Tendring CAMRA - RambAle 12 - Manningtree Station Buffet to Ardleigh (Crown Inn)

The route

This route was designed so walkers can get a train to Manningtree for the start of the walk. At the end of the walk a bus from opposite the Balkerne Gate terminates at Colchester Bus station handy for Colchester Town Railway station for a train home.

The route begins at Manningtree Station buffet, picks up the Essex Way near Lawford Church and follows it to Dedham Heath, where we leave the Essex Way and turn south to get to Ardleigh village.

More to follow at some point. For now download a PDF for details.

After the Crown Inn, head to the bus layby opposite the Balkerne Gate to catch a bus back into Colchester, visiting the pub if time permits. These appear to be hourly; more frequent buses that are further away can be caught from outside Highwoods Tesco, or the Newcomen Way stops on Severalls Lane.

In April 2019 we plan to arrive at Manningtree Station Buffet at about 11:00 to start walking at 11:30. Walking boots are recommended, and it might be wise to bring your own lunch to eat between pubs (the station buffet may have a few sandwiches left, or there is a shop in Ardleigh).

Estimated timings

Based on previous RambAle's estimates are based on 4km per hour, with a half hour stop per pub.

We start at Manningtree Station Buffet (11:00-11:30) and walk 7.1km to the Lion in Ardleigh, which should take about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Staying at the Lion (13:15-13:45) we then have a 1.4km walk to the Wooden Fender, which should take under half an hour.

After the Wooden Fender (14:15-14:45) we have about 3.5km to go to The Crown.

From the Crown (15:45-16:15) it is only 950m to the Balkerne Gate, which means we should be there for 16:30.

At the time of writing, the number 94 on Saturday's to Colchester is due at the Balkerne Gate bus layby at 16:56, with the 93 at 18:16 should you miss the 16:56 bus.

Approximate distances:

  • Manningtree Station to Lion, Ardleigh 7.1km 4.4mi
  • Lion, Ardleigh to Wooden Fender, Ardleigh 1.4km 0.9mi
  • Wooden Fender, Ardleigh to Crown, Ardleigh 3.5km 2.1 mi
  • Crown, Ardleigh to Balkerne Gate, Ardleigh 950m 0.6mi

Getting to Manningtree

On 13th April 2019 it is probably easiest to take the train to Manningtree. Please let us know if you plan attending.

From Clacton we hope to catch the 10:05 train arriving at Manningtree at 10:55. We will use GroupSave single tickets to get to Manningtree, as some walkers may choose to break their return journey to eat in Colchester. We are then also free to choose the bus or groupsave single tickets for the train back to Clacton once we get to Colchester bus station and know what everyone is doing.

From Harwich Town there is a rail replacement bus as far as Harwich International leaving at 10:10, with the train leaving Harwich International at 10:33 arriving at Manningtree at 10:50.

Getting home from the Ardleigh Crown

As mentioned above, there is the option to go to the Balkerne Gate pub before crossing to the bus stop opposite to catch a bus back to Colchester Town station.

For people trying to return to Manningtree or the Harwich line it might be better to walk instead to the Newcomen Way bus stops on Severalls Road to have more choices.

Use the Traveline SE website to work out available routes.

Route documents

Booklet printable (2 pages per side, double sided print)

Standard PDF (1 page per sheet)