The Essex town of Braintree has some nice walking trails along the River Brain and River Blackwater which run through the town. There's also some pretty public parks and a larger country park to visit in the town.
This circular walk in the town visits the Bocking Nature Reserve on the River Blackwater, Doreward's Hall and the ancient windmill at Bocking Churchstreet. The nature reserve is located just to the north of the train station and town centre. There's some nice footpaths along the river with lots of flora and fauna to look out for on the way. Habitats include wildflower meadows, grassland, scrub, and wetland. There's also some adjacent woodland areas and a wooden board walk and play sculpture on site.
After exploring the reserve you then follow other footpaths up to the village of Bocking Churchstreet, located just to the north of Braintree. On the way you'll pass the 16th century Doreward's Hall and the Bocking Windmill. The Grade II listed structure was built in 1721 and consists of five floors with a fascinating history. They have open days where knowledgeable guides will explain the workings of the windmill from the very top to the bottom. There are also a number of computer presentations which include a photographic tour.
After admiring the windmill you turn south to follow paths to Thistley Green. Other paths then take you back to the river where you can enjoy a final riverside stroll back to the start point of the walk.
PostcodeCM79SW - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Braintree Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Braintree Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Braintree OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Braintree Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Walks near Braintree
- Great Notley Country Park - A short walk or cycle around the 100 acre Great Notley Country Park in Braintree, Essex
- Flitch Way - The Flitch Way is a cycle and walking route running along a decomissioned railway line through Essex
- Essex Way - Travel through the Essex countryside from Epping to Harwich on this 81 mile footpath
- John Ray Walk - Travel along the John Ray Walk from Braintree to Witham on this lovely walk through Essex
- Halstead - This Essex based town has some nice trails through the Colne Valley to try.
- Coggeshall - This attractive small town is located near Colchester in Essex
- Great Dunmow - This Essex based market town has some interesting old buildings and nice country trails to follow through the area.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just to the south west of this walk you'll find Braintree & Bocking Public Gardens. The attractive public park has nice gardens, trees and a pond. You can find it at postcode CM7 9AE.
Great Notley Country Park is located just to the south west of the town. This pleasant park includes wetland and open grassland with fine views of the Essex Countryside.
The Flitch Way also starts in Braintree. This shared cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway line to Bishops Stortford via Great Dunmow.
The John Ray Walk also starts in the town and will take you all the way to Witham. You could follow this waymarked trail south to White Notley where it meets with the Essex Way. Both of these long distance trails provide the opportunity to explore the countryside around the town on good footpaths.
Head a few miles north east from the town and you could visit Halstead. There's some nice trails through the Colne Valley and some attactive local woods here.
Head a few miles east and you can visit the small town of Coggeshall. It's a fine place to explore with two historic National Trust Properties, two 16th century pubs and river trails along the River Blackwater.
To the south is the worthy village of Terling. Here you'll find a ford on the River Ter, an old windmill, a cricket pitch and lots of picturesque cottages around Church Green.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Essex Walks page.