Winter Walks in Essex : Elmstead Market Woodland Trust Wood

It was quite chilly today, but bright, and so a short-ish walk in the countryside near Colchester seemed a good idea.

I checked out The Woodland Trust’s Visit Woods database, for the simple reason we received their email newsletter yesterday. There’s one example of internet marketing working!

‘Elmstead Market, a Woodland Trust Wood’ took our fancy. Their website gives some information (here). It’s not actually a wood yet, with money raised in just┬áthe last couple of years to purchase land between the A133/Harwich Road/A120 and for the planting of saplings taking place.

[It’s not the easiest to find at the time of writing! If you head out of Colchester, as you leave Elmstead Market, turn left at the lights to head out towards the A120. But after a couple of hundred yards after the village ends, look out for a turning on the left. It currently has a couple of signs for ‘DIY Livery’, and is opposite signs to a cattery on the right hand side of the road.

You drive (slowly!) up a narrow lane, past some houses to the left, through a farm , and turn a corner. You’ll know you’re there when you see the very distinctive gates!] Please read the comments below!

Gates to Elmsted Market Wood

There’s a long stretch of fencing either side of the gates where we parked up. At this point you get a good panorama looking over the new planting, and the view down to the mature Mill Wood.

Through the gates takes you to a field with some benches and carvings, perfect for a picnic and to grab the attention of any children with you!

Carvings at Elmstead Market Wood

At the far left of the field is a gate that lets you into another field through which you can walk down the hill towards Mill Wood, surrounded by saplings. At the bottom left of that field is a stile, which takes you over a fence covered with barbed wire – not one for little children to get over easily!

On the other side of the fence you can walk over a bridge over a narrow stream and head up the hill into Mill Wood, a very mature wood, with very, very soft leaves and mulch underfoot.

Mill Wood
Mill Wood

Dropping back to the stream, we re-crossed it and followed it northwards until we came to the A120, then turned left, and followed the squelchy path until we hit the central lane and headed south back to where the car was parked up.

About an hour overall, perfect for a brisk winter walk, and only 15 minutes drive from home. Next stop : The Haywain at Little Bromley!

4 thoughts on “Winter Walks in Essex : Elmstead Market Woodland Trust Wood

  • January 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    We tried this today but as we were parking by the fence, we were approached and told that no vehicles were permitted onto the roadway off Bromley Road as it was all private land, except for the footpaths. We were advised to park in Elmstead car park and walk from there. This put us off: we turned tail and drove away.

  • January 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Sorry to hear this. I’ll enquire and see what I can find out. It’s the best part of a mile from Elmstead Market car park and some of that is along Bromley Road where there’s no pavement, so would be a long and awkward schlep, esp if you had kids with you. The visitwoods website says there’s free parking within 500metres, and the woodland trust site says ‘nearby’.

  • January 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    The Woodland Trust have confirmed that the Elmstead Market public car park is the nearest car park, so unless you can find somewhere ‘safe and legal to park’ (their words) that is nearer, it is going to be a bit of a walk.

  • January 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks for the research. We will go and explore up there when the days are longer. Good footpath off Tye Road, Elmstead end, going through trees-beside-fields, around fields (just keep turning right) and turning into a public green area beside the cricket ground on Church Road. All the best.

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