Tour de Colne Valley - 38 miles
This ride starts from the Village of Earls Colne, which is approx 3 miles from Halstead and 10 miles from Colchester.
This is a beautiful bike ride which allows you to enjoy the lovely scenery of the Colne Valley. It is mainly on small counrtry roads with a short off road section, so I would reccomend using a mountain bike.
The terrain is generally flat you'll be glad to know, but there are three hills I'm sorry ,I tried to miss them out but they are unavoidable I'm afraid! however they're pretty easy so don't worry.
The route goes something like this: Earls Colne - Gt. Tey - Bungate Wood - Tumblers Green - Plaisow green - Greenstead Green - Buntings green - Colne Engaine - Countess Cross - Fordham - Aldham & head back to Earls Colne via Gt. Tey,
This ride is approximately 38 miles.
OS Landranger no 168
Park at the car park at the rear of the Co-op Supermarket. Drive up the high street the Co-op is in the middle of the village, take the turning down the side of the store and take the first left into the car park (don't park in stores car park otherwise the manager will be after you!) the entrance to the car park runs parralell to the Co-op car park.
There a number of pubs on route but not many shops however there is one at For ham which is on the latter part of the route. I would reccomend taking your own.
Leave the car park, turning right back on to the High street and then turning left down the high street towards the church.
Follow the road round the church down the road to a mini roundabout and turn left, within about 200 yds you will come to an s-bend with the Colne Priory pub on your left and Earls Colne Motors opposite, on this junction turn right down Tey road.
Follow this road leaving Earls Colne behind you and passing Chalkney Wood on your left and ascending your first hill (I hate the first one!) continue along the road ignoring a Right hand turn to Coggeshall you will soon come your next turn off a right hand turn signposted " The burnt house and moorlands".
Cycle down this pleasant country road for nearly a mile enjoying the views of the open farmland and then taking the first right signposted for Coggeshall.
Again follow this road for nearly a mile turning righthand turning following the sign for Coggeshall. After another mile at a T-junction turn right, signposted "The Colnes" and soon passing Purley farm.
This road comes to an end at a T-junction joining the B1024 to Kelvedon, opposite a farm called "Bullocks Cross" (don't ask me where they got the name from!) turn left for only about 500 yds and then turning right at a distinctive pink house called "Kilhey Cottage" signposted for Marks Hall.
After half a mile, before the road drops down take a left hand turn signposted "The Old Rectory".
Continue along this small lane passing the Old Rectory on your right and a small wood on your left, go through the gate at the end of the lane, and follow the fence on your right around the perimeter of the field soon bearing right & slightly downhil soon reaching a foot bridge on your left, cross the bridge and continue ahead uphill to the farm ahead, on reaching the farm go through the yard bearing right and heading out on the road crossing the fields which soon ends in a T-junction where you turn right.
Follow this road for a short distance and where the road turns sharply left continue ahead on the bridleway towards the wood ahead.
This is a beautiful area keep your eyes peeled, one morning we were fortunate enough to see a herd of about 15 deer running across the field to your right, they can often be seen in this area, so keep a look out its wonderful to see these graceful animals in the wild.
Continue through the woods (Bungate Woods) keep on the main track, in winter it can be pretty muddy so be warned!
When you emerge from the woods, you will find yourself back on solid ground turn left and after a short distance turn right at the junction and continue ahead.
If you wish to stop at "The Compasses" turn left at the signpost reading "Pattiswick Village and church" go along this long straight road and you will soon come to the pub on your left.
Continue along the original road for 1 mile until you come to a T-junction at Tumblers green, turn left following the signpost for Stisted and then taking an immediate right and right again.
Follow this road for 2 miles as it winds its way across famlands and into some woods until you emerge at a T-junction where you bear right following the signpost for Greenstead Green.
Enjoy this exhilarating ride as you descend into a small valley, look out for the views off to your left of the church of St.James the Great at Greenstead Green.
When you arrive at Greenstead Green turn left following the sign for Halstead and then take the next right opposite a house called Heidi & signposted Earls Colne.
Follow this road for about a mile until you come to a left hand turn near a distinctive looking building called stanstead hall take this turnoff following the signpost for Halstead.
After a short distance you will come to a junction where you join the A1124 (formely the A604) its quite a busy road so beware! Turn right and after 200 yds turn left heading down a steep hill to Langley Mill.
Follow the road past the mill as it bears first right then left following the signpost reading Buntings Green. Climb the hill for half a mile to reach a junction. You may want to stop here to get your breath back and take the opportunity to enjoy the view across Colne Valley over towards Earls Colne. Once you have got your breath back, Take the right hand turn following the signpost for Colne Engaine.
Follow the road all the way into Colne Engaine and turn left at the T-junction follow the road round past the church of St.Andrew and again turn left, up through the village following the road as it bears right passing a school on the left, continue along this road leaving Colne Engaine behind you as you enjoy a swift descent into a small valley.
Unfortunately where there's a descent, there has to be an ascent and you've got a bit of a climb up Over hall hill to emerge at a T-junction at Countess Cross, turn right and then take an immediate left at the next junction (with a red telephone box) and after a short while bear right at a junction signposted Bures. Follow this road as it winds its way across the farmland& bear right at an undefined junction still following the signs for Bures.
At the end of this road continue straight ahead at the crossroads signposted Wakes Colne, after a while you will arrive at Wakes Colne Green turn right and then take the next left signposted Chappel, soon reaching another junction by a pond. Turn left & then take an immediate right alongside a black barn.
Keep a look out on your right for Jankes farmhouse, you have now reached Jankes Green, turn left here signposted Fordham. Keep a look out on your right for a postbox on reaching the junction soon after passing it turn right still following the signs for Fordham
This is a great road for a sprint, no hills or junctions for over a mile, so put your head don & go for it, but don't get to carried away as you need to keep a look out on your left for a left hand turn again signposted for Fordham.
Keep ahead, ignoring the first left hand turn,keeping straight ahead but turning left at an undefined junction again signposted for Fordham, At the end of this road turn right sign posted Colchester and head into Fordham.
At Fordham turn right onto a road called Ponders Road which is just after the village shop which sells ice creams incidentally... . After a winding descent you will reach the A1124, bear left along the A1124 for a short distance taking the first right just after the Coopers Arms pub on your right signposted Aldham Church and soon passing Mill Race Nursery on your right.
After the long gradual ascent to Aldham, you need to take a right hand turn at the crossroads by Aldham church signposted Great Tey. You are now on the home run, follow this road all the way to Great Tey.
On reaching a T-junction at Great Tey turn left and then take the right by the church onto a road called "The Street" Signposted Earls Colne. Keep ahead on this road ignoring all turnoffs including those signposted earls Colne (I'm taking you on the scenic route).
At the end of this road turn left signposted Earls Colne, soon passing Chalkney Woods on your right stay on this road until you reach the A1124 Opposite the Colne Priory, turn left, and head back to Earls Colne.