A nice circular walk from the Essex village of Finchingfield, visiting Great Bardfield, the River Pant and the Finchingfield Brook. The route runs for just over 4 miles on fairly flat paths, with nice views of the surrounding countryside for most of the way.
The walk starts in the attractive village of Finchingfield which is recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in England. The picture postcard settlement includes a duck pond, a village green, an eighteenth-century windmill and a number of Georgian and medieval cottages. Finchingfield was the home and is the burial place of Dodie Smith, whose books include The Hundred and One Dalmatians. From the village you can pick up footpaths running south along Finchingfield Brook, passing The Watermill before coming into Great Bardfield. Henry VIII is said to have given Bardfield to Anne of Cleves as part of his divorce settlement and a number of buildings in the village are associated with her, including the Grade II-listed Great Lodge and its associated Grade I-listed barn, now named after her. In the village you can enjoy refreshments at the village pub which has a nice pub garden and a good selection of real ales.
After exploring Great Bardfield the route heads north west toward Beslyns before following Winsey Chase back to Finchingfield. Back in the village you can enjoy refreshments at the delightful tea rooms.