GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Essex Walks

There's much to entertain the walker in this attractive south eastern county. There's lovely countryside and a fantastic coastline with a number of coastal nature reserves to visit. See the Essex Coastal Walks page for more details.

Use the filter to show walks of a certain type such as woods, reservoirs, hills, long distance, country parks, canals and rivers.
In the spring walkers flock to the beautiful bluebell woods in Essex. Click the 'Woodland' button below to see these.

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 Walk Map>>

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>>
Ardleigh Reservoir3 miles (5 km)This reservoir near Colchester has a nice country lane running along its northern side. You can reach the reservoir from the nearby village of Ardleigh by following Wick Lane and Lodge Lane for about a mile. The path runs right along the lake with nice views across the water to the trees lining its the edge. View Full Details>>
Audley End2 miles (3 km)Explore the stunning gardens surrounding this spectacular Jacobean mansion in Saffron Walden, Essex. Visit the beautifully restored parterre with its striking bedding scheme and beautiful fountain. The walled kitchen garden is run entirely on organic principles and contains glasshouses, a vinery and 150 varieties of apples, 40 varieties of pears plus other assorted plums and cherries. There is also a delightful Victorian pond garden with a rockery and the Elysian Garden where you will find the exquisite Tea House Bridge over the river Cam. View Full Details>>
Beeleigh Falls2 miles (2.5 km)Enjoy a short walk to these pretty falls on the River Chelmer in Essex. It's an interesting spot, where four waterways converge with a series of locks and weirs. The River Chelmer, River Blackwater, the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal and the tidal Chelmer all meet at Beeleigh Falls. It's a great place for birdwatching so keep your eyes peeled for the Kingfishers which frequent the area. 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>>
Benfleet to Leigh on Sea7 miles (11.5 km)A nice coastal walk from Benfleet to Leigh on Sea in Essex. The circular route runs for about 7 miles along a series of fairly flat footpaths. The first section takes you along the sea wall through Hadleigh Marshes before returning inland via Hadleigh Country Park and the ruins of Hadleigh Castle. View Full Details>>
Bishop's Stortford Canal and River Walk14 miles (22 km)Follow the River Stort Navigation canal from Bishop's Stortford to Hoddesdon, on this delightful waterside walk through Hertfordshire. The walk follows the flat towpath through Sawbridgeworth and Harlow with lots of barges, weirs and pretty locks to look out for on the way. View Full Details>>
Blackwater Estuary13 miles (21 km)Enjoy a walk along the lovely Blackwater Estuary from Maldon to Tollesbury. Flat footpaths run right along the river estuary with fine views and lots of wildlife to look out for on the way. The National Nature Reserve is home to little tern, ringed plover, Pied avocet, dunlin and Hen Harrier so be sure to bring your binoculars. The route runs for just over 13 miles with the option of catching the bus back to Maldon. 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>>
Blake's Wood1 miles (2 km)Enjoy a series of nice woodland trails in this pretty wood in Chelmsford. There's a car park on Riffhams Chase in Little Baddow. From here you can pick up the paths taking you through the woods and along Blake's stream. In the woods you will find oak, hornbeam and sweet chestnut trees with bluebells in the spring. Look out for birds including hawfinches and nightingales. View Full Details>>
Canvey Island7 miles (11 km)Enjoy a waterside walk along the Thames Estuary on this route on Canvey Islandin Essex. You can follow coastal footpaths for several miles along the estuary. There's lots to see with several bays, beaches, creeks, lagoons, marshland and an abundance of wildlife. There's also great views across the water to Hadleigh Country Park and its castle. View Full Details>>
Centenary Circle20 miles (32 km)This circular walk takes you through the parks and countryside around Chelmsford. View Full Details>>
Chalkney Wood1 miles (2 km)This area of ancient woodland near Chappel is a lovely place for a peaceful stroll. There is a car park off Tey Road near White Colne where you can pick up the public footpaths through the forest. In the springtime there are lots of pretty bluebells to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including deer, blackcap and nightingale. As an alternative to driving to the woods you could walk from the nearby village of Chappel where there is a train station. It's a really pretty village with an impressive viaduct, pretty houses, a mill and views of the River Colne. View Full Details>>
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation16 miles (26 km)Follow the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal from Chelmsford to Maldon on this easy, waterside walk in Essex View Full Details>>
Chelmsford5 miles (8.5 km)This walk in the Essex city of Chelmsford takes you along the River Can and River Chelmer to Sandford Mill View Full Details>>
Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park2 miles (2.5 km)Explore 200 acres of woodland, lake, grassland and parkland in this splendid country park in the Roach Valley. It's great for walkers with miles of footpaths and bridleways to try. It's a lovely setting with wildflowers, woodland trails and great views of the rolling Essex countryside. View Full Details>>
Colchester2 miles (3 km)A circular riverside walk around the centre of Colchester, visiting Colchester Castle and the River Colne. The historic market town is the oldest recorded Roman town inBritain, and claimed to be theoldest town in Britain. It has a fascinating Roman history with many features of the occupation still visible today. View Full Details>>
Connaught Water1 miles (1 km)This pretty lake in Epping Forest has a nice circular walking trail around its perimter. It's a nice easy stroll with the option of extending your walk into the surrounding woodland. The path is surfaced and fully accessiblehaving recently been landscaped as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Branching Out Project. A splendid boardwalk has also been created so you can enjoy a stroll above the water. As you walk around the site look out for wildlife including coots, swans, geese and great crested grebes on the lake. View Full Details>>
Cudmore Grove Country Park4 miles (6 km)Located at theeastern end of Mersea Island this super country park is perfect for an easy coastal walk. You can stroll along the lovely sandy beach and enjoy views across Brightlingsea Reach towards Brightlingsea. There's also marshland and grassland which is perfect for picnics. The circular walk below starts at the car park and follows the beach for about a mile before returning through the countryside on a mixture of walking paths and country lanes. 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>>
Danbury Country Park1 miles (1.5 km)This country park in Essex has a number of good walking trails to enjoy. There's a lakeside walk taking you around the two pretty lakes where you can look out for ducks, swans and carp. View Full Details>>
Dedham to Flatford Walk4 miles (7 km)This circular walk takes you from the village of Dedham to the site of Constable's most famous painting at Flatford Mill. It's about a 1.5 mile walk to the site but this circular walk continues into the countryside to the south of Flatford before returning to Dedham. There's wonderful scenery with a lovely riverside stretch along the Stour and fine views of the Dedham Vale AONB throughout. The route will suit most abilities as it takes place on a series of fairly flat footpaths. View Full Details>>
Dedham Vale7 miles (11.5 km)Explore John Constable country and visit the site of his famous Hay Wain painting on this circular walk in the Dedham Vale AONB. The route makes use of the Stour Valley Path, the St Edmund Way and the Essex Way to create a round walk starting and finishing from the village of Dedham. You'll enjoy riverside paths, countryside views and gentle ascents as you make your way through this picturesque area. View Full Details>>
Epping Forest Centenary Walk15 miles (24 km)Follow the Epping Forest Centenary Walk fom Manor Park to Epping on this pleasant 15 mile walk. View Full Details>>
Essex Way81 miles (130 km)Travel through the Essex countryside from Epping to Harwich on this 81 mile footpath. The path takes you through some interesting towns and delightful villages, including Chipping Ongar, Terling, Willingale, Pleshey, Coggeshall, Dedham and Mistley. The walk includes riverside sections along the River Blackwater, the River Colne and along the River Stour at the end of the route. This final section is particularly lovely passing the Wrabness Nature Reserve on the banks of the river Stour estuary. Here you can see owls, yellowhammers, whitethroats, turtle dove, song thrush, nightingales and bullfinches. View Full Details>>
Finchingfield4 miles (6.5 km)A nice circular walk from the Essex village of Finchingfield, visiting Great Bardfield, the River Pant and the Finchingfield Brook. The route runs for just over 4 miles on fairly flat paths, with nice views of the surrounding countryside for most of the way. 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>>
Forest Way -Essex25 miles (40 km)The Forest Way in Essex runs from Loughton station to Hatfield Forest. View Full Details>>
Frinton to Walton Walk2 miles (3.5 km)Enjoy a walk along the Essex Coast on this easy promenade walk between Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. The walk runs for about 2 miles on a nice flat path with views of the beach and sea. You can start off from the car park on the front at the Greensward in Frinton. Then head north along the path, passing all the little beach huts, the Clock Tower and the sea defence wall before finishing at Walton pier. 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>>
Hadleigh to Stratford Legacy Walk72 miles (116 km)A walk created to celebrate the 2012 Olympic games in London. It runs from Hadleigh, in Essex, to the Olympic Park in Stratford, London. The route starts near the Hadleigh Mountain Bike Centre and takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in Essex to the White Water Centre near Waltham Abbey. From here the route heads south to Stratford and the main Olympic Stadium. 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>>
