Walnut Tree - Broads Green
Very nice mid-Essex pub with variety of rides
As I live in Witham, this is a regular destination.
It is even easier for Chelmsfordians to clip on a set of lights and
enjoy anything from a 10 mile round trip upwards as the summer
evenings take you.
The Walnut tree
This is a genuine pub with Greene King's version of real ale served by
gravity straight from the cask.
There is food and you can sit outside and enjoy
the evening sunshine. The regulars who are extremely
loyal to their traditional drinking hole,
enjoy the community back-chat, gossip and reminiscences.
Opens at noon.
See web page
Broads green is roughly five miles due north of Chelmsford.
Map Landranger 167 or Explorer 183
Ordnance Survey map reference TL 693 125
Chelmsford has all the charm of a multi-storey carpark without any of the excitement.
If some wag has sent you here for a day out then the tourist information office is
two minutes cycle from the railway station. Left out of station (with bridge on your right).
Straight on over both roundabouts, sharp right at shopping area,
50 yards on right, past toilets, hidden in the County Council
offices up steps.
Witham tries to emulate its bigger neighbour. (See Chelmsford.)
There are 14 pubs but I won't use any of them except under extreme pressure.
The fastest growing town in Essex. ‘Nuff said!
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The rides described here are:
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Chelmsfordians - Get on your bikes!
This is a really easy bike ride through the country lanes. A 10 mile round trip shouldn't be too taxing.
- At the railway station look for the Railway Inn. There is a street beside it called Park Road.
- Less than 100 yds turn right just after a sports hall and student's union bar.
- Cross the main road by the underpass
- Keep going in the general direction until you reach a stone footbridge over the river.
Over the bridge detour
- Chelmer cycles. Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm. Helpful. Over bridge, left at tee.
- Decent real ale (And cider) pub Queens Head in Lower Anchor St. Over bridge, right at tee then first left
For the occasional cyclist use the same route back.
- (702 066) Under the viaduct, follow path under road, over river
- At 3-way junction go left.
- 200 yds go right and over the river
- At main road (Rainsford Rd) turn left then immediately right (Chignall Rd.)
- Continue for one mile. PASS tin chapel on left and IGNORE first left turn
- (686 091) Take 2nd left (signposted Chignal Smealy?)
- Keep left
- Continue (mile and ˝) to Pig and Whistle then turn right(678 111)
- ˝ mile then turn right
- The pub is right there on the other side of the green
When you get to the tee-junction on the edge of Chelmsford you could turn left,
go half a mile then turn right at the next tee-junction.
Cycle route signs should direct you to the town centre.
More adventurous cyclists could try the following return route:
- Left out of the pub, watch out for the sharp bends
- Right at the main road tee junction
- Round the LH bend and left/across the dual carriageway into Little Waltham village
- Over the bridge then fork right up a small lane (Brook Hill)
- Turn right, follow road round at sharp left hand bend
- Past church and STRAIGHT ON. Ignore the no through road sign.
Negotiate the various piles of rubbish and continue to a roundabout.
- Straight across the roundabout up Wheeler's hill.
- Keep right at Y
- then right into small lane at X-roads (728 127) about 1/4 mile further on.
This narrow lane brings you out by the golf course.
- Left at tee-junction and past club houses, follow road round to the right.
- Watch out for road descending sharply to your left and take it. Follow road to right as it becomes a track.
- Across road (11 O'clock)
|Choice of routes depending which part of Chelmsford you want to end up at
|West and station
- Through gate on right into downhill lane. Over river. Left at Tee.
- After 200 yds turn right at brow of hill by triangular green opposite pub.
- After ˝ mile keep left (Right takes you back onto the out route)
- Left at roundabout
- Left then right at traffic lights on main road into Sixth Avenue
- At bottom of Sixth Avenue is a path. Turn right.
- Straight ahead is the quickest way back to the station -
Just keep straight on then turn right at traffic lights.
Or go over bridge and follow river and you'll end up in downtown Chelmsford.
- Continue ahead for about 100yds
- Just after "Old Coal Yard" brick wall turn left into a track. Surface may be loose.
- Cross the busy main road and follow the track uphill for about 1/4 mile. May be muddy.
- follow the track as it turns sharp right and wiggle-waggle past the farm
- you now come out on a busy road where the best you can do is turn left . . .
Witham to Broads green is 11 miles.
- Coming out of the railway station turn left then at the bridge turn right.(DON'T go over bridge)
- Left at the roundabout.
- You can carry ‘straight on' for next couple of miles until you reach the dog-leg
junction at OS 791 148, or a more varied and quieter route is as follows:
- Left down a steep little lane opposite the White Horse.
