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RambAle 11

Wivenhoe to Ardleigh (Crown Inn)

The route

This route was designed so walkers can get a train to Wivenhoe for the start of the walk. At the end of the walk a bus from opposite the Balkerne Gate terminates at Colchester Bus station handy for Colchester Town Railway station for a train home.

From Wivenhoe station cross to the right of the Station pub and follow the NCN 51 signs to get to the Black Buoy.

The route begins at the Black Buoy in Wivenhoe, passes the railway station, and picks up the Wivenhoe Trail at the far end of the station car park. This runs between the River Colne and the railway line into Colchester, meeting the A134 (Colne Causeway) at the Hythe. Take the pedestrian crossing and turn left, crossing over at the roundabout and turning right to get to the Spinnaker, a short distance ahead on the left.

After the Spinnaker turn left and follow the pavement to the mini-roundabout - there is a crossing point slightly to the left, but after crossing you want to continue straight on, crossing to the right hand side just after the reclaim yard. Follow the pavement round to the right, back over the River Colne, perhaps cross to the left at some point and walk down Hythe Station Road cross the level crossing, continuing to the end. Opposite is a footpath between two houses which leads through a subway under the A133 St. Andrew's Avenue (also called the Avenue of Remembrance - the Avenue of Remembrance was opened in 1933, running from Lexden Road to St Andrew's Avenue, Greenstead, bypassing Colchester town centre, but this walk only takes in the St Andrew's Avenue section.) Turn left out of the subway along the path between the main road to your left and the residential access road (and cycle route) to your right. Follow it until after you cross Harwich Road (A137) then turn right after Waitrose into Ipswich Road (A1232). You can take either side of this road, crossing at one of a number of crossings before the Rover's Tye, but the shortest route due to the curve of the road is probably to stay on the right until after crossing the railway bridge, then cross where there is a central island before Upland Drive (look for the white light atop the striped pole that makes crossings). Rovers Tye is on the left just before Highwoods Approach.

After the Rover's Tye, cross Highwoods Approach and continue along Ipswich Road. Crossing Severalls Road is not obvious - there are dropped kerbs which have you try and cross all lanes in one go, or if it is busy it might be better to use the traffic islands to cross lane by lane. Continue along Ipswich Road. Just before the driveway to the storage building on the left is a memorial to Lancaster DV 177 which crashed nearby. The crew are also remembered in the naming of the new roads off Lancaster Approach, a short distance ahead on the other side of Ipswich Road. After 584 Ipswich Road is a public footpath which marks the Colchester/Tendring (Ardleigh Parish) boundary. Just after the path is "Lion and Lamb Cottage" which featured as a "guess the lost pub" in newsletter 58. After this you will see the Premier Inn and the Balkerne Gate - take their shared driveway to reach the pub.

From the Balkerne Gate head back up the driveway to Ipswich Road and turn left. Cross over where the central reservation is (look for the white lamp atop striped pole that marks the crossing) and turn left towards the roundabout. The first sliproad you have to cross has traffic lights, so wait for them to go red then cross quickly as they don't stay red particularly long. Use the pavement to cross over the A120, and then cross the sliproad off the roundabout - take care here as there are no lights to slow the traffic. Turn right after crossing and follow the pavement round to the left into Old Ipswich Road - you will pass a hotel on the left which is in Langham Parish (Colchester), while the right hand side is Ardleigh Parish (Tendring). Follow Old Ipswich Road until it forks (the parish boundary slips the fork and continues straight across the A12) and carefully cross to the Crown Inn.

After the Crown Inn, retrace your steps to the bus layby opposite the Balkerne Gate to catch a bus back into Colchester. These appear to be hourly; more frequent buses that are further away can be caught from outside Highwoods Tesco.

In September 2018 we plan to arrive at the Black Buoy at about 11:30 to start walking at 12:00

Estimated timings

Based on previous RambAle's estimates are based on 4km per hour rounded to the next 15 minute interval (for longer distances at least), with a half hour stop per pub.

We start at the Black Buoy (11:30-12:00) and walk 3.8km to the Spinnaker, which should take about an hour.

Staying at the Spinnaker (13:00-13:30) we then have a 3.9km walk to Rover's Tye, which should also take about an hour.

After Rover's Tye (14:30-15:00) it is about 20 minutes walk to the Balkerne Gate.

From the Balkerne Gate (15:20-15:50) it is only 900m to the Crown, which means we should be there for 16:05 (until 16:35).

At the time of writing, the number 93 on Saturday's to Colchester is due at the Balkerne Gate bus layby at 16:56.

Approximate distances:

  • Black Buoy, Wivenhoe to Spinnaker, Hythe 3.8km 2.4mi
  • Spinnaker, Hythe to Rover's Tye, Colchester 3.9km 2.4mi
  • Rover's Tye, Colchester to Balkerne Gate, Ardleigh 1.4km 0.9 mi
  • Balkerne Gate, Ardleigh to Crown, Ardleigh 900m 0.6mi

Getting to Wivenhoe

On 15th September 2018 it is probably easiest to take the train to Wivenhoe. Please let us know if you plan attending.

From Clacton we hope to catch the 11:05 train arriving at Wivenhoe at 11:23.

Route documents

Booklet printable (2 pages per side, double sided print)

Standard PDF (1 page per sheet)