Hamford Water2 miles (2.5 km)Follow the Naze wildlife trail on this walk in the Hamford Water National Nature Reserve. The area is an internationally important site for migrating birds and includes the famous fifty million year old cliffsmade up of London clay. View Full Details>>
Hanningfield Reservoir2 miles (4 km)This large body of water near Billericay has some nice woodland walking trails at its southern end. There's a good size parking area at the end of Giffords Lane, off South Hanningfield Road. From here you can pick up the walking trails, heading west through Well Woodand Hawk's Wood. There's nice views over the water, pretty grazing meadows and a waterside cafe near the car park. Look out for lots of bluebells in the spring months. View Full Details>>
Harcamlow Way141 miles (227 km)This long distance walk takes you to some of the most beautiful countryside, interesting historical sites and delightful country parks in the counties of Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. 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>>
Heybridge Basin4 miles (6.2 km)This easy waterside walk takes you from Heybridge Basin to the Chigborough Lakes Nature Reserve on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex. There's lovely views across the river estuary and lots of wildlife to look out for on the way. The route runs for 4 miles on flat footpaths. You can turn it into a longer circular walk by heading through the eastern part of Maldon and linking up with the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal. 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>>
Hockley Woods2 miles (2.5 km)Follow the peaceful walking trails through this large area of mixed woodland near Rayleigh in Essex. There's a car park at the northern tip of the woods just off Main Road. From here you can pick up the waymarked trails. In the wood you'll find Oak and sweet chestnuttrees, streams and wildflowers including three species of orchid. In the springtime there are lovely carpets of bluebells to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including various woodland birds and the protectedheath fritillarybutterfly. View Full Details>>
Hylands Park7 miles (10.5 km)This lovely park near Chelmsford is a great place for an afternoon stroll. The Centenary Circle long distance trail runs around the boundary of the park so you can explore this area for free on a good waymarked trail. View Full Details>>
Icknield Way Path110 miles (177 km)The Icknield Way Path starts at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire and heads to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk along prehistoric pathways. There's fantastic views as you climb through the hills of the Chilterns AONB. There's also a series of lovely nature reserves and country parks to enjoy on the way. 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>>
John Ray Walk10 miles (16 km)Travel along the John Ray Walk from Braintree to Witham on this lovely walk through Essex. You will pass through the delightful countryside of the Brain Valley, the birthplace and home of John Ray. Heralded as the father of English natural history he had a supreme understanding of the natural world. One of Ray's greatest achievements was to lay the foundations for the classification of all living things. View Full Details>>
Knighton Wood1 miles (2 km)Explore Knighton Wood and Lord Bushes on this short walk in the Buckhurst Hill area of Epping Forest. It's a lovely area for a peaceful stroll with nice footpaths taking you to rhododendron, oak and ash woodland. There's also tranquil ponds and the pretty Knighton Lake. 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>>
Lea Valley Walk53 miles (85 km)A super walk with a series of delightful waterside sections along the River Lea. The walk runs from Leagrave, the source of the River Lea near Luton, to the Thames at Limehouse Basin, east London. You follow a riverside path for much of the way through, Luton, Hatfield, Hertford and Cheshunt with a swan emblem clearly waymarking the walk. The walk passes Nature Reserves, pretty riverside villages and includes a section through the fantastic Lee Valley Park - London's largest open space. You'll also pass the Olympic Park in Stratford which is well worth exploring. The final section of the walk runs along the Limehouse Cut Canal which is also suitable for cyclists. View Full Details>>
Maldon3 miles (5.2 km)This pretty Essex town has a series of delightful waterside footpaths to try. This circular walk runs for a distance of just over 3 miles on fairly flat footpaths. On the way you'll enjoy nice views of the River Chelmer, the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal, and the River Blackwater. The route also includes a visit to the pretty Elms Farm Park. 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>>
Mersea Island13 miles (21 km)Explore the coastline of the most easterly inhabited island in the United Kingdom island on this circular walk near Colchester. The route takes you along the coastline visiting beaches, Cudmore Grove Country Park and the settlements of West Mersea and East Mersea. Look out for wildlife including Marsh harriers, watervoles, red squirrels, and numerous wintering birds. View Full Details>>
