A young couple are cycling through the wooded area of the park.

Change gear and forget the traffic jams

We have created five cycling routes passing through various locations in Essex. The routes provide the perfect opportunity to explore much of the county. A number of shorter alternatives are incorporated in each one of the routes for those simply wanting a few hours of pleasant exploration. The maps allow you to pick up the route at any point and follow it in either direction. All maps also provide information on places of interest and attractions to visit along the way together with accommodation and places to eat. However, please remember that these are recommended routes only, and those straying away from it will still find many equally rewarding alternatives.

Essex is full of memorable outdoor moments. Enjoy wind-whipped rides through coastal country parks teeming with wildlife or gently pedal through the rolling landscapes of Constable Country.

Picture of a young woman standing by the pond in Finchingfield sitting on her bike.

Cycling around Finchingfield.

Pedal power to you

Medieval markets, mazes and Morris dancing.
Routes around Saffron Walden and Thaxted.
A young woman on her bike in front of Thaxted windmill.

The route meanders through some of the most beautiful north Essex countryside. As with all routes you can start and finish wherever it suits you. Make sure you visit the attractive historic town of Thaxted with its landmark buildings and the ancient market town of Saffron Walden with a rich heritage and many attractions.

Designer shopping and country living.
Routes around Braintree and Great Dunmow.
Picture of a young woman with her bike infront of a statue in Braintree.

Braintree has a long and fascinating history - emerging from a Bronze Age valley settlement as an important and flourishing market town located at the crossroads of two Roman roads. Amongst the many attractions you can visit are the Braintree District Museum and the Warner Textile Archive Gallery.

Picture-perfect villages around Coggeshall, Finchingfield and the Hedinghams. Picture of a couple holding their bikes and standing in front of Hedingham Castle.

Cycle around these villages and you will discover textbook examples of traditional English villages. Finchingfield, described as the ‘most photographed village in England', won many awards for its picturesque setting. Coggeshall has an attractive village centre and is made up of nearly 200 listed buildings, many are timberframed dating back to the 14th century.

Keep riding

Cultural sites and Constable Country.
Routes around Colchester and Dedham.
A young woman on her bike in front of Colchester Castle.

For a relaxing ride visit Constable Country. Its sublime gently rolling landscape broken by Dedham church and the mills and barns that Constable immortalised in the 19th century can be best explored on foot or by bike. For something more energetic and diverse head for Colchester, a place which offers a happy blend of heritage of international importance together with a strong contemporary atmosphere.

Chelmsford treats and riverside retreats.
Routes around Chelmsford and Maldon.
Picture of a woman holding her bike and standing in front of Hylands House.

Chelmsford, known as the birthplace of radio, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan town surrounded by picturesque villages each with their own charm and history. As you cycle towards Maldon the landscape slowly changes revealing the character of Estuary landscape. As you cycle down to the Quay the most impressive and spectacular view spreads in front of you - the graceful and majestic Thames Sailing Barges.

Hadleigh Park
An Olympic 2012 Legacy for everyone.
Picture of a sunset and a family group standing around holding their bike.

Home of the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Biking Games, this world- class sporting venue boasts a wide network of bike trails and paths suitable for a range of users and accessible for all. It's one of the largest country parks in Essex and with a mix of woodland, pasture, hay meadow and marsh with hedgerows and ponds. Whatever the weather there is always plenty to do at the park for the whole family.

The Cake Escape

A young couple sitting at a table drinking tea.
A group of three young people sitting on their bike and looking at each other.
A little girl on her bike riding along.
A young boy o  his bike is smiling and looking in to the camera.
A little boy with his arms folded over the handle bars and smiling at the camera.
Two young boys with their arms around each other's shoulder are smilingly looking at the camera.
Two young girls riding along a river.
A mother with her two boys holding each a bike and smiling in to the camera.
A young girl with face painting is holding on her bike and smiling.
The Cake Escape logo.

The cake escape is encouraging Essex residents and visitors alike to grab their bikes and cycle through some of the most beautiful places in Essex. The cake escape combines a little exercise with exploration of the countryside and the best of local café culture.

Whether you enjoy cycling, like cake, want to explore the Essex countryside or simply relish a challenge then The cake escape is for you – get on your bike and join the fun!

Cafés throughout Essex have signed up to be part of a new and exciting project to encourage cycling around the county. The challenge is simple. Participants apply on-line for a Loyalty log book, cycle to any of the Cycle Cafés signed up to the project and earn a reward stamp at the till after making a purchase. Each time cyclists collect four stamps in the Loyalty log books, they will receive a free slice of cake at the next participating café they visit.

To participate, find out more or see which cafés are ‘cycle friendly’ please visit the website.

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Featured Country Parks

Danbury Country Park

Chelmsford 01245 437769

Hadleigh Park

Benfleet 01702 551072

High Woods Country Park

Colchester 01206 853588


Featured Nature Reserves

RSPB South Essex Marshes

Basildon 01268 498620

RSPB Wallasea Island

Rochford 01268 498620