This attractive small town is located near Colchester in Essex. There's some nice local parks, riverside trails and pockets of woodland to explore around the town. It's a historic place too with almost 300 listed buildings and a formerly extensive antique trade. Coggeshall won the Essex Best Kept Village award in its category in 1998 and 2001–03 and was named the Eastern England & Home Counties Village of the Year in 2003.
This route uses a section of the Essex Way and other public footpaths to create a circular walk around the town. On the way there's nice views of the River Blackwater and some peaceful woodland trails to enjoy. You'll also visit two historic National Trust properties which attract many visitors each year.
The walk starts in the centre of the town and heads east to link up with the Essex Way. You then head south towards Monk House where you cross the river and head west towards Grange Barn. This National Trust site includes a 13th-century monastic barn which is one of the oldest surviving timber structures in Europe. It was constructed using English oak and formed part of the Cistercian complex of Coggeshall Abbey. Just a 5 minute walk away is Paycockes House a fine Tudor merchant's house built in 1500. You can find out about the history of the house and enjoy a stroll around the pretty gardens.
Continue south west through the countryside for about half a mile before turning north east to cross the river again at Horseshoe Hole where there are some woodland trails. The route then heads east to return you to the town centre.
Coggeshall Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Coggeshall Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Coggeshall OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Coggeshall Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The White Hart Hotel dates back to the 15th century and includes a fine interior with traditional oak beams. They have a good menu and an outdoor seating area for warmer days. You can find the hotel at Market Hill with a postcode of CO6 1NH for your sat navs.
On the route you could stop off at the coffee shop at Paycocke's where you can sit outside and enjoy a cream tea with garden views.
The country and woodland trails make for a nice dog walk. At Paycocke's dogs are welcome in the garden on leads but not in the house or coffee shop. Dogs are allowed in Grange Barn and its surrounds but it's best to keep them on leads. The White Hart Hotel mentioned above is dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
To continue your walking in the area you could continue south west along the Essex Way to visit Cressing and White Notley. If you follow it north east it will take you to Great Tey and Fordstreet where you can explore the River Colne Valley.
A couple of miles north of the town you'll find Marks Hall Park. It's a lovely place for a walk with broadleaved woodlands and a stunning Arboretum.
Braintree is just a few miles to the west. There's nice walks here along the River Brain and River Blackwater which run through the town. You can also pay a visit to the historic Bocking Windmill.
To the east lies the historic market town of Colchester. The old Roman town includes Colchester Castle and walking trails along the River Colne.
A few miles to the north west you will find the town of Halstead. Here you can try the circular Halstead Walk and enjoy the splendid Giant Redwood Grove at Broaks Wood before a waterside walk along the River Colne. Near here there's also the noteworthy village of Castle Hedingham. Here you'll find the splendid Hedingham Castle with its significant 12th century Norman Keep, pretty lake and beautiful landscaped gardens. Near here there's also Gosfield Hall and Gosfield Lake where there's some nice waterside trails and a good lakeside cafe. The 16th century hall is designated as a Grade I listed building and is now used for weddings.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Essex Walks page.