22 March 2020: Springfield to Broomfield
Start point grid reference: TL 719 080GPX file
We couldn’t go to church this morning, so my wife and I decided to leave home at our normal time and go for a walk. This should probably be classed as a walk rather than a ramble as most of it was along pavements and metalled roads.
We started off by going north along Lawn Lane, keeping to the pavements, footpaths and service road on the eastern side. After Brackenden Drive the path goes between trees, which is quite attractive. Normally there is a hum of traffic but it wasn’t so bad today.
At the roundabout where Pump Lane meets White Hart Lane we crossed over to Essex Regiment Way and walked for a short distance next to the road. There is only a very narrow footpath at this point but we were soon able to go through a gap in the hedge on our left on to Little Waltham Road, which was originally the main roadway. It was very quiet apart from a learner driver going very slowly. I wondered whether it was her first lesson.
Half way along Little Waltham Road, which no longer goes to Little Waltham, we took the footpath to left leading down to the river valley. This was the only part of our walk that was not on a metalled surface. There are a couple of stiles along here but we were able to walk round one.
There was another stile where the path met Mill Road. There’s a very attractive house just the other side of the river. It looks more likely to have been the mill owner’s house rather than the mill itself. We stopped on the bridge for a while to look at the river flowing underneath.
When we reached Main Road we turned left and walked south, past the Broomfield Methodist Church and The Angel pub, both of which were closed because of the coronavirus. The Angel is usually very full at lunchtime on Sundays. We passed a number of other people out walking in the Spring sunshine.
A little way before the traffic lights at the junction with Valley Bridge a footpath leads down into Petersfield. It is easy to miss but we know it well. (Don’t be fooled. Petersfield is a residential road and not a field, although I guess there may have been a field there at one time.)
From Petersfield a footpath leads down to the river. We walked south until we reached the Avenues, where we crossed the river by the footpath and continued along the very pleasant footpath on the eastern side. Just before the railway bridge we made our way up to our left to Hill View Road and then up to Arbour Lane. We crossed Arbour Lane and took the footpath at top of Hillary Close that leads to the Bunny Path. Care has to be taken here as the bushes on either side tend to grow over and form a hazard for anyone over about 5' 8".
Altogether a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning. We got back home in time for lunch.