Skip to content
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

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

Trees in autumn at Hatfield Forest, Essex
Trail
Trail

Hatfield Forest walk 

An easy 1.7-mile circular walk through the ancient woodlands at Hatfield Forest, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 1.7 (km: 2.72)
A path through very green woodland with tall trees
Trail
Trail

Lingwood Common to Blakes Wood walk 

A 3.5-mile circular walk, ideal for families, through mixed woodland between Blake's Wood and Lingwood Common.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3.5 (km: 5.6)

Get in touch

Bourne Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8RT

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

A hiker wearing an insulated jacket and a backpack watches the sunset over snowy mountain peaks

Walking 

Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Two ladies are wrapped up in winter coats, gloves and scarves as they walk through grass that has a thick layer of frost across the landscape. Blue skies are above with warm winter sunshine and trees silhouetted in the background.

Walking in Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire 

From long forest wanders to a gentle amble to a famous literary hut, these are some of the best walks around Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
Article
Article

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.
Article
Article

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon
Article
Article

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

Exterior of Bourne Mill, Essex
Article
Article

Our work at Bourne Mill 

Find out how we’re researching and reinterpreting Bourne Mill thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding, and discover the vital conservation work we’re doing to preserve this place.

Exterior of Bourne Mill, Essex, in June
Article
Article

Things to see and do at Bourne Mill 

With its fulling stocks and 72-bucket waterwheel, Bourne Mill offers a fascinating peek into the history of Colchester's textile industry. Explore its highlights on a tour of the mill.

View across the pond of Bourne Mill, Essex
Article
Article

Visiting Bourne Mill with your dog 

Dogs on leads are welcome at Bourne Mill. This article explains where your dogs can and can't go, the facilities we provide for them and our Canine Code.