park is located on the Thames Estuary near Southend on Sea. The park is nearly 400 acres in size and includes a mix of woodland, pasture, hay meadow and marsh. There are a number of great trails suitable for cyclists and walkers. There is also the 13th century Hadleigh castle ruins where there are fabulous views of the surrounding Essex countryside and the River Thames. View Full Details>>
Hainault Forest Country Park4 miles (7 km)This country park contains open space parklands, numerous public footpaths, a large lake, the Hainault Forest Golf Club and Fox Burrow Farm. There are 336 acres to explore with several paths suitable for cyclists so you can bring your bike and enjoy miles of traffic free cycling. View Full Details>>
Harlow to Chelmsford22 miles (35 km)Starting in Harlow follow NCN route 1 through Essex to Chelmsford View Full Details>>
Hatfield Forest4 miles (7 km)Enjoy a cycle or walk around this ancient royal hunting forest in Bishop's Stortford, Essex. There are over 1000 acres to explore on a multitude of peaceful woodland paths. These include two waymarked walking routes and the Flitch Way cycle route which runs along a decomissioned railway line in the northern part of the forest. Cycle hire is available at reasonable rates. View Full Details>>
High Woods Country Park2 miles (4 km)This country park in Colchester includes woodland, open spaces, ponds, a lake and wildflower meadows. The park contains a number of well maintained, waymarked trails suitable for cycling and walking. There are very good facilities including a visitor centre where you can find details of all the walking and cycling trails in the park. View Full Details>>
Ingrebourne Valley3 miles (5 km)This is a nice easy, family cycle ride or walk through the Ingrebourne Valley near Upminster. The route includes a stretch through Hornchurch Country Park with its ponds, lakes and pleasant scenery. You will also visit Ingrebourne Hill which offers brilliant views across the Thames and a variety of wildlife. Finally, there is a lovely stretch along the Ingrebourne River to enjoy, making for a peaceful, varied easy walk or ride. View Full Details>>
Ipswich to Colchester31 miles (50 km)This route takes you through the Suffolk countryside along National Cycle route 1. You start by the tourist information centre in Ipswich heading out of town to join the River Gipping where you can enjoy a short riverside stretch. You then continue west through the countryside to Hadleigh with lovely views of the River Brett. Shortly after leaving Hadleigh there is a nice off road stretch along the Hadleigh Railway Walk taking you through Raydon Great Wood. You then continue to Colchester on country roads passing through High Woods Country Park as you go. The final stretch takes you across the River Colne and past Colchester castle before finishing near the tourist information centre. View Full Details>>
Langdon Hills Country Park5 miles (7.5 km)This splendid country park in Basildon includes 400 acres of meadows, farmland and woodlands with an abundance of wildlife from Green Winged Orchids to the Great Crested Newt. There are miles of walking and cycling paths taking you through the parkland, the local farmland and on to the Plotlands Nature Reserve. View Full Details>>
Lee Valley9 miles (14 km)This short, pleasant traffic free ride takes you through Lee Valley Park and along the River Lee. View Full Details>>
London to Cambridge81 miles (130 km)This long distance cycle ride takes you from the Thames in London, through Essex and Cambridgeshire, to the Univeristy city of Cambridge. The route uses a mixture of National Cycle Network Routes and Local Cycle Routes to take you between these two great English cities. There's lots of traffic free sections, particularly at the start as you head through London and Lee Valley Park. The route then follows a mixture of country lanes and minor roads to Waltham Abbey, Harlow and Stansted Mountfitchet, before finishing in Cambridge. View Full Details>>
Marsh Farm Country Park4 miles (6 km)This country park in South Woodham Ferrers has miles of splendid waterside walking trails to enjoy. The River Crouch and the Clementsgreen and Fenn Creeks all run through the park so you can follow well laid out footpaths right along the water. There's 300 acres of grazing marsh to explore with a wide variety of water loving birds to spot. Look out for dark bellied brent geese and many other species of waders and ducks. Sedge warblers, cuckoos and sky larks can also be seen in the area. View Full Details>>
Pilgrimage Way23 miles (37 km)This is a largely traffic free cycle ride or walk from Barking Abbey to Waltham Abbey via Three Mills, Limehouse Basin and the Olympic Park. View Full Details>>
Rainham Marshes6 miles (9 km)Explore the RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve on this easy cycle or walk along National Cycle route 13. The route runs mostly along a riverside path by the River Thames from Purfleet to Rainham. The reserve has a variety of regular winged visitors, including peregrines, lapwings and wild ducks. There are also water voles and rare dragonflies to be seen across the boardwalks. Also take time to explore the visitor centre which has a wealth of information about the area. View Full Details>>
River Roding6 miles (9 km)This cycling and walking route follows the River Roding from Roding Valley station to Ilford in Greater London. It's a nice trail on mainly traffic free paths so it is suitable for anyone looking for an easy cycle ride or pleasant stroll. View Full Details>>
St Albans to Harlow28 miles (45 km)Starting in St Albans follow National Cycle route 61 from St Albans to Harlow via Welywn Garden City and Hertford. View Full Details>>
Thorndon Country Park5 miles (8 km)This large country park is located near Brentwood in Essex and contains a number of fine woodland trails, ideal for walking or cycling View Full Details>>
Weald Country Park6 miles (9 km)Enjoy lakes, tree-lined avenues, parkland and woodland in this 500 acre country park in Brentwood, Essex. The park is excellent for cyclists and walkers with a large number of tracks and footpaths to enjoy. A large area of the park is sectioned of for the large collection of deer. They are very friendly and will come over to eat out of your hands. The park also has a large lake with a variety of winged visitors and a bird hide. View Full Details>>

Your Submitted Routes

Route NameDistanceDifficulty
Stansted Mountfitchet - Sawbridgeworth37 miles (60 km)***

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