Norsey Woods2 miles (3 km)These lovely woods near Billericay have some good waymarked footpaths to try. The site covers 165 acres with ancient coppiced sweet chestnut, oak and hornbeam woodland. It is also a local nature reserve with ponds, streams and lots of bluebells in the spring months. There's also a heather glade and lots of wildflowers in the summer months. Look out for wildlife including dormouse, pipistrelle bat and newts around the ponds. The area is a well managed with a car park, visitor centre, toilets and picnic centre. View Full Details>>
Parndon Wood1 miles (1.5 km)This lovely nature reserve in Harlow has a 1.5km nature trail to try. It's located on the southern outskirts of the town and consists of ancient woodland, 3 bird watching hides, a large pond and a conservation centre.It's great for wildlife with deer, squirrels, and various woodland birds to look out for. You can enjoy refreshments in the centre after your walk. 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>>
Roach Valley Way23 miles (37 km)This easy, circular walk explores the area around Rochford in Essex. View Full Details>>
Saffron Trail72 miles (116 km)A walk through the Essex countryside from the coast at Southend-on-Sea to Saffron Walden. View Full Details>>
Saffron Walden5 miles (8.5 km)This circular walk tours the countryside around the Essex town of Saffron Walden. The trail starts in the centre of town and follows the Harcamlow Way to the splendid Audley End. After exploring the fine gardens you continue south along the Beechy Ride to Brakey Ley Wood before turning east to the Debden Road. Here you turn east and follow public footpaths and minor roads back into the town centre. View Full Details>>
Southend Millennium Walk24 miles (39 km)Enjoy the coastline and surrounding countryside of this famous seaside resort on this interesting circular walk. View Full Details>>
Southend to Leigh on Sea4 miles (5.8 km)Enjoy a nice coastal stroll on this easy walk along the Essex coast. The route runs from the popular seaside resort of Southend to the town of Leigh on Sea, about 3 miles to the west. View Full Details>>
St Edmund Way79 miles (127 km)A walk through Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk from Manningtree to Brandon. View Full Details>>
St Peters Way41 miles (66 km)Travel from Chippping Ongar to the 7th century St Peter's Chapel on St Peter's Flat on this walk through Essex. View Full Details>>
Stort Valley Way28 miles (45 km)A lovely circular walk around Harlow, Nazeing and Roydon. View Full Details>>
Stour Valley Path60 miles (96 km)Follow the River Stour from Newmarket to Cattawade on this delightful walk through East Anglia. The walk passes through a series of pretty riverside towns and villages including Little Thurlow, Kedlington, Clare and the Clare Castle Country Park, Long Melford (with Melford Hall and Kentwell Hall), Sudbury, Nayland and Dedham. You will also pass through the Dedham Vale AONB, an area which inspired much of the work of painter John Constable. View Full Details>>
Thames Estuary Trail115 miles (185 km)Explore the Thames Estuary on this walk through Essex and Kent. The walk runs from Foulness Island to the Isle of Sheppey, passing Southend, Gravesend and Rochester. The scenery includes salt marshes, mudflats and open beaches, including the North Kent Marshes and the Essex Marshes. 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>>
Three Forests Way60 miles (96 km)This circular walk links three fine forests in the Essex/Hertfordshire area - Hatfield Forest, Hainault Forest and Epping Forest. The walk passes Harlow, Loughton, the Roding Valley, Arbidge, Chipping Ongar and Chigwell. All three forests have long peaceful walking paths while the route also includes a splendid waterside section along the River Stort near Harlow. View Full Details>>
Two Tree Island2 miles (3 km)This expansive nature reserve in Leigh-on-Sea covers 257 hectares (640 acres). The site is located just a few miles along the coast from Southend and contains miles of nice walking trails. It's a lovely place with lots of little lagoons, pretty streams and great views across Hadleigh Ray to Canvey Island. View Full Details>>
Waltham Abbey6 miles (9 km)Enjoy a circular walk around Waltham Abbey and Lee Valley Park on this lovely route. The walk passes the interesting historical sites of Waltham Abbey Church and the Royal Gunpowder Mills before a visit to the delightful River Lee Country Park. View Full Details>>
Walton on the Naze Crag Walk4 miles (6.5 km)This walk visits the new Crag Walk coastal defence system in Walton on the Naze before heading along the seafront in the Essex town. View Full Details>>
Wat Tyler Country Park2 miles (2.5 km)Explore 125 acres of parkland in the beautiful Essex Marshes near Basildon. Attractions include a miniature railway and a model boating lake. The scenery includes grazing meadows, ancient hedgerows, blast mounds, tidal waterways, sea walls and field boundaries. The park is perfect for birdwatching with a huge number of water loving birds visiting the marshes all year round. 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>>
Witham River Walk4 miles (6 km)This nice waterside stroll follows the River Brain through the Essex town of Witham. The route runs for just under 2 miles on flat footpaths from Chipping Hill to the Whetmead Nature Reserve. View Full Details>>

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