The summer and spring may be warmer and dryer than the winter months, but there’s something beautiful and refreshing about heading out on a crisp winter’s day, wellies on, bundled up in your scarf and gloves, strolling through the stunning Essex countryside until you find yourself at a quaint local pub to warm up with a hearty meal. There are many great walks in Essex suitable for both beginners and experienced ramblers, where you can enjoy our magnificent coastal scenery, countryside lanes, woodlands, and historic villages. Here, we’ve listed just a few of our favourite walks in Essex to add to your list this winter.

Coastal Walks in Essex

Wivenhoe Trail from Colchester

Taking you from the city centre of Colchester to the beautiful riverside town of Wivenhoe, this 5-mile coastal Essex walk will provide you with spectacular views. Taking you along the banks of the River Colne, and then through the Hythe, you will be able to spot the breath-taking Lightship, which was a former Trinity House Light Vessel back in 1953. After your pleasant stroll along the river, you will find yourself in the pretty town of Wivenhoe, which is home to the Sentinal Gallery of art, Nottage Maritime Museum, St Mary the Virgin Church, and some lovely pubs and tearooms to stop for a bite to eat. If you don’t fancy making the walk back to Colchester, it’s easy to hop on a bus or train back to the city.

Burnham on Crouch Circular Walk

This walk should take around 3.5 hours, being 5.5 miles long in distance. The Burnham on Crouch Circular Walk is family friendly, great for all abilities. Along this trail, you will be able to enjoy the many different landscapes of this coastal Essex town, from the local park land to the boats inhabiting the marina, to the open countryside. If you’re a wildlife fanatic, then be sure to bring your binoculars and camera, as grassland birds can be spotted within the countryside sections of this walk, as well as  waders, gulls, ducks and even little egrets by the water. This Essex walk is accessible by rail, with the train coming into the local Burnham Railway Station.

Around Althorne

If you’re looking for an easy to moderate walk with stunning riverside views, then the pleasant 5-mile walk around the village of Althorne is definitely one to add to your list. After walking along the River Crouch, you’ll find yourself rambling through fields and then across the railway line, before exploring the beautiful countryside, pubs, and landmarks. We recommend making a stop at The Three Horseshoes public house on Burnham Road for a quick drink or a spot of lunch.

Countryside Walks in Essex

Chappel to Bures

Explore the rolling countryside bordering the western flank of the Stour Valley with stunning views of the greenery and landscape. This 4-mile walk includes varied terrain and some slopes, making it suitable for intermediate walkers. This route is easily accessible via train at Chappel and Bures stations, making it a great opportunity to pay a visit to the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel Station.

Wrabness Circular Walk

Perfect for a peaceful family dog walk on a cool and sunny winter’s day, the Wrabness Circular Walk is approximately 2-miles long and includes outstanding views of the Stour estuary and great opportunities to spot some Essex wildlife. One of the highlights of this trail is the chance to view Grayson Perry’s ‘A House for Essex’, or ‘Julie’s House’, which was commissioned as part of the Living Architecture programme. The structure was designed to depict the life of fictitious saint Julie Cope. If it's been raining recently, be sure to wear sensible footwear, as it can get muddy in places.

Manningtree, to Flatford, to Dedham & East Bergholt

The landscape along this walk was made world-famous and immortalised by artists such as Constable and Gainsborough and remains instantly recognisable from their art still today. The route from Manningtree to Flatford is a 4-mile walk, starting at Manningtree Station, but if you’re looking for a longer stroll, then there is the option to carry on through to the neighbouring village of Dedham and to East Bergholt. The terrain involves mostly flat grass and gravel paths, with occasional moderate slopes. These charming, historical villages still hold the beauty that they did all those years ago, but now with the addition of independent shops, pubs, tearooms and more. Stop for an afternoon of rowing along the river, enjoy a traditional scone and cuppa at Tiptree Tea Room, or a hearty meal and pint at The Sun Inn.

Woodland Walks in Essex

Highwoods Country Park, Colchester

One of the best dog walks in Colchester, Highwoods Country Park is made up of beautiful woodlands, a dipping pond, vegetable garden and an orchard. The expansive grassy areas provides fantastic views of the countryside and lake. As well as being a fantastic location for dog walkers, with a variety of routes to explore with each visit, there’s also a play area, visitor centre, and toilets, making it perfect for the whole family. You can find this country park just a short walk from the main line station in Colchester.

Epping Forest Oak Trail

One of the best woodland walks near London, Epping Forest is a 2400 hectare ancient woodland that spans over 12 miles from Manor Park in East London, to just north of Epping, Essex. If you’re looking to get out of the city and enjoy some nature and wildlife, then hop on the train and make your way to one of the four visitor centres within the forest. Here, you can find maps, guide books, and more to help you during your visit. The forest offers an array of activities such as walking, horse riding, and much more.  

Weald Country Park

With over 500 acres of woodland, lakes, meadows and open grassland to explore, Weal Country Park will soon become your new favourite woodland walk in Essex. The park is famous for its fantastic wildlife, so get your camera out in preparation of sighting fallow deer, cattle, herons, mallard ducks and a host of other bird species. Perfect for both individuals and families, the park’s visitor centre includes a shop and a café for refuelling after your adventures, and is home to the Stick Man play trail, bringing to life the popular book by Julia Donaldson.

So, there’s no excuses not to hit your step goals this winter with this amazing range of walks in Essex! Discover more walks in Essex here.




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