As lockdown measures start to ease, we’re all enjoying walks and getting outdoors with people we haven’t seen for a while. But there’s nothing worse than getting to your destination, meeting your friend… and finding out it’s packed because everyone else has had the same idea!

Why not discover the hidden gems and walks on your doorstep and explore the beautiful great outdoor spaces that our city has to offer?

Chelmsford is full of unique places which you can take advantage of. To help you navigate possible new routes, here are City Life’s top green spaces and walks…

South Woodham Ferrers – walks around the River Crouch/Fenn

For a small town, South Woodham Ferrers is surrounded by an expanse of stunning countryside. It boasts the only section of coastline in the borough of Chelmsford. The Crouch is a wonderful destination for a stroll, dog walk or cycle along the riverbank. You can even stop to have a tea and cake at Phoebe’s Pantry while you rest your feet.

Routes go in many directions. You can make the most of the wildlife-filled Marsh Farm Country Park or walk along the Fenn all the way to the train station and other side of town.

Keep an eye out for water voles, skylarks and more! Flocks of swans tend to visit the bank near the yacht club too.

For more information, take a look at the South Woodham Ferrers website.

Footpath along the River Crouch in South Woodham Ferrers

Galleywood Common

This local nature reserve is a beautiful woodland and grassland area, widely enjoyed by walkers, dogs, cyclists, horse riders and more. It’s the perfect place for the family to get back to nature. With many different routes, you’ll love exploring where the paths may take you, including countryside trails leading to Baddow Park.

There are many car parks and the woods are bisected by the road – so take care with dogs and young children. The Horse and Groom pub is located near the north car park. Something to make the most out of when outside seating areas in pubs and restaurants open for business again on Monday 12 April!

Check out the Love Your Chelmsford website for details.

Image of ducks in Galleywood Common pond

Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve

Little Waltham Meadows has beautiful footpaths leading through the reserve. You can wander through the meadows and take in the views of grazing animals in the spring, summer and autumn, and gaze at the River Chelmer. There is a small car park and the walk can be accessed via Back Lane, Little Waltham. This reserve is maintained and cared for by Essex Wildlife Trust.

Plan your visit on the Essex Wildlife Trust website.

Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Discovery Park

Hanningfield Reservoir is a wonderful walk for the family and boasts spectacular views of wildlife, hides and woodland paths. The woodland trails take you along the Reservoir and you can walk to the Café on the Water and treat yourself to some refreshments. There are also activities for children to do along the trail and great photo opportunities.

See opening times and information on the Essex Wildlife Trust website.

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