Walking routes: a southern loop of Colchester

With Nick Barlow

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Walking the Colchester Orbital and having walked all of that, I started doing some wider loops out from it to explore some of the territory around the edges of Colchester. It was a combined search for routes that were interesting in themselves, but also could work as extensions to the Orbital if you wanted to stretch a walk round that into a 20-mile plus excursion.

This is a loop route, so you can start and finish from anywhere on it. I’ll describe it starting and finishing from Castle Park, as that’s where I went from, but you don’t have to. The map on the left shows the outline of the route, which you can see in more detail on OS Maps. OS gives the total distance for it as just under 24km/15 miles but when I walked it my watch came out at about 16 miles, though that included a couple of points where I took a wrong turn and had to retrace my steps. It's mostly off-road, but on marked paths with usually good surfaces, and there’s not much ascent or descent on the way — the highest point is about 40m, and both OS and my Strava from walking it say there’s less than 200m of total ascent across the whole route. If you want to add it on to the Orbital (between Spring Lane in the west and Hythe Bridge in the east) it will add about six miles on to the distance. Read the full article here...