Enjoy these splendid walks nearby!
Into the Woods around Mill Green, High Woods and Fryerning
Distance: 4.5 miles (2.5 hours approx.)
Directions and map below
From the car park on Mill Green Common head north west, away from the road, wending your way through the gorse bushes along a well-trodden path (1). After about 250 yards you will reach the Mapletree Lane. Continue ahead along this un-surfaced road, with the woods on your right (2). Walk along this road for almost half a mile until you reach a right turn (3) after which the woods on the right and there is a field beyond the hedge. This is the ancient assart, or forest clearing, in which a hermitage once stood. The boundaries of the assart have barely changed since medieval times. Continue straight ahead along the track for a further 250 yards passing a couple of houses on the left. As you approach the woods (called Birch Spring), there is a junction on the left. Ignore this, and head straight on north west along the path into the woods, passing an information board on your left (4). Keep going along the track through the woods in almost a straight line for a little over half a mile, to the roadside. There is another information board here on the right. Cross the road and continue ahead through Parsons Spring woods along the concreted Old Barns Lane (5). After a quarter of a mile you will see open ground ahead through the trees on the right. Turn hard right through a wooden barrier and along the footpath, initially at the edge of the woods (6). Follow the footpath east south east for about a quarter of a mile to the roadside, where the path disintegrates into a pond. Cross the road and walk along Metsons Lane opposite, towards Barrow Farm (7). Continue along this lane past the riding school. You will pass Metsons Cottage on your left then, 150 yards later, emerge from the trees to see a beautiful fishing lake on the right. Continue along the track. At the roadside, turn left to head north along the Ingatestone Road (8). 65 yards later, turn right into Cock Lane. After 250 yards you come to a junction. Bear right (9). 70 yards later the road stops. Go straight on into a field along a bridleway. Almost immediately, leave the bridleway by turning left into the woods along a footpath (10). These woods and nearby fields are home to a large herd of wild fallow deer. Follow a wide, straight path through the woods heading east south east. After a third of a mile, you will reach a crossroads. Go straight on across a wide rutted track to continue along a narrow footpath. 100 yards later, cross a small wooden footbridge and continue along the path to the edge of the woods. Cross another footbridge to exit the woods.
There is a wide-open field ahead of you, and sometimes the way ahead is not clear. You will see a copse of tall trees ahead on the left (called Finches Spring): aim towards the right-hand edge of these trees (11). As you get closer you will see the copse is square shaped: head for the nearest corner where you should see a way marker, then keep straight on with the wood on your left. 50 yards later cross a footbridge in the facing hedge and walk up the slope aiming just to the right of a large oak tree (12). Turn right along the road, passing a couple of houses on the left, then after 70 yards, turn left over an impressive footbridge and along an enclosed footpath (13).
When you emerge into a field 50 yards later, keep going south up the field edge with a hedge and ditch on your right. Shortly after you pass a dead tree, the field edge curves round to the right before disappearing completely. Continue along the field boundary and as you ascend, have a glance back behind you there are some lovely views from up here. Aim for the right-hand edge of a patch of woodland and climb over the first of four stiles (14). Walk along the field edge with the woods on your left, climbing over another (very awkward) stile 90 yards later. Continue beside the woods to a third stile in the south west corner of a field beside a giant tree stump. Climb over the stile into the woods (15) and 70 yards later, cross the final stile a wide track which forms part of the route of St Peter's Way. Continue along the unmade road for a few yards, you will pass a three-trunked tree on the right. Look for a footpath on the left just past the tree into another patch of woodland.
This path is easy to miss: it's about 70 yards past the barrier, and a few yards to the right of a telegraph pole (16). The wooded area is part of Mill Green Common. Get your bearings before you go in: it's easy to get lost. Some people have been wandering around in there since the 80's, still wearing their shell suits and trainers, and listening to Depeche Mode on their Sony Walkman. Head roughly south west through the woods, as best you can. Mill Green Common is an 'open access' area meaning you are free to walk wherever you wish. At some point you should emerge onto Mill Green Road. Turn left towards the village. Continue south along Mill Green Road back to the car park entrance. We are 50 yards south of the car park entrance, on the opposite side of the road, you will see The Cricketers placard
The Quick Mill Green Loop
Distance: 3.25 miles (1 hour and a half approx.)
Directions and map below
Begin by walking down Harding’s Lane, just next to us here at The Cricketers. Follow the footpath to the left past the landing field. The walk follows the edge of Mill Green Common and passes through small fields with tall, ancient hedges. The pollard trees in the hedges mark the boundary of the common.
When you reach the gravel track you will be near Potter Row Farm. After Potter Row, the walk crosses through a wooded area which is the corner of Mill Green Common. Pass by Richards Cottage and take the path into Box Wood. After leaving the wood the walk crosses a field toward Handley Barns Farm. From now on you will be following the edges of pasture field. f) When you reach Harding’s Lane again turn left and head back towards The Cricketers to finish the walk.
Views of Wild Valley Walk
Distance: 3.25 miles ( 1 hour and half approx.)
Directions and map below
You start the walk turning right from The Cricketers and then turning left down Hardings lane. Follow the lane until you get to the footpath on your right which will take you through Mill Green Wood and past The Grove. Turn left down Little Hyde Lane and continue walking, keep going, walking over Back Lane and carrying on along Little Hyde Lane until you reach a footpath on your right. Follow this path, past Ingatestone Infants School and then take a right down Fryerning Lane. Continue down here until you reach a junction, at which point turn left down Blackmore Road and then right down a pathway past St Mary the Virgin Church. Follow this pathway until you come out onto Blackmore Road again. Turn right up here for a few hundred yards and then take a right, walking through Spring Farm. Follow this pathway all the way up to Beggar Hill road. Go straight over here, past The Old Beer House and onto the footpath ahead. Follow this footpath past a small lake and all the way up until you reach Mapletree Lane. Continue down the footpath to your right which will bring you back to The Cricketers.