GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Braintree Walks

5 miles (8.8 km)

The Essex town of Braintree has some nice walking trails along theRiver Brainand 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 alsoa number ofcomputer 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.


CM79SW - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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
  • 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 and some attractive local woods to visit.
  • 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.
  • Broaks Wood - This walk explores Broak's Wood near Halstead in Essex
  • Gosfield Lake - This walk visits the village of Gosfield in theBraintreedistrict ofEssex near Halstead
  • Colchester - A circular riverside walk around the centre of Colchester, visiting Colchester Castle and the River Colne
  • Braintree - The Essex town of Braintree has some nice walking trails along theRiver Brainand River Blackwater which run through the town
  • Chalkney Woods - This area of ancient woodland near Chappel is a lovely place for a peaceful stroll
  • High Woods Country Park - This country park in Colchester includes woodland, open spaces, ponds, a lake and wildflower meadows
  • Ardleigh Reservoir - This pretty reservoir near Colchester has a nice country lane running along its northern side
  • Castle Hedingham - This walk explores the Essex based village of Castle Hedingham and its historic castle grounds.

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 the splendid Giant Redwood Grove at Broaks Wood to enjoy here. 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.
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.


Bocking Blackwater 10

Bocking Blackwater is a Local Nature Reserve on the banks of the River Blackwater in Braintree Essex

Bocking Blackwater 17

View of the river, grassland and trees in the reserve. Taken in the spring of 2016

War Memorial, Public Gardens, Bocking End, Braintree, Essex - - 1411125

War Memorial, Public Gardens, Bocking End, Braintree, Essex. UK National Inventory of War Memorials No.22070. The gardens are located a short stroll to the south east of the reserve

Bocking Windmill, Church Street, Bocking, Braintree - - 57800

The Grade II listed Bocking Windmill.

Bocking Bradfordstreet Mill, Bocking, Braintree - - 60598

Bocking Bradfordstreet Mill. Most recently used for making pellets and cubes for animal feed but no longer water powered. It is at this point that the road changes from Bradford Street, to Broad Road, and the river changes its name from Blackwater to Pant.

Braintree District Museum, Manor Street, Braintree - - 59717

Braintree District Museum, Manor Street. This building was formerly a Victorian School, one of the many buildings given to the town by the Courtauld family, famous for bringing the textile industry to Braintree in the early 19th century. As a museum, it now tells the history of the area's textile and engineering heritage. The museum is a worthy place to visit after your walk.

Braintree Town Hall Centre, Fairfield Road, Braintree - - 59709

Braintree Town Hall Centre, Fairfield Road. Given as a gift to the town by the Courtauld family, this Grade II* listed building with its rich wood-panelled interior, houses the Tourist Information Centre and Art Gallery.

Post Office, Bocking Churchstreet, Braintree - - 56963

Post Office, Bocking Churchstreet. Small, well used rural Post Office.

GPS Files

GPX File

Braintree.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Braintree.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)