Thaxted - Great Easton - Tilty - River Chelmer - Thaxted

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Thaxted's history dates back to the Domesday Book. There are no artificial tourist attractions, but it must be one of the most visited towns in the country. It was originally built around a Saxon settlement alongside a Roman road. By the middle of the 14th Century it had become a famous cutlery and wool town.

The first thing you see of the town, approaching it from any direction, is the beautiful 181- foot spire of its church. Once in the town the view of its Cutlers' Guildhall, with the backdrop of the church and some lovely cottages and houses should not be missed! It is a timber-framed building and contains a small museum. Its open, paved ground floor was once used to hold a market and as a meeting place. Later, until 1878, it became Thaxted Grammar School.

The composer Gustav Holst lived in Town Street and wrote Jupiter, (part of the Planets Suite), here. This tune, later adapted and named 'Thaxted', was used for the hymn I Vow to Thee My Country. There is a row of thatched almshouses, a windmill and Stony Lane, a cobbled street to be found in many photographs. Morris-dancing takes place in the Bull Ring in front of the Swan Hotel every Bank Holiday Monday and in June and July an International Music Festival is held in the town.

England - East England - Essex - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Food Shop, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Museum, Pub, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
26/08/2017 - martin stimson

Did this walk today and found for the most part the instructions to be very clear and accurate with on site waymarks. Its a quiet walk in the sense that there's not many people about, but Thaxted is on the flight path for landings at Stansted, so you will either enjoy or be annoyed by regular sightings of planes on their approach to landing. Some of the cross field paths were cultivated post harvest but that didn't prevent us from having an enjoyable day. Took about 4 hours in all. At waymark 22 the path crosses a field which today contained a herd of highland cattle including a large bull and calves. We hesitated and then crossed the field. The herd ignored us. The stile on the other side was overgrown suggesting that previous walkers didn't dare cross. Suggest take a stick with you to thrash the nettles would help. The return leg from 26 to 27 is a long flog by the river but the sighting of a pair of buzzards relieved the tedium.

06/04/2014 - Steve Connell

I did this walk yesterday and took a GPS tracking device - this showed it as being 9 miles, as per the original description. There are also 4 pubs, within a short distance of the route, excluding those in Thaxted, so if you wanted to take that sort of refreshment break, it's a good option. I did the walk before opening times, so that wasn't an option for me. I did the walk in a little under 3 hours, which would normally be a little slow for my walking pace in this part of the country, but some of the terrain doesn't lend itself to pace. All in all, a very nice walk, with views over pretty hamlets. I'll likely do it again, but maybe just a bit later...

01/06/2011 - Lauren Powell

Walked this route on a beautiful day in April 2011 and it was idyllic. Stopped at the pub in Great Easton for a drink. The return route follows the river which is great for the dogs to have a swim. All in all a super walk which we will definitely do again.

03/08/2010 - Sid Marks

01/08/10- Sid Marks: I did this walk today. Apart from 2 overgrown paths at waymarks 12 & 16, I thoroughly enjoyed it. As said in another comment, the walk is just short of 10 miles.

30/08/2008 - Margaret Baldry

25.8.08 A lovely walk with plenty of variety and no significant difficulties. Our first walk from WW and we are very impressed with the clarity of instructions - thank you! No problems with fences for horses - ways round are provided. Field between 13 and 14 was being ploughed as we walked across and the footpath obliterated (no doubt will soon establish itself again as people walk it.) We were glad of our walking poles to help keep up speed across the rough parts of the walk.

06/07/2008 - Paul Woodgate

Great walk, even in occasional showers. At waymark 16 the second half of the field path has become very overgrown, and at mark 26 it's not possible to follow the course of the river all the way; you have to persevere through some very rough ground. The final field before Folly MIll now has an electric fence across the path to stop the owners horses from getting loose, so some careful limbo is required. The village (hamlet?) of Tilty is very pretty.

15/04/2007 - Robin Philpott

I did this walk on a very warm, sunny and still 14/04/07 and it is a real gem. Very pretty with some gorgeous views and a variety of types of countryside and a choice of decent pubs to round it off in Thaxted. I suspect it could be quite muddy on a wet day and very exposed when windy - a joy in the sunshine though. Its exact length is 15.95km/9.9mls.

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