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Chelmsford, Essex - it's a bit flat

AdamPAdamP Posts: 105
edited July 2011 in Routes
If anyone has decent routes to ride round Chelmsford, let me know

At present, I'm just doing some naughty xc on public footpaths and really want to ride without hiking over stiles every few miles.


:evil: :D
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  • I also live in Chelmsford and haven't really found any proper off-road trails locally.

    Galleywood common isn't bad as bikers have worn a few interesting trails through the trees. It's not a long route but quite fun.

    So far the nearest decent off-road trails I've found are at Epping Forest.
  • Chr!sChr!s Posts: 13
    South-Weald is alright, 5 min ride from Brentwood Highstreet.
  • Chalky76Chalky76 Posts: 260
    danbury common is probably the best place in the area - best to drive there if you can and be fresh to really go for it, but me and my friend cycle from Chelmsford and back no problem. It's also possible to get there and back by using public footpaths so you don't need to go on the road much.
    ride your bike like a kid whilst you still can

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  • GT-DaveGT-Dave Posts: 1,441
    Thorndon Country Park also has some nice runs, but I tend to stick to Epping as it's alot more fun.
  • laindon hills country park has got some decent trails,they run from the top of the park right down to dunton.
    theres a bit of everything there to.from great single track to mad downhill runs.
    sunday mornings it gets a bit busy though.
  • AdamPAdamP Posts: 105
    thanks guys!

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  • tobhtobh Posts: 103
    I also live in Chelmsford.. I've been to Danbury but the trails although fairly 'exciting' are not that long. I want something I can get stuck into for a couple of hours. I'm not that fussed about jumps and stuff.

    Does anyone know of a good 2 or 3 hours route I could try ? Bridleways, footpaths etc are all fine for me... I'm in the process of sussing out a route on bridleways and paths from Chelmsford to Ingatestone and then from Ingatestone to Billericay.

    Ps; I've been to Epping. Loved it. But need something I can get to from home for an hour or so..

  • AdamPAdamP Posts: 105
    Hi tobh

    One of the old failsafes is the towpath along the river chelmer. Doesn't go toward Billericay but heads out to Maldon. It's fairly easy but fast and you end up down on the blackwater estuary where there are a few decent pubs, etc.

    you can join it from the town centre (near tesco direct) or by Asda in Chelmer Village.

    would never compare this to real trails, but we live near london, sadly not near the peaks / lake district / scotland / marin county, etc.

    footpath riding is a no-no of course and ramblers will shout at you. However, essex cc's integrated transport policy means there is about a half mile of bridleway near the A120 and that's it.

    stick to the river paths or the 25ft of Danbury we can use.

    If you do see a good route heading south, let me know, as I'd love to give it a pop.

    PM me if you have a map / link, etc.

    Adam :D
    Trek 8500 w/ Singlespeed Conversion -
    Airnimal Chameleon
  • I'm a Chelmsford resident & went to Danbury Common for the first time last Sunday. Approached the Common from Well Lane & parked in the car park on the left hand side of Bicknacre Road a short distance after the road called 'The Common'.

    Got there around 8:50am and was there till around 10am but didn't see s single other rider. Lots of dog walkers and a couple of horse riders but no other cyclists. Rode some of the very muddy bridleways and also followed a few trails through the trees but was generally a bit disappointed with the place. Was I in the correct location for the best trails?

    I generally incorporate Galleywood Common into my Sunday morning ride and although it's considerably smaller than Danbury Common it has a number of 'bomb hole' type dips etc that make things interesting. Didn't see anything like that at Danbury.
  • tobhtobh Posts: 103
    I've only been to Dandbury once (2 or 3 weeks ago). And there are plenty of 'bomb holes' etc. A couple of fast trails etc. When I went there were plenty of other riders; mostly kids. Quite fast and the jumps etc looked great, if you are that way inclined (I'm not really. I want long trails).

    I think you parked in the same place I did. The trails and holes etc are north of the car park. It's kinda confusing. I had the impression whilst i was there that the common was quite small but in hindsight it may have been bigger..

    I coincidently found myself in Galleywood Common, or one corner of it, yesterday for 10 mins whilst on my quest to get from Chelmsford to Ingatestone by bridleway. I was surprised to find a few 'bomb holes' etc at Galleywood.

    PM me for info, if you think I can be of assistance.

  • Thanks tobh might give the place another try and see if I can find the 'bomb holes' etc. I thought I'd covered most of the common on Sunday but I'll explore more closely north of the car park next time.

    Snooty early morning dog walkers are a frequent irritant when I go up to Galleywood Common on a Sunday so it was a bit disappointing to find so many dog walkers up at Danbury as well.

    Also, the riders you tend to encounter at Galleywood, although not early on Sunday morning when there are no other riders at all, are generally kids so I'd hoped that Danbury would have a more 'mature' set of MTB'ers.
  • AdamPAdamP Posts: 105
    basically, it sucks round here for MTB.

    If we're struggling to piece together a few bridleways to get a decent ride, we're in trouble.

    If anyone does have any decent length XC routes, let us know.

