RayleighSouth Woodham Ferrers

Raysou one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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So far it has been reviewed by two people and surveyed by zero people and there is one issue flagged with this route.

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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Rayleigh and South Woodham Ferrers.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Rayleigh and South Woodham Ferrers.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


This route has been reviewed by 2 people.

This route has potentially been flagged (1 time) for reasons relating to safety.

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Not verified

Route status - Live

Reviews - 2

Average rating -

Is this route good enough? -  Yes (1) Maybe (1)

Problems reported -  Safety (1)

Downloads - 4


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Grid Ref TQ8061690732
Lat / Lon 51.58650° / 0.60576°
Easting / Northing 580,616E / 190,732N
What3Words wasp.builds.visa
South Woodham Ferrers
Grid Ref TQ8041897748
Lat / Lon 51.64958° / 0.60651°
Easting / Northing 580,418E / 197,748N
What3Words refusals.rotation.habits

Raysou One's land is

Arable 24.2%
Pasture 49.4%
Urban 26.4%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018


James Piers Taylor

13 Apr 2024 Spring

I walked this route in early April on a fine day, travelling from Rayleigh to South Woodham Ferrers and quite enjoyed it. I have marked it down for some route inaccuracy, a few busy road crossings, and an access problem with one of the rights of way.

The route from Rayleigh High Street to Rayleigh Railway Station is simple enough pavement walking and downhill. There are some public toilets at the top of Crown Hill. The route uses the footbridge over the railway line, I had no problem using this but it’s not listed as a public right of way and is accessed from the station platform. If it’s closed for any reason, you’ll need to continue east on Station Road and take London Hill north under the railway access The Approach.

There’s a bit of a wild-goose chase ahead, the mapped route directs you south down Kestrel Grove to join a footpath shown on OpenStreetMap - but you can’t access the footpath here. Instead, take Kestrel Grove north until a south turn onto Heron Gardens where you can pick up the footpath going west.

There is now a nice off-street stretch taking in a part of Wheatley Wood until you turn north onto the quiet road of St John’s Drive - it’s easy to miss this and carry on west on the path, so be alert!

St John’s Drive delivers you to a roundabout where the A129 and A1245 (dual carriageway) meet. The vehicles move pretty fast here. There’s an island separating the northbound and southbound traffic but you need to take care.

A short stretch of westerly pavement walking, then crosstie road opposite the Carpenters Arms pub. Then it's road walking on the quiet [old] Chelmsford Road that the A1245 replaced. When it bends east to the dual carriageway you need to go west on a footpath across the field. The Slow Ways route turns north at the next hedgeline. This is a public right of way but it wasn’t well walked or marked and where it approached another section of [old] Chelmsford Road and the View Garden Centre I found myself on the wrong side of a closed gated compound with a large unhappy German Shepherd. The Slow Ways route follows the public footpaths Rawreth 12 and Rawreth 12 through this compound but I found it uninviting, managed to get out and rejoined the route at St Nicholas, Rawreth using [old] Chelmsford Road and Church Road.

I would be minded in future to not take the north turn at the hedge line but to carry on west on the footpath to Old London Road by the Chichester Hotel, turn north on this road for a while before taking the path east over a footbridge and rejoin the Slow Way there. It’s road walking on Old London Road, but it’s a low-traffic route.

The footpath north from St Nicholas to Battlesbridge is quite pleasant but is split by A1245. It’s single carriageway here but the traffic is still fast. You need to wait for a gap in both directions and make a run for it.

Battlesbridge is an oasis after that. The large and popular antiques centre includes a cafe with great views, on the top floor of the old granary. There’s also The Barge Inn which serves food. A short trip west on Hawk Hill will take you to The Hawk, another pub serving food (The Hawk is also close to Battlesbridge railway station if you are done with walking). My suggestion, however, is that you proceed to the Muggeridge Farm section of the antiques centre for a pint of real ale and a cheese roll at One Green Bottle.

The route continues on an easy-to-miss footpath going between buildings just off Maltings Road in the Bones Lane section of the antique centre. A footbridge over the railway line and a walk across a field brings you to the busy Burnham Road (A132). Once again you’ll need to wait for a gap in traffic and make a mad dash for it. On the other side, it's a footpath and quiet road detour until you have to dash across this road again back to its south side. (The England Coast Path proposes a pavement route on the south side of the A132 which will avoid these crossings - so look out for that being implemented. Walking beside that road on pavement will be unpleasant but safer.)

At Tabrum’s Lane, there’s the relief of a footpath across a field taking you over a footbridge to Woodham Fen nature reserve. After wet weather, this section can get very muddy. On the other side of Woodham Fen, an underpass beneath a road takes you to a back lane that will deliver you to the South Woodham Ferrers railway station. The Railway pub is next door. There’s a newsagent a little further north up Hullbridge Road.


19 Aug 2021 Summer

Good route. We only followed to battlesbridge but was very accurate up to that point.

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