The BBC weather forecast said that we’d have a sunny morning, with rain forecast from 1:00 onwards, and as the day dawned bright (if a little breezy) we decided a leisurely ride on the bikes, taking in a tea shop and a pub, was in order.
The bikes mounted safely on the bike rack on the car, we drove to Kelvedon BR, and parked up in their car park (£1 on a Sunday). So a good ride if you’re reliant on public transport, provided the trains are running! As before, the route overview pic below links through to the route on the gmap=pedometer site if you want a closer look (and download the GPX file).
Dropping down from the cark park, turn left and head away from Kelvedon into the countryside. You’ll past a seed merchants and the George and Dragon fish restaurant before coming in to Coggeshall Hamlet. After a mile and a half look out for the turning on the left to Scrips Lane that is no entry, and then a quarter mile later you’ll find another left to Scrips Lane that you can turn into, where you should turn and climb up a small hill, before turning right onto Cutledge Lane.
You’ve got a couple of miles on this lane, through lovely countryside, running west to east just south of the A120 from Coggeshall to Bradwell.
At the church turn left and follow that road around, bearing right and following the signs for Stisted. At the A120 you have to head up the hill 50yds and cross the road, which is straightforward, but as the traffic is quick, you can push the bike up the hill on the pavement if it looks a bit too scary!
Follow Water Lane for a mile until you get to Stisted – there’s a climb into the village with the church to your left.
After the climb you can reward yourself at the famous tea shop that gives cyclists a 10% discount – there’s a great selection of cakes!
Return to the road you left to get to the tea shop, and continue up Back Lane, until you get to Greenstead Green. Once through the village, take the right after the farm shop to the left. Follow that road, bearing left at the junction that has a right turn to Burton Green.
At the next junction, bear right. There is a back road route via Nightingale Hall Road, but that is currently closed for bridge repairs, so carry on up to the A1124. This is a fairly busy road, so take care. There’s also a bit of a climb, and you may wish to push the bike up the pavement on the right hand side of the road is you are getting very slow and wobbly!
Just before you reach Earls Colne High Street there’s a turn to the left to Colne Engaine. Take this, and follow the road up into the village. There is a steep hill up to the church! Follow the road to the right that takes you around the back of the church and continue round to the right until you get to the Five Bells. Good beer and good food to be had there – and Elsie Mo led me astray… Fortunately, the only rain we saw was whilst at the Five Bells. Admittedly, it was a huge downpour, but it only lasted ten minutes, and we were under the awning in their beer garden throughout.
The route we’ve posted takes you down past the Five Bells, along Mill Lane, and do keep an eye open for the white boarded mill on the left as you drop down. When you get to a t-junction bear right and follow the road down back into Earls Colne.
Turn right onto the main road. If you want a longer and more scenic ride back, you can then take the left onto Tey Road, then follow Earls Colne Road, and come round in a loop through New Barn Road, Coggeshall Road, and Buckleys Lane, joining up with the B1024 just before the A120 (see below).
If you want a quicker ride back, carry on to the mini-roundabout and turn left onto the B1024, and follow that road south for the best part of 3 miles. You come to the A120, and it’s relatively straightforward getting across that, to drop down into Coggeshall. At the mini-roundabout turn right and cycle through the village. The road bears to the left, and at the t-junction turn right, and then take a left to head down and over the bridge, and up the hill past the Grange Barn on your right.
Carry along on this road, and you’ll go through Coggeshall Hamlet again, and retrace the opening mile or two as you head back into Kelvedon.
Only 22 miles, just a couple of stretches on anything other than country lanes, with plenty of opportunities for refereshments and stopping to look around villages and churches!