    Otherwise it's a road bike...... <gulp>

    Trek 8500 w/ Singlespeed Conversion -
    Airnimal Chameleon
  • tobhtobh Posts: 103
    more bridleways... but this chap has a 20 mile route from ingatestone to billericay and back.

    go here -

    i'm going to give it a go sometime soon.. if anyone wants to join me let me know..

    in the meantime i'm going back to epping in two weeks.

  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Around Brentwood I've been able to string together about a 17mile(ish) loop at Thordon, extending up into Hart Wood, but nothing special really. At this time of year mostly mud routes. Into Thorndon there are a couple of small hills. Langdon's OK as said previously and you can make a bit of everything there as it's a bit more hilly.

    Couple of routes I do here
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  • rikkrikk Posts: 734
    CJW, there's quite a lot more at Thorndon not on your map, there's several places with hand made jumps, little bits of northshore, big V gully (deadly at the moment though) and ST by the side of the golf course. etc.

    Would be good to all meet one sunday morning as I'm sure there's stuff I've missed that you've found as well.
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    Danbury really does have some lovely trails but you have to really know the place to be able to link everything up as it is spread over 5 main woods.
    I have a 22 mile route that apart from crossing a couple of roads is all off road, mostly singletrack and even has a hard climb (no really)
    let me know if anyone wants a guided tour (although i like to stay on the roads this time of year as i'm a wuss) or meet up on a tuesday night at blakes (see for times)
    Happy riding
  • tobhtobh Posts: 103

    and i guess you can ride overland from Chelmsford to Danbury. Looking on my OS map there appears to a way via the river, bridleways etc to Danbury.

    This looks like fun. I'd like to see your 22 mile route.. What / where is Blakes ?

  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    It is posible to offroad from chelmsford to danbury but its not the best really. I usally pop round to my girlfriends in writtle and its not far really.
    Blakes wood is down riffhams close, if your and it is quite good as there is a loop from the car park (take first trail on left)
    I'm going for a ride today if your lucky like me and have the day off come along, if not i'm gonna try and upload a map.
  • GabberGabber Posts: 54
    where exactly is Galleywood Common??

    I've just started a new job and am based (sometimes at least) close to the A12 on the Stock road and I'm looking to get out during my lunch break for a quick blast. Looking at the OS map, what is marked as Galleywood common is about 2km from work so would be ideal - is that the right place (looks kinda smalll!)

    Incidentally - if any of you Chelmsford locals are heading to Epping and want to be shown around the best trails (it is confusing to the casual visitor) check out the rides forum at and I'm sure a bunch of us will help you out
  • galleywood common is very small.
    From where you are based head to chelmsford over the a12 and its on the left at the trafic lights.
    I just looked on goggle earth and it does look like there is more than i've riden.

    If you like bmx trails (big ones) there are some really nice ones very close to you but as they are a bit hush hush email me and i'll let you know where they are!
    best of luck
  • Hi.
    I live in Brentwood and have been riding the south Essex area for 15 years,

    Epping, This place is the best High Beach has miles of single track but this time of year large areas are DEEP mud , and its a car ride, so roll on summer.

    Thorndon is on my door step and i ride there most weeks some good runs and the area behind the ski slope has all the jumps you will need.You can ride all year not to muddy.

    Danbury Common is great the play area is good fun, but the xc is the other side of the road towards the river there is miles of good single track with good climbs and some very good decents.also not to muddy

    Get yourself a OS map and mark on the bridle ways with a highlighting pen then link them up, look towards Fryerning/Ingatestone. again miles of trails. When you ride keep your eyes open most trails are hard to spot so just follow your nose.and enjoy...
  • Went to Danbury Common once a few weeks ago but from what I've been reading above I must have gone to completely the wrong area for good riding.

    I parked in a car park off Bicknacre Road which is south of the A414 but I'm beginning to think I should have been considerably further north on the other side of the A414. I'm now guessing that I need to park somewhere off Little Baddow Road/The Ridge.

    Can someone who knows the Common please give me the name of a road where there is a car park that is near the good riding trails.

    I'm looking for some decent single track and also to locate the 'play area'.
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    edited September 2012
    As i'm off work sick with very little to do I can email you a map with that should get you in the right areas, just let me know your email address or email me at This is mainly aimed at dodgyknees but the offer is open to anyone
  • Thanks explosipete for the map offer which will be great.

    I've sent you a PM and also an email.
  • Due to me being ill and bored i've got to carryed away and have started writting out a route, i want to go check a couple of bits as i dont want to get you all lost!
  • Has anyone tried my route? If so what do you think
  • tobhtobh Posts: 103
    not yet.. i will.

    been a tad busy. i will however be in touch soon pete; as soon as i can escape from work have rebuilt the house exactly to my wife's specifications..

  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Pete, haven't seen it yet... could you send a pm or email?
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  • mat-dmat-d Posts: 9
    Yeah I'd love to see that too!
  • AdamPAdamP Posts: 105

    it's a good route. Cheers mate.

    I've been riding up from Chelmo town centre, up through Chelmer Village, towards Sandon then up the back road to Danbury country park and common area.

    Then, quick lie down to recover and down Danbury Hill at top speed back

    It's not bad at all


    Adam :D
    Trek 8500 w/ Singlespeed Conversion -
    Airnimal Chameleon
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