Chelmer & Blackwater Canal
- Length of route (miles) - 14
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This picturesque walk is along the towpath of the Chelmer and Blackwater navigation which runs through a largely unspoilt part of rural Essex and connects the county town of Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater at Heybridge Basin. It is 13.8 miles (22.1 km) long and has 13 locks.
Points of interest
- Starting at Springfield Basin you will pass by a late eighteenth century weather boarded mill used previously by Marriages who have been milling flour in the area for almost 200 years.
- Further along a the walk between Cuton Lock and Stonehams Lock is the highest part (365 feet above sea level) which gives a good view of Danbury Hill.
- Half way along the navigation you will find Paper Mill Lock which is the hub of the navigation and the base for Essex Waterways Ltd. As well as a corn grinding mill a paper making mill stood here until the early 20th century.
- Just beyond Rushes Lock can be seen the pretty thirteenth century Ulting Church siting on the bank of the navigation.
- Just before Heybridge the Navigation leaves the river Blackwater and enters its longest artificial cut which goes through Heybridge to the Basin.
- Finally you enter Heybridge Basin where the nevigation links with the River Blackwater via tidal sea lock.
Many other rights-of-way link with the towpath, giving endless opportunities for round walks of any length.