(Ignore the No cycling signs as they have no legal force here.)
- Over the bridge turn sharp left on path and keep following the river
- Under railway - over road - past weir - past millpond - over the X-junction of paths.
- Turn right into road.
- Left at the tee, follow the road round to the right.
- Keep straight on and start climbing.
Go under the narrow arched railway bridge.
Keep going. There are many sharp bends.
(OS 791 148) Dog-leg cross roads
This is quite an important route point a the west of Witham.
The shortest way to the Walnut Tree is West. North leads to all sorts of interesting possibilities.
||N Peg Millar's Lane
E Terling Road (which leads to Witham)
S Dancing Dick's Lane (which leads to Witham)
W Witham road (which leads to Terling)
- Go west about a mile until you reach a tee at bottom of hill.
- At tee junction (Hatfield Peverel left, Terling right) go right.
- Across crossroads and right at tee at bottom of hill.
- Past the Lord Rayleigh Arms (Called the Monkey by locals - See the coat of arms above the door.) then left (over the ford) and up the hill
- Fork right at the pillar box then right at the Tee and head past the pond into the country.
- At tee turn left then 100yds later right
- Immediately after sharp right bend turn left into tree-lined lane. Keep clear of edges of the road and watch out for overhanging branches and loose stones. Slow for Z bend.
- (743 131) Stop. Watch out for loose surface. Turn right at tee
- 200 yds turn left down slope, past factories, across open fields, (shame they can't repair the roads round here). Follow the road right (watch the road surface)
- (725 130) Keep left at triangle
- Stop at oblique tee junction. Turn right, go down hill and across roundabout onto disused road. Negotiate barriers and heaps. Carry on past church. Follow road round sharp RH bend. Continue for 1/3rd mile.
- Turn sharp left, downhill, at acute tee-junction. Over bridge.
- At junction with dual carriageway go left-right ie across. Follow road round RH bend.
- (703 127) 100 yds turn left into lane at bottom of dip. Follow lane (beware of sharp bends) for 1 mile until you reach pub on your right.
Broads green to Witham
Fancy another way back to Witham?
This is a bit longer but shows some other possibilities
for future expeditions in this direction.
Straight on option
If you fancy a bit of off-road and don't mind getting to Black Notley
(NB Railway station is called Cressing) then
- Retrace your steps to Wheeler's hill.
- Left out of pub, down the lane
- Right at the bottom
- Left-right at dual carriageway, over river,
- First right up a tiny lane called Brook Hill
- Keep right, round sharp left hander,
- STRAIGHT ON past church. Ignore no through road sign.
- Over the roundabout and up the hill.
- At the first fork turn left (the way you came).
- (200yds) At the triangle turn left and bowl along(not the way you came).
- Left at tee. Continue ˝ mile down the hill
- (738 155) Left by thatched well BEFORE you get to the church.
After about 1/3rd mile the road dips between some houses.
- Right. Go across the ford. (There is a footbridge). Climb steadily
- Across (right-left) at X-roads. After nearly a mile there is
a right turn signposted to Ranks Green.
- Turn right.
- continue ahead,
- when road turns sharp left CARRY ON down track.
- At farm after nearly a mile keep right.
- When after about a total of 2 miles you come out on a road
- either turn left then 200yds turn right to railway station,
- or turn right towards Witham.
- At the hamlet of Ranks Green carry straight on and down the hill.
- (763 180) Warning loose gravel - Very slow. Turn right at tee junction. Follow the road. Warning. After the sharp left hand bend the road is badly maintained and has overhanging brambles etc.
- Carry on past Fairstead hamlet.
- (Just past the dip, on your left is a bridleway which takes you towards White Notley.)
- (772 165) Turn left after another 200yds and a set of cottages.
This takes you to dog-leg X-roads which was described earlier.
- Left or ahead for Witham
Shenfield to Broads Green 22 miles
I rode this to take advantage of a strong South westerly wind.
Blackmore - Norton Heath - Willingale - Good Easter.
I have noted some off-road bits which might appeal to Chelmsford
area cyclists who fancy something different with say
a summer's evening run west to build a thirst.
At the bottom of Beech Rd you come to a T-junction.
- From Shenfield railway station take the main road up hill for about 100 yds and turn right into a residential road called Crossways.
- Right onto main road. Whizz along to roundabout.
- Go straight across roundabout over A12 then turn left at X-roads just beyond dip.
- Left at tee.
- Left/right=straight-on at funny X-roads
- Pass 1st left but take 2nd left (with garage on corner) into Blackmore village
- Right after 200 yds. into Fingirth Hall La. then straight on.
- Cross straight over A414 at Norton Heath (602 040) then continue at 1 o'clock.
