Southend-on-Sea to Epping

The River Crouch west of Hullbridge

In 2019, I created and walked a set of nine routes, collectively called Get out of London!. These emanate from Trafalgar Square in the eight compass directions (east being represented on each bank of the Thames, therefore nine routes).

It is now time to start linking them up, using existing named (and, one hopes, waymarked) routes. This is the first sector of the circumcardinal walk, from Southend-on-Sea to Epping.

ENE sector — Southend-on-Sea to Epping
(82.50km; 916m ascent)

From Southend-on-Sea, the Saffron Trail (note: poor waymarking and, in places, poor maintenance) is followed as far as East Hanningfield, where the route changes to follow St  Peter’s Way. The Essex Way is picked up at Chipping Ongar to see out the sector. From Leigh-on-Sea, the route of the Hadleigh-to-Stratford Legacy Walk is almost entirely coincident with the route.

01: Southend-on-Sea to Eastwood — 15.24km; 165m ascent
Streets, sea front, woodland and fields
02: Eastwood to Battlesbridge — 15.91km; 155m ascent
Mainly green space; road at end
03: Battlesbridge to East Hanningfield 9.50km; 129m ascent
Footpaths and lanes
04: East Hanningfield to Margaretting 14.73km; 127m ascent
Footpaths, lanes and a low-headroom tunnel
05: Margaretting to Chipping Ongar — 15.45km; 130m ascent
Almost entirely fieldpaths
06: Chipping Ongar to Epping — 12.03km; 147m ascent
Fieldpaths, forest and lanes

> Forward to NNE — Epping to Hatfield

Walk days

These are my research walk days for this sector.

  • Day 1 — Southend-on-Sea to Hockley Woods (19.48km; 299m ascent)
  • Day 2 — Hockley to East Hanningfield — repeated an extra day following serious bramble/briar attacks and minor diversions due to poor Saffron Way signage and maintenance (20.33km; 205m ascent)
  • Day 3 — East Hanningfield to Margaretting (14.70km; 119m ascent)
  • Day 4 — Margaretting to Chipping Ongar (15.38km; 127m ascent)
  • Day 5 — Chipping Ongar to Epping (12.00km; 152m ascent)

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