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Essex - Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree, Maldon Rides...

tubsolardtubsolard Posts: 150
edited August 2007 in MTB rides
Hi, does anyone know of any trails/routes in the North Essex Area?
I used to ride in Danbury a long time ago but have not been back for ages, planning to check it out again soon. Are there any other places to ride? I mainly ride around the country roads looking for trails but most is private, with the occaisional public football or bridleway to ride.
Cheers
Scott
Cannondale Super Six Evo
Cannondale Slice Aero

Posts

  • tubsolardtubsolard Posts: 150
    Thetford Forest is on the list to try out, it's about an hour away I think! Got a good review in MBUK so definitely going to try it out soon!
    Cheers.
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  • LenseyLensey Posts: 11
    I live in Braintree and I'm off upto Thetford on Sat again, been up there the last couple of weeks, nice to get up there at about 8:30 and do the black route and off home by 10:30, it only takes just over an hour to get up there that early in the morning :D
  • Danbury is quite good, if not a bit on the small side. There's some nice hilly single track around Blakes Wood and Lingwood Common if you fancy an afternoon out, but it's far too small to make a day of it. Thetford Forest gets my vote too.
  • Actually in Essex is the Dunmow Flitch Trail. Starts in the car park of Braintree Station and ends up near Birchanger (Stansted Airport). It's all off-road apart from the ex railtrack route having been severed at Dunmow. It's necessary to circumnavigate the town and then back onto the trail. From my home in Silver End I did 46 miles return.

    You can download a nice colour route map:

    http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCW ... elOid=null

    It seems to have been up-dated since I did the route last year and maybe a shorter link through Dunmow to get back on the trail. I'll try it again shortly!

    There is another. The Blackwater trail. Starts in the main road WITHAM, on top of the bridge near Dovercourt Motors. Once again, uses the old rail line from Witham to Maldon. I only went part way due to the weather on the day I went but what I saw also parallels the river Blackwater.
  • lo guys,

    Got a new bike sorted after a while of not riding, going to check danbury as that used tobe my old haunt since I can actually cycle there.

    Will have to get some thetford contacts and go check that out!

    Nick
  • LenseyLensey Posts: 11
    Airfriday wrote:
    Actually in Essex is the Dunmow Flitch Trail. Starts in the car park of Braintree Station and ends up near Birchanger (Stansted Airport). It's all off-road apart from the ex railtrack route having been severed at Dunmow. It's necessary to circumnavigate the town and then back onto the trail. From my home in Silver End I did 46 miles return.

    You can download a nice colour route map:

    http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCW ... elOid=null

    It seems to have been up-dated since I did the route last year and maybe a shorter link through Dunmow to get back on the trail. I'll try it again shortly!

    Thats my weeknight route, I get on at Rayne station, bike to Little Dunmow then off down the byway (as its nice and downhill) to Dunmow, quick drink from the service station then back again, nice long ride :D
  • Thats my weeknight route, I get on at Rayne station, bike to Little Dunmow then off down the byway (as its nice and downhill) to Dunmow, quick drink from the service station then back again, nice long ride

    I tried to put it on http://www.mapmyride.com but the trail path is not shown on the map. I tried to do it using Google Earth but as it was snapped over four years ago, none of the new bridges over the A120 bypass are shown. Found it difficult plotting the route, so I gave up! :(

    My daily ride is either Kelvedon-Rivenhall loop: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-ki ... /681709190 10 miles

    or if the weather is not so good: Tour de Silver end: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-ki ... /681066721

    The Blackwater trail is a bit overgrown :cry: but I hope to have another go tomorrow or Tuesday,
  • tubsolardtubsolard Posts: 150
    Went back to Danbury yesterday, improved over the last 10 years, worth an afternoon riding around, some sketchy trails, steep drops and doubles etc. Good fun.

    How much of these other trails are off road?

    The Witham to Maldon route, you have to get out of Witham first, you can't actually start at the bridge up from Dovercourt, unless you take the road route round to Benton Hall, and then cut accross the Golf Course. I'm definitely going to try it soon though, my mate has done it before.
    I've ridden around Braxted, Terling, Hatfield Peveral and Wickham Bishops, but it's all on the road, a few tiny trails, but nothing worth the distance covered to get to them.
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  • How much of these other trails are off road?

