We didn’t have quite so many walkers as the other rambling group that were meeting at the Prince of Wales, Stow Maries, but at 16 we weren’t far behind. Fortunately this pub is really well organised and coped well with the ordering of lunch and later serving it promptly; we always enjoy the good food here.
Both walking groups started off on the same footpath that leads from the rear of the pub but shortly we continued west and they turned south. Our route started with a climb and from the top we were rewarded with fine views across the fields to the upper reaches of the Crouch. The walk took us on two loops with the first passing Stow Maries Airfield, crossing fields of crops and grapevines, and then up Church Lane, passing Stow Maries church. Here we turned north onto the second loop and zigzagged across the Three Rivers Golf Course before turning back to walk along the former railway line.
It should have been an easy end to the walk but due to bridge repairs the path was closed and we had to climb a hill back to the church crossing horse paddocks with three stiles and into the churchyard. The church is open to the public so we paused a while to look inside, and then descended the short distance to the pub.
We saw many butterflies on the walk and they were identified and recorded by one of our members: Ringlet, Large White, Small Heath, Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood.
Next walk: Tuesday 25th July – Meet at the General’s Arms, Little Baddow for a 10.00 departure. Food can be ordered beforehand from 9.45.