Woodham Walter (7kms/4.5miles), October 2016
On a warm and sunny morning we met at The Bell, Woodham Walter. It was bustling with walkers as another group was also meeting there – we outnumbered them 16-10. They set off slightly before us and headed in the same direction, west and up the hill on the Little Baddow Road, but that was the last we saw of them until lunchtime.
After a while we turned right into a road that has the distinction of having two names, Burnt House Road & Stivvy’s Road. In the grounds of Burnt House were trees laden with apples of many varieties; a scrumping temptation that we resisted, but we were rewarded later in the walk with apples that were much easier to pick and enjoyed by some.
Still climbing, we took to a series of fields, passing through one where horses grazed; one horse in particular looked quite feisty but fortunately he kept out of our way and pranced around and behind us. At this point the views north across the valley and beyond are extensive but were marred slightly by the thin mist that had formed. Low horse jumps provided us with entertainment with some of our group refusing to jump and others doing their best to be athletic. Then we reached a field that had aerials on a grand scale and which Marconi would have been proud of.
Taking to a bridleway we undulated through autumnal woodland and shuffled through the fallen leaves with childish delight. The grey squirrels were foraging and leaping through the branches and ants showed lethargic activity on their nests. Our track wove here and there, dipped and climbed, and eventually came out at Twitty Fee where we passed Brooks Brothers wood yard. We were tempted to sit in the sun on their many benches placed outside the gates for the employees ‘smoko’, but we walked on. Doubling back through a fairly newly planted wood we came to a field and paused briefly to pat a large horse; it’s surprising how brave we get when the horses are on the other side of the fence.
Crossing a bridge we reached our last wood of the day and emerged from it beside the Warren Golf Course, which we walked beside and then carefully crossed to a wide track and so reached the field that dropped down to The Bell. We were slightly earlier than planned but the pub was ready for us and we all enjoyed the meal and the convivial company.
Next Walk – Tuesday November 22nd meet 10.00 The Bell (CM3 8DY) Rettendon 8kms/5miles.