    The Witham to Maldon route, you have to get out of Witham first, you can't actually start at the bridge up from Dovercourt, unless you take the road route round to Benton Hall, and then cut across the Golf Course. I'm definitely going to try it soon though, my mate has done it before. I've ridden around Braxted, Terling, Hatfield Peveral and Wickham Bishops, but it's all on the road, a few tiny trails, but nothing worth the distance covered to get to them.

    Well, OK . . . . I used Dovercourt Motors as a reference point. I started the Blackwater Trail at the signpost in the gap between two houses in Newlands Street. I cut through the Industrial Estate, under the A12 and adjacent the river and on for about 3 miles ALL OFF ROAD. Had to cross a few minor roads that sever the route but no major problem. It's very overgrown in places and you have to force your way through stinging nettles. (What am I . . . Man or mouse? M O U S E! :oops: ) I'll wear trousers next time.

    The Dunmow Flitch Rail Trail must be 20 miles from end to end. Well worth doing even with the on-road bit around Dunmow.
  • tubsolard wrote:
    Went back to Danbury yesterday, improved over the last 10 years, worth an afternoon riding around, some sketchy trails, steep drops and doubles etc. Good fun..

    Got over to danbury today to scope it out, wow that place has changed I didnt have my helmet with me so i didnt fancy the bigger jumps, really want to try a big old stepup someone made, not really great for trails as far as my old trails, most of them have eroded to make some fun drops and also there seems tobe a nice lip built on every single incline, nice!
  • BuckleBuckle Posts: 90
    You might want to try out Epping Forest. From where I live, it's only about 40 mins away max to High Beech around the M25. Fantastic riding but does get really boggy in the winter and can even be boggy in summer after rain, but has some great riding.

    You can ride from High Beech right down to Wanstead, East London and back - about a 20 mile round trip. You can get a local map from Carl's green tea hut in the car park, or just ride out, and follow you nose. You can't really get lost. Well, not much!
    Don't you just hate it when people ask rhetorical questions...
  • Hi, Lingwood common OK, several good bridleway sections which are quite steep (for Essex), but a little short, some reasonable downhill sections but watch out for horses & walkers! Suggest getting local OS explorer map and check it out, will give a few hours of entertainment. Also Bridleway section running from Kingwood Common to London Road worth checking out, but only a couple of miles long. I live in Maldon and do a loop from home picking up a bridleway near the roundabout at bottom of Wyke Hill which climbs up the edge of a field, throgh woods and down again to road, then pick up bridleway about half way down London Road which leads to the edge of Lingwood Common. Danbury Common only a couple of miles by Road too, and worth a visit but mainly Jumps these days, but a few nice little tight runs through the woods too.
  • Have been out to Thetford last couple of weekends too, Take about hour & half from Maldon to get there, Black & Red routes worth checking out, but not as difficult as the Foresstry Comission website would have you believe!
  • BuckleBuckle Posts: 90
    If you go across the road from Thetford Forrest into Brandon Forest, there's some great riding. Not many people bother with it as they just go to ride the Black Run but they're missing out!
    Don't you just hate it when people ask rhetorical questions...
  • epicEmepicEm Posts: 45
    For riding in Epping Forest check out these guys
  • rikkrikk Posts: 734
    Or the www.eppinghardcru.co.uk don't go by the name ;) there's normally a ride on Thursday evening and Sunday morning and its very much aimed at the fun side :)
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Couple of other routes to try out are Thorndon Park and Langdon Hills if you're around the Brentwood/Basildon area.

    Essex cc have a set of ride maps you can buy for about £3 http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCWebsite/dis/guc.jsp?channelOid=14492&guideOid=16918&guideContentOid=16914 6 circular routes. So far I've tried the Langdon Hills and Thorndon and both were pretty good, mostly single track with some fun bits downhill :D
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  • BuckleBuckle Posts: 90
    Don't forgot folks, this weekend is the V Festival at Chelmsford so probably best to avoid Danbury. I can image the traffic will be bad on the A414.
    Don't you just hate it when people ask rhetorical questions...
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