Best walking routes in Colchester
Colchester offers an abundance of walks from woodland tracks to riverside wonders. With so much choice, it can be hard to decide which walk to go on. Our team have put together 5 of the top walking routes in Colchester, all of which have something special to offer. If you’re new to the area, be sure to check some of these out!
Covering roughly 7 square miles, Mersea Island, situated on the outskirts of Colchester, is the UK’s most easterly inhabited island. It will take you roughly five hours to walk the whole island which is in two halves. You’ll find restaurants and cafes in West Mersea offering the oysters and shellfish that the island is famous for, while East Mersea is all salt marshes and farmland.
There are plenty of beautiful views and an abundance of wildlife to see along the way… not to mention some glorious sunsets!
Highwoods Country Park has some of the best walking routes in town, and is suitable for walkers of all levels and abilities. With a selection of circular walks ranging from a quick half an hour stroll through to more intermediate walks which will take approximately 2 hours.
The parkland offers grassland, woodland, meadows and lakeside views for you to explore with a backdrop of Colchester's iconic town centre skyline. Highwoods Country Park also offers an array of facilities including parking, catering and plenty of benches for picnic breaks.
The Country Park, located near Colchester, is very popular with dog owners, offering a wonderful environment to walk, run and play off the lead. The mixture of woodland and open spaces make Highwood’s Country Park the perfect location for a family day out.
Explore the picturesque Stour Valley and Dedham Vale on a relaxing walk through the countryside of Dedham. Walk in the footsteps of one of Britain’s best-known artists, John Constable, and take in the stunning settings that he captured in his famous landscape paintings. Whether you’re looking to make a day out to journey around the stunning Constable Country, or you’re planning on a shorter outing, there is a route to suit all.
A popular route starts in Dedham, walking along the riverside stretch of the River Stour. This route consists of fairly flat footpaths which extends to the idyllic Flatford Mill where you will stumble across the famous sights Constable painted. Both Dedham and Flatford Mill offer cafes where you can unwind in on your stroll.
The Wivenhoe Trail is a circular walk four miles to the south east of Colchester along the River Colne. The trail is an informal route of approximately 5 miles stretching from Colchester Town centre to the riverside town of Wivenhoe. It’s a designated conservation area with some buildings with architectural significance and plenty of cafes and pubs to explore. Wivenhoe is a small but quaint little town with a very pleasant waterfront and old houses you will come across on this walk. If you’re looking for a longer walk, you could start from Alresford or Brightlingsea and follow the footpath along the river.
Abberton Reservoir is a circuit of 19.5KM and the trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running and bird watching. This walk is particularly a special one for birdwatchers as it’s considered the best reservoir for birdwatching in the country, due to its location near the east coast fly-way. It is well known as being the ‘safe haven’ for wild ducks, swans and other water birds.
On your walk round you will be treated to stunning views across the water and surrounding villages if you head up to the higher ground. There are also wheelchair and pushchair accessible routes to enjoy.
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