The town of Wivenhoe is located just south of Colchester on the River Colne. There are some lovely riverside walks and the town centre is also worth exploring on foot. It's a designated conservation area with some buildings with architectural significance. There are plenty of cafes and pubs to explore.
There are lots of river birds to watch flying and swooping over the River Colne. Also along the trail you will be walking through Colne Local Nature Reserve which lies on the north side of the river Colne on rising ground between Essex University and Wivenhoe. It is an 85 acre reserve consisiting of 3 main areas. Wivenhoe Woods is a mixed coppice and secondary woodland. Ferry Marsh is a former grazing marsh and Lower Lodge Farm is mainly scrub and grassland.
Devised by Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (ESSCRP) this route is easily accessible via train at Wivenhoe and the Hythe Station, Colchester.
1.Turn right as you exit the station through the car park, and you will see a sign saying Wivenhoe Trail – follow this route which is a footpath and permissive cycle path. You will see a ramp veering off to your left, do not take this as it takes you into Wivenhoe town along the sea wall. The path skirts the new developments overlooking the river and takes you to a waterside pub.
2. You will notice a board with another walk which you will see at the start of the Wivenhoe Trail. A two-mile circular Maurice Britton Walk (MBW) which is named after a former mayor of the town, who was instrumental in the formation of the shared river-path. However, this walk involves climbing over a metal gate with 2 steps each side of the gate and crossing the train track so please keep safe and watch out for trains should you choose to do this walk. You can use the underpass which is about 10 minutes into the walk but see less of the river. This walk goes through Wivenhoe Woods.
3. The Wivenhoe Trail it’s a flat walk with the river on your left and the train track to your right and from time to time you will hear the train’s horn and see the train passing by. The trail is used by runners, cyclists and dog walkers and is well used.
4. As you walk along the trail you will see the University of Essex buildings on your right and the redundant lightship and barges on your left as well as the old industrial complexes. Along this part of the walk you will see history boards outlining the local stories such as smuggling, fire brick manufacturing all put in place by the Town to Port Project that mark a trail along the Colne river in the Hythe area and showcase its unique history.
5. The trail opens up and you pass university accommodation. Follow the path which leads to a main road, cross over, turn right and then left down Hawkins Road (industrial units) and walk for five minutes to the Hythe Station where you can catch the train from Hythe Station or return along the same path. Take time to read the history boards at this station.