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The sixth stretch of the Saffron Trail is 12.5 miles long. It starts at Battlesbridge and finishes at the entrance to Great Wood, Hadleigh. 

This path is impressive for the Crouch riverside between Battlesbridge and Hullbridge, but the watery parts are again trumped by the ancient oak woodlands around the hills at Hockley and Belfairs.

The Saffron Trail stretches 70 miles in total from Saffron Walden to Southend, passing through five county districts: Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Rochford, Castle Point and Southend.

The Rochford, Southend and Castle Point sections of trail are places to suck in woodland air and sea views. English bluebells, ransoms  and nettle tops in spring, overwhelm the taste buds and nostrils. From Hockley Wood south look out over the Thames Estuary and Southend Centre’s tower blocks; from the north, the Crouch Estuary is visible, almost as far as Burnham.

Hockley Wood is probably the highlight. It’s best seen in late autumn/early winter, once leaves have fallen and the fresh compost is overrun with fungi, slugs and rustling blackbirds.

Look out for red kite, buzzard and hobby. Muntjac are common but rarely seen as they’re illusive and fast.

Some of the other highlights between Battlesbridge and Hadleigh are featured below:

Please note: "A temporary footpath closure is in place across the railway line leading out of and into Blounts Wood as of May 9, 2022. Take the alternative crossing over the railway bridge (51.606276, 0.628464) by taking a short detour from the Saffron Trail along the footpath into Blounts Farm (51.604939, 0.632144). Follow the hill up towards Hockley Woods where the Saffron Trail can be re-joined at the entrance to Valley Forge Farm, High Rd, Hockley, SS5 4TA (51.600785, 0.633564)."

Book Tickets



  • Disabled access - Hockley Woods Car Park, Hockley SS5 4RQ


  • On-site catering - There is 24hr catering in Hadleigh and limited catering along others part of the trail.
  • On-site light refreshments - There is 24hr catering in Hadleigh and limited catering along others part of the trail.
  • Picnic site - All along the trail.


  • Free Parking - Limited off street parking around Danbury and Hadleigh.
  • Parking with charge - Public car parks at Hadleigh and Danbury

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets - Car park, Pooles Ln, Hullbridge, Hockley SS5 6PA John Burroughs Play Ground, Hadleigh, Benfleet SS7 2NQ Hockley Woods Car Park, Hockley SS5 4RQ Belfairs Park, Leigh-on-Sea SS9, UK


  • Accessibility of route - Urban parts of trail around the towns and villages of Hockley, Eastwood and Belfairs are suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs. Other parts of the trail are not suitable. The terrain is generally flat but can get very muddy in winter. There are some steps and stiles.
  • Countryside - Yes but some urban
  • Length of route (miles) - 12.5
  • Linear Route
  • Long Distance Path
  • Typical duration of route - 1 day (9 hours)
  • Woodland - Some tree cover at intervals along the trail


  • Dog Owners - Suitable for dogs but must be kept on leads most of the time
  • Families


Map & Directions

Road Directions

If you are travelling by car from London take the A127 to Hadleigh or Battlesbridge, exiting the carriageway on the A130. If travelling from the north take the M11 to the M25 and then exit the M25 at the A127 junction. If visiting from Colchester or Suffolk enter Essex via the A12.

Public Transport Directions

Battlesbridge is served directly by a rail service, but there is no direct route between Battlesbridge and Hadleigh. The service is one of the two main lines that operate out of Liverpool Street. For more information, please call Greater Anglia on 0845 600 7245 or visit https:// Hadleigh is 2.5 miles north of Leigh Station. The c2c service operates between London Fenchurch Streey and Shoeburyness via Southend. For more information visit – There are numerous direct bus services into Hadleigh between Southend, Chelmsford, Basildon and Rayleigh. For more visit or– For Battlebridge bus services, the number 3 operates between Southend and Chelmsford on school days only. For live timetables visit For travellers who need to return to the start of the walk, catch the Leigh train to Southend Central, walk 10 minutes to Southend Victoria and take the train to Sheffield before changing to return to Battlesbridge.

Saffron Trail Stage 6 – Battlesbridge to Belfairs, Hadleigh

Type:Walking Route

Hawk Hill, Battlesbridge, Wickford, Essex, SS11 7RN

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