As much as I love London, I sometimes need a break from the city. I grew up with hiking trails outside my front door and my inner nature lover craves the countryside from time to time. So when an opportunity came up to join a friend’s walking group on a country ramble near Cambridge, I jumped at the chance to go on one of their Essex walks. It promised to take me through some of the prettiest villages in the area, too.

Essex Walks

Essex Walks

I knew it would be a good walk no matter what. It was going to be the second of my Essex walks since I moved to London, and the previous one took me through beautiful countryside.

Wendens Ambo, Essex

My friend plans out his own walks with proper survey maps and he’s done this one before. He assured us that we were in for a treat, and he was right.

Walk Signpost in Essex

Essex Walk near Cambridge

It’s an early wake up to meet the group at Liverpool Street station, but I arrive excited for a day outside the city. The hour-and-15-minute train journey takes us to Audley End, which is in the village of Wendens Ambo in north Essex.

We leave the platform and start our 14-mile (22.5-kilometer) walk, and a few steps in I can already tell I’m going to like this area.

Cottage in Wendens Ambo, Essex

Wendens Ambo

From pink cottages to fall foliage, Wendens Ambo lures me in with its storybook atmosphere and scents of wood smoke coming from the chimneys.

Wendens Ambo, Essex

But we’re not here for long. Soon this loveliest of Essex walks takes us deeper into the English countryside.

Walk in Essex


We ramble along fields and through pastures and find ourselves in Arkesden. This might just be the prettiest village in Essex.

Arkesden, Essex

Thatched roofs abound, a red phone box doubles as a lending library, and a historic church sits at the top of a hill.

Arkesden, Essex

Add to that the idyllic Wicken Water stream running through the village, and I’m sold.

Arkesden, Essex

We stop for a bit to photograph the cottages and walk around the churchyard, then continue our loveliest of Essex walks through tree arches and forested paths until we reach Duddenhoe End.


Here we find more country cottages to admire before our path turns north to take us to Chrisall.

Cottage in Essex

Chrishall is our lunch stop, and it couldn’t come at a better time. We’re hungry and it’s raining, so it’s the perfect place for a pub lunch in Essex.

We stop at The Red Cow in Chrishall, a historic watering hole with all the rustic charm I could hope for.

The Red Cow pub, Chrishall, Essex

A big lunch of fish and chips goes down a treat. Maybe it’s because I’m hungry, but the fish is some of the best I’ve had in a long time.

It’s hard to pry ourselves away from the table when we’re done, but we have miles to go and the day is progressing.

Fish and Chips


Our Essex walk continues as we leave the pub and head down a lane called Loveday Close to reach more farms and fields on our way to Elmdon.

Upon arrival we’re greeted by painted street signs directing us to nearby villages and crooked chimneys on thatched-roof cottages.

Elmdon, Essex

From Elmdon our prettiest of Essex walks takes us down a narrow path and back into fields. We say hello to resident cows as we pass through their farm, then walk beneath a tree canopy shaped in a perfect triangle.

Cows in Essex

A sheepdog comes bounding up to say hello, and I’m on full cute overload.

Dog on a Path in Essex

Wendens Ambo

The rest of our walk takes us through big open fields as we make our way back to Wendens Ambo and Audley End station.

It’s raining harder now, but we don’t feel the cold. We’ve kept a good pace the whole time and we’ve seen so many beautiful places along the way that a bit of precipitation can’t get us down.

Walking Path in Essex

When we finally make it to the end of our walk we’re exhausted and elated at the same time.

We do some celebrating and stretching on the platform while we wait for the train back to London, then pile in and relax on the journey home.

Essex Walk

It’s been a great day out in the countryside and the walk has fully satisfied the part of me that was itching to get out of the city.

By the time we get back to Liverpool Street I’m happy to be home and excited for urban life again (not to mention dry clothes and a hot shower).

But I’m sure it won’t be long until my feet feel the itch again. And when they do, I know which of my Essex walks I’ll want to do again.

Wendens Ambo, Essex

If you want to do it, there are lots of maps online that cover the same or similar routes to the one I did. You can easily replicate this country walk with them.

You can also read about more walks and find further details in Time Out Country Walks: 30 Walks Near London. You can get it here. Happy walking!

Find this post helpful? Buy me a coffee!

New here? Join thousands of others and subscribe to the A Lady in London blog via email.

One of the links in this blog post is an affiliate link. At no cost to you, I earn a small commission when you click on it and make a purchase. It doesn’t affect the way you shop, and it’s a great way to support the A Lady in London blog.

Pin it!
Essex Walks

6 Comments on Lady’s Guide to an Essex Walk near Cambridge

  1. Looks amazing and like my kind of place! Do you happen to have a map of the walk that you can share?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.