Take a stroll around the picturesque villages of rural Chelmsford starting at Pleshey’s Leather Bottle
PUBLISHED: 15:25 26 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:25 26 September 2016
Pleshey is well known for its motte-and-bailey and is a popular walking area, writes walker Lotte Sherman.
Park & Start: Pleshey Village Hall car park
How to get there: Take the A130 out of Chelmsford. When past the Walthams, turn off onto a minor road signed for Howe Street and Pleshey.
Map: 183, grid ref 662 143
Refreshments: Leather Bottle
When walked: early August
Details for a ramble going south are found in the Leather Bottle public house but his week’s journey takes you in a northerly direction, almost as far as North End. Beware of footpath changes in this area; details were displayed on posts at time of walking.
On the return south, you pass Oldpark Farm, an unusual redevelopment into an attractive business complex. Back in the village, Pump Lane leads off from the High Street to the bridge over the moat and allows a glimpse of the access steps to the motte. To obtain the key to the locked gate and access you need to phone in advance.
Commence the journey by taking the footpath opposite Holy Trinity Church, running along between the field edge and hidden moat. Veer off onto the first path on the left; shortly turn right and, next, keep north to exit on the road. Cross over, continue in the same direction, ignoring all paths going off to left or right until arriving by Parkgate and Butchers Arms.
You pass Blakes, Blunts and The Gorse, and walk over a mile along Coppice Lane, which emerges on the A130 next to the pub. Locate the bus shelter and footbridge slightly left on the other side and cross over safely. Over the footbridge, a very narrow cross-field path leads to a dense clump of scrub; you need to find a way to the right, around this elevation, to the farm track ahead.
When reaching this wide track, turn right and walk along with the fenced-in wooded property of Kings Farm on your left until exiting back on the A130. Proceed left, using the grass verge, towards the bend in the road. Locate the byway leading off from the other side; cross safely, walk to the right – passing the bungalow and barns – and continue, now walking south, back into Pleshey. Ignore any paths leading off from either side.
Pass through an entry gate, wind your way through the extensive complex of Oldpark Farm, exit via the top gate and continue for approximately 2km to reach the minor road into the village. Veer left and shortly turn right, following the footpath along the border of the moat. The footbridge ahead brings you to the point you turned off, on the way north. Now retrace your steps, with the field on the right, to end the journey opposite the church and near the start.