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Man drinking beer in a pub
Visit some of Colchester's best-loved pubs | © National Trust Images/John Millar
Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire

Bourne Mill pub tour

This circular, 3-mile walk will take you to some of the local area's most celebrated inns. Along the way, you'll discover the pretty Bourne Valley, the historic Cannock Mill, Distillery Pond with its myriad wildlife, and the quaint almshouses of Winsley Square.

Total steps: 13

Total steps: 13

Start point

Bourne Mill entrance. Grid ref: TM 00565 23846

Step 1

Starting at the entrance to Bourne Mill, turn right and look for a footpath that runs between two buildings a short distance away.

Step 2

Follow this footpath, before veering off to the left on another path. This latter path runs along a boardwalk beside the River Colne.

Step 3

You're now walking through the Bourne Valley. As you pass the ponds, stop for a few minutes to watch the birdlife.

Step 4

Continue along the path towards Old Heath Road. As you approach it, you'll notice Cannock Mill on your right. Turn right along the road, then cross over (opposite Cannock Mill House). Follow Distillery Lane, which runs alongside a river.

Step 5

Continue until you reach Distillery Pond, another haven for wildlife. Beyond it, you'll find Hull Mill, an old distillery repurposed as attractive living accommodation. Pass in front of the building and follow the path round to the right. After about 55yd (50m), you'll see a yellow fingerpost signalling a footpath that ascends to the left. Follow this.

Step 6

This is quite a narrow footpath, with a gradual incline. Shortly after passing Grants Meadow Allotments on your right, you'll reach the top. Turn left onto Recreation Road, and follow it until you meet Old Heath Road.

Step 7

Directly opposite the entrance to Old Heath Road is Winsley Square, a group of almshouses, all of which were 'gifted' (plaques on each house indicate from where). It's well worth taking a few minutes to wander round.

Step 8

When coming back out onto Old Heath Road, turn left and follow the road towards Colchester. After passing a playground and park on your right, continue over the Bourne Road/Wimpole Road crossroads, onto Military Road. Keep going until you reach the Royal Mortar pub.

Step 9

Continue along Military Road to the British Grenadier pub.

Step 10

Continue along the road, then turn onto Roberts Road on the left. Take the first footpath on the right, which leads into Parade Square, then head right along Sargeant Street. Follow it all the way to the end, then continue straight ahead along a footpath. When you get to Mersea Road, turn right and walk 110yd (100m) to Lucas Road on the right. At no. 28, you'll find a pub called The Odd One Out.

Step 11

From The Oddie, turn round and walk back along Mersea Road for 220yd (200m) until you reach Berechurch Road on the right. Follow this road until you reach the junction with Meyrick Crescent. Here, you'll find the next pub on the tour, The Britannia.

Step 12

With The Britannia on your left, continue along Meyrick Crescent. Turn right, back onto Mersea Road, and you'll find the next pub, The Grapes, at no. 87.

Step 13

Continue along Mersea Road, passing Bourne Road on the left. Where the road bears to the right, you'll see a gap on the left leading to a footpath. Follow this path, which runs along the south side of Bourne Mill Ponds. Turn left, continuing along the path towards Stalin Road. Follow the road around until you meet a footpath that goes through the Bourne Valley. Head down this footpath until you get back to where you started.

End point

Bourne Mill entrance. Grid ref: TM 00565 23846

Trail map

Map of Bourne Mill pub tour, Essex
Map of Bourne Mill pub tour | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Bourne Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8RT

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