Lingwood Common to Blake's Wood

Danbury, Essex

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Parts of St. John the Baptist date from the 15th century © Michael Graham

Parts of St. John the Baptist date from the 15th century

The Polypore Fungus on this Birch Tree has medicinal and other properties © Michael Graham

The Polypore Fungus on this Birch Tree has medicinal and other properties

A typical Lingwood view © Michael Graham

A typical Lingwood view

Time to have a rest! © Michael Graham

Time to have a rest!

Cricketer's Arms for some refreshment © Shepherd Neame

Cricketer's Arms for some refreshment

Route overview

One of three walks linking Danbury and Lingwood Commons and Blakes Wood. Lingwood Common together with Danbury were given to us in 1953 by the Lord of the Manor, Mr. F.B. Plumtree. At that time the Commons were an overgrown mosaic of habitats of different heights and ages: grass, heath, scrub, and scrub-woodland coppice.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Lingwood Common to Blakes Wood Map
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: National Trust Armoury car park, grid ref: TL781044

  1. Starting in front of the NT site office Armoury car park facing the main road, turn right and head down Bicknacre Road to the road junctions. Cross over and turn left into Sporehams Lane. After approximately 15 metres turn right at the footpath sign on the right (FP17).

  2. Keeping on this footpath, continue until you reach an unmade lane (Fitzwalter Lane). Ensuring you do not exit on to Sporeham's Lane, turn sharp right. The lane now continues to Woodhill Road.

  3. Cross Woodhill Road and follow the path. This section of the path runs between houses. When a junction in the path (with FP16) is reached, take the right hand fork and walk down, with the Parish Church of St John the Baptist on the left.

    Show/HideSt John the Baptist, Danbury

    St John the Baptist is built on a hill top, its spire visible for miles around. Long before there was a church on the site, this vantage point was utilised for a hill fort and parts of these early fortifications can still be traced. Historical accounts of the area refer to the 'Danbury Camp', and archaeology has established that Danbury was occupied at least as early as 500BC. The present tower, spire and nave and vestry date from the 15th century. The church was badly damaged in the Second World War and it took until 1952 for permanent repairs to be carried out. The church was designated Grade 1 listing on 10 April 1967.

    Parts of St. John the Baptist date from the 15th century © Michael Graham
  4. After going past the church, you reach a junction with FP20. Turn sharp left and follow the path down to Main Road (A414). With extreme care (this road is very busy) cross over and after a few yards reach Moorbridge Lane on the left. This is also a public footpath (FP59) but is unsigned as such. This lane is very steep at this point. Now head down for about 200 to 300m and after entering a wooded area (Bellhill Wood) look out for a footpath 'crossroads' and turn right up (FP15) (with close-boarded fence on nearside).

  5. After a few metres you will have arrived in Lingwood Common (look out for the National Trust sign). The management of Lingwood Common is virtually identical to that of Danbury, although presents more of the forest with open glades and stands of mature oak and birch. After crossing two footbridges, continue on until reaching the junction with bridle path 13 and turn left downhill (note this bridle path is not signed as such). If you miss this junction you will arrive at 'The Ridge' in which case you have gone too far, so turn around and make your way back downhill along bridle path no.13.

    Show/HideBirch tree with polypore fungus

    Some fungi have known medicinal and other properties. The Birch polypore in this photograph can be seen shortly after the start of the Lingwood path. It looks like an omelette which has been well cooked on one side and then stuck on the side of a birch tree. It was used in tinder boxes and to stem the flow of blood from wounds.

    The Polypore Fungus on this Birch Tree has medicinal and other properties © Michael Graham
  6. Continue along bridle path 13, passing a seat at the top of the hill. Continue along for about 30m to a bridle path junction and turn left onto bridle path 14, known as Coleman's Lane.

    Show/HideA typical Lingwood view

    A view typical of Lingwood heading towards a downhill section

    A typical Lingwood view © Michael Graham
  7. Head down Coleman's Lane and just before reaching the ditchline and culvert look for a small path on the right (unsigned). If you reach the houses then you have gone too far

  8. Follow this path along the Lingwood boundary until reaching a marker post. This marker post is not marked in any way, but turn right at this point.

  9. Head along this path until reaching a National Trust sign.

  10. If you are continuing to Blake's Wood, then turn left at this point, exit the gate onto Riffham's Chase, turn right and walk up to the Blake's Wood car park (150m on left) and continue with the Blake's Wood walk. After Blake's Wood return to this point to continue with Lingwood. If you are not going to Blake's Wood then turn right on to bridle path 13. There are two seats on this stretch to rest your limbs, and just after the second seat look out for the second path junction on your right (FP12).

  11. Turn right down FP12, exiting Lingwood and re-tracing your route along Mooresbridge Lane until reaching a footpath 'crossroads' (FP15). Turn right and follow the path until reaching Main Road (A414). You will come on to this road near to 'The Griffin Inn' on your left. If time permits you could stop at the pub for some refreshment (if open).

    Show/HideSeat at marker post 11

    Just after this seat, look out for the second path junction on your right (FP12).

    Time to have a rest! © Michael Graham
  12. Now carefully cross the road and continue left up to the Church. Go through the gate by the side of the Church and follow the footpath directly down hill past the Water Tower on the left, until reaching Penny Royal Road at the bottom.

  13. Turn right for the Cricketer's Arms or head to the the car park which is just across the road. Take a look on our website (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/danbury-commons-and-blakes-wood) at our other walks: Danbury Common to Lingwood and Blakes Wood to Lingwood Common. Each walk can be undertaken separately or co-joined with this one for one long walk.

    Show/HideCricketer's Arms

    Stop here for some refreshment or toilets.

    Cricketer's Arms for some refreshment © Shepherd Neame

End: National Trust Armoury car park, grid ref: TL781044

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6km)
  • Time: 2 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 168 or Explorer 183
  • Terrain:

    Grass tracks. Some tree roots. Steep slopes, not suitable for push/wheelchairs. Some areas muddy in wet weather/winter, so adequate footwear necessary. Dogs welcome as long as under close control. Please remove any dog litter responsibly. Bikes are allowed on bridle paths only.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: National Cycle Network Route 1 is open between Harlow and Maldon, via Chelmsford. It passes by the edge of Blake's Wood and Danbury and Lingwood Commons. Bikes only welcome on bridle paths.

    By bus: service 30 or 31 from Chelmsford bus station to Danbury Eves Corner

    By train: nearest station Chelmsford

    By road: from A12 take A414 sign post Maldon/Danbury. At Eves Corner Danbury take Mayes Lane into Penny Royal Lane

  • Facilities:

    • Parking : NT car park (free).
    • Food and drink : Cricketers Public House.
    • WC's : At pub.

  • Contact us