Best forest trails in Colchester, Essex

50 Reviews
Explore the most popular forest trails near Colchester with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of forest trails in Colchester, Essex
Top trails (5)
#1 - Marks Hall and Bunsgate Woods Walk
Colchester, Essex, England
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(13)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 3 h 19 m
This circular walk explores a part of Essex that is unusually densely wooded. It uses quiet country roads, tracks and footpaths to go though a mixture of farmland, mature oak and beech woods, coppice and parkland. There is one stretch around the perimeter of an airfield that is decidedly non-rural. The walk starts near Coggeshall, 9 miles west of Colchester and 5.5 miles east of Braintree. This is a pleasant walk if you are already in the area, perhaps visiting a local attraction. The walking is easy-going and on the flat. There is just one short section where tractors have badly rutted a track that clearly can get very wet, but there is an avoiding path through the adjacent coppice. There are no stiles or livestock on the route, so it is a good route for dogs, even for ones who love to crash excitedly about (go, springer spaniels!). 1.8 miles of the route is on quiet public lanes, while 500 metres is along an access road to an industrial estate (but it has wide verges). It should take about 3.5 hours.Show more
#2 - Chappel and Chalkney Wood
Colchester, Essex, England
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(19)
Length: 5.1 mi • Est. 2 h 22 m
This circular walk starts in the quaint hamlet of Chappel, six miles west north west of Colchester in Essex. It takes in a combination of arable land, river valley grazing meadows, and the largest wood in the area. Highlights are extensive views across the Colne Valley, lovely mixed woodland, two large old river mills, extensive riverside meadows and marshland, and a most impressive railway viaduct. The route is easy going, with just one steady climb up a slope. Parts of the route are almost always wet and muddy, but there is only one stile. Grazing livestock, mainly sheep, will be encountered in both the early and latter parts of the walk, where dogs will need to be kept under close control. The walk includes 400 metres along a quiet tarmac lane. Allow around 2.5 hours.Show more
#3 - Highwoods Country Park Circular
Highwoods Country Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(13)
Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h 8 m
#4 - Along the Colne Valley from Chappel to Colchester
Colchester, Essex, England
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(2)
Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 3 h 31 m
This linear walk runs from the tiny rural railway station at Chappel to the main line one at Colchester in Essex, following the River Colne nearly all the way. (The return leg can be completed by train, a journey that takes 15-30 minutes with one change at Marks Tey). Most of the walk passes through unspoilt, quiet and attractive scenery, including the 500 acre Woodland Trust nature reserve of Fordham Hall. Five pubs are on, or near, the route, providing ample scope for diversions. The Colchester end of the walk, while avoiding road walking, does offer some 'different' experiences - not one, but two, pedestrian tunnels amongst them. Two sections of the walk get wet and boggy after rain - this is a walk for boots. There are two gentle climbs on the walk. Sheep will be encountered in the early part of the walk, and cattle may be in the central part. There are no stiles on the walk, only gates. The walk involves walking along very quiet tarmac lanes for a total of 1.3 miles, but these are very pleasant. There are three places where rural roads need to be crossed (where care needs to be taken), and one place where unfenced proximity to the A12 dual carriageway means that dogs must be temporarily leashed - the commentary provides plenty of explanation. You will need to cross a couple of golf course fairways so follow the safety notices here. Allow 4 hours.Show more
#5 - Fingringhoe Wick Wildlife Reserve Walk
Fingringhoe Wick Wildlife Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(1)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 1 h 48 m