13 Feb

This is a regular walk for us! It’s worth the effort to get there…you’ll enjoy peace and quiet and be surrounded by nature – all to yourself!

Take bus 61 from Colchester bus station until you reach Whitehall Road (around 15 minutes).

With the bus on your right, walk down Whitehall Road until you see a sign for King Edward Quay.

Turn right and head down Haven Road where you will come across some derelict garages/lock-ups. Go between or around them (think there is a pedestrian diversion at the moment) and carry on down the narrow path. This part of the journey is not very pretty – but it’s worth it in the end!

Then you’ll come to the start of the main part of the walk – indicated by the Hythe Lagoons sign.

Follow the clear path that runs between open grassland and the river Colne for around 40 minutes.

Along the way you’ll see many bird varieties and, depending on the time of year, there’s rabbits, sheep and cows often roaming free.

Situated on the right-hand side on a higher level of land, the tranquil ‘lagoon’ fills with rainwater, attracting wildlife. In fact, because it’s such a peaceful spot, secluded away from the hustle and bustle with rarely anyone to be seen, we chose to scatter our dog’s ashes there last year.

The Wivenhoe Trail, which is generally much busier and more suitable for cyclists, runs parallel across the river.

Once you get to Rowhedge, determined by the boat moorings, head across the small green and pass the Anchor Inn to discover the Albion pub. Biff the gorgeous, rescue doberman-staffy will welcome you into her home. She has a wonderful temperament, is relaxed around dogs and may let you borrow her bowl of water – which our puppy, Fella, was grateful for after his first long walk.

This pub is highly recommended, with a nice landlord, cosy atmosphere and reasonable prices – an ale plus a red wine costs £6.50. We’ve spent many afternoons there enjoying drinks over games of scrabble, dominoes or cards – and even sometimes braving the dartboard. They don’t offer food, but are fully stocked in the usual snacks. During the summer, benches outside provide the perfect perch for soaking up the sun whilst watching the boats sail by.

What you can do next:

1) If you’re feeling energetic, the walk can be done in reverse to get back to Colchester.

2) Alternatively there’s the bus – number 66A that can be caught from Head Street ‘shipyard corner’.

3) From April until October, it’s possible to take the ferry from Rowhedge across to Wivenhoe. Although there is a timetable, this is often tide/weather dependent. It costs around £1.50pp. The train station there runs regular services to London via Colchester.

4) Extend your walk by 1/2hour to Fingringhoe – route shown on map in green. There, The Whalebone, with its friendly Basset Hounds, offers delicious food, a spacious garden and country views. Last 175 bus to Colchester is at 16.50 from High Park Corner, so a dog-friendly taxi may be a better option.

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