- Keep left until reaching Willingale village.
- Right. Note the two adjacent churches as you pass them on your left.
If you look at the map you'll see some off-road possibilities by going right.
- ˝ mile towards Roxwell (604 079)
- Left onto the Essex way. This is trashed by 4x4s with deep ruts but might be passable.
- This eventually brings you out to the A1060 (621 109)
- which you cross onto a field-edge track.
- When back on the road turn Left up the hill towards Good Easter.
- Right at X-roads at Good Easter.
- Following the road all the way to and through Roxwell village you come out at the A1060 (660 083).
- Cross over with a right-100yds-left dogleg. The field-edge track is in the field not the drive to the pumping station.
- When the track reaches the bottom of the hill steer right a bit,
- across the river and up the track.
- When you come to a real road (668 098) turn left.
- 1st right (665 113) takes you through Chignal Smealy.
- Left (678 111) just before the Pig and Whistle pub.
- Right at top of hill to Broads green and a welcome glass of ale.
The road route turns left.
- After nearly a mile turn right at the bend before the bridge
- Carry on to the A1060 and go straight across
- After a sharp right hand bend the road is 200yds straight down...
...but go slow for the _easy to miss_
right turn at the bottom. (615 123)
This is a fun little byway. The footway over the river is a little precarious!
- Right at the T-junction into Good Easter.
- Across the X-roads. East past the church.
- Carry straight on (ignore the right turn) 1/4 mile from Good Easter
- Left at T-junction on brow of hill
- (646 125) Right/straight-on at T-junction in valley.
- Left after 100 yds up the hill. You now have a two miles of flat to enjoy.
- (684 133) Turn right just after a slight brow of a hill.
This is the first right turning but easy to pass.
- Turn left at T-junction. Carry on for ˝ mile.
- Turn right. This lane is a steep down start with a bad road surface
at the junction.
Less than ˝ mile and you are just ready to enjoy the pub on your left.
Broads Green to Braintree etc.
There are many possibilities.
I'm including a few pointers here to flag-up options for all sorts of runs.
Watch out for unnecessary valleys and keep off the A130.
Use Landranger 167.
- Right turn out of the pub takes you towards Little Waltham.
- At the T-junction turn right.
- If you're fancying a route via Pleshey then take
- Left at first estate road. Cherry Garden Rd.
- Left up hill then
- Right on the bend, down to the ford.
- Turn left to arrive at Pleshey.
- Take the right turns in Pleshey village and you get to some delightful lanes.
At (646 164) you can decide
|some off-road and a longer ride
||stick to shorter roads via Felsted
|Left - West
||Straight ahead - North
- Through Bishops green (630 179),
- on to join A130 at Barnston (644 200)
- and turn left down hill towards Dunmow.
- [At this point you may get caught up with roadworks.
You are aiming for a difficult to find access
to the old railway line which may be blocked
temporarily in the summer of 2003.
Look for a "Private" sign on the right
of the road at the bottom of the hill as a driveway
crosses the river. (638 209)
- Cross the field on the right, steering uphill and you come to the rail trail.
- Right to Braintree.
- Straight on gets you to the A130 at Hounslow Green. (658 084)
- Go right-left-across.
- ˝ mile brings you into North End village.
- Turn sharp left to Felsted.
- You can get onto the rail trail wherever the road
crosses the old railway but beware that the bit at Rayne may be closed
in the summer of 2003 for road construction.
- The best road cycle route to Braintree is
- Right at Watch House Green (690 211) to Bannister Green
- then keep left which takes you over the A120 into Rayne.
- The rail trail is reliable (and avoids an unnecessary valley)
until the outskirts of Braintree.
When it reaches cuttings it often turns into a bog.
I suggest you ‘bail out' into the adjacent housing estate to the left.
- If the trail is passable then you will arrive at the railway station by
a process of magic - it is as if the trail was made
to join up with the railway - which is more than can be said
for any other cycle facility in the neighbourhood.
- Another, shorter, route to Braintree is via Littley Green.
(Where there is another Ridley's pub, the Compasses,
with beer garden which serves by gravity.)
- Having got to Great Waltham (Right out of the pub. Right at the T-junction.)
- Left when you meet the (old) main road in the village. (695 134)
- Carry on past right hander and down hill to Howe St,
- Branching right when the road bears left on the corner and crossing the river.
- Left under the new A130 then
- Immediately left and follow the road through to Littley Green.
- Stop if the Compasses (698 173) is open.
- Carry on for ˝ mile then
- Detour left towards Leez Priory (700 185)
- Right turn across the river
- Over the X-roads brings you to Willows Green (720 198) at which point
- turn left
- then keep right and you get to Rayne. (See above)
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