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Grange Barn, Essex
Grange Barn in the sunshine | © National Trust Images/John Miller
Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire

Grange Barn and Paycocke's House circular walk

With its astonishing cathedral-like interior, Grange Barn is one of Europe's oldest timber-framed buildings. This pleasant circular country walk takes you via the Essex Way along the River Blackwater footpath to Paycocke's House, and you'll be able to visit St Nicholas' Chapel and the Coggeshall Abbey Guest House ruins. This walk is great for spotting nature - spot sky larks and watch buzzards in spring. Summer kingfishers often race along the fish-rich river, as do the dragonflies. The colder months bring long-tailed tits to the hedge rows, lapwings, fieldfares and redwings visit the fields, before the stunning sunsets fill the massive East Anglian sky.

Saunders Collection

In a separate building opposite the barn there's a special display of woodcarving tools used by local master carver Bryan Saunders until his death in 1975. For anyone with an interest in traditional woodworking, the Saunders Collection is a fascinating goldmine of chisels, hammers, knives, measuring devices and other carving tools.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

Grange Barn car park, grid ref: TL848223

Step 1

Exit Grange Barn car park and turn right on to Essex Way, going straight through Grange Farm and keeping the hedgerow initially on your left hand side. Once past a large oak tree, the hedgerow comes over to the right. Keep going until the end of this hedgerow. Look out for rabbits and pheasants in the fields either side.

Step 2

Turn right off Essex Way at end of the hedgerow and walk down by the side of another hedgerow on your right. Go over a small bridge in the corner then bear right, then left, and aim towards an arched footbridge (Nunn's footbridge) over the river. Look out for a variety of wild flowers and watch out for boggy areas after rainfall.

Step 3

Carefully cross over the river at the arched footbridge then turn right and follow the river along the footpath. The footbridge is braced with metal rods and therefore must be climbed over, so please exercise caution when crossing. Follow the footpath round the horseshoe in the river and about five minutes later turn left on the path up to the right side of Coggeshall Town football club, leading to the main road (West Street).

Step 4

At the football club entrance, cross over the road, turn right, then turn left at the footpath sign. Keep on the footpath, go through the gate, then continue to the second gate, with the paddock on your left. Continue straight ahead with the wall on your right. Cross straight over the track and onto open field. Take the right-hand fork by some trees. With the copse on your right, keep going straight ahead until the next junction in the path.

Step 5

At path junction turn right through the gate and through the car park to the main road. Cross over the road, turn left and continue along to Paycocke's House.

Step 6

On exiting Paycocke's, turn right along West Street – there's a memorial garden on the right hand side that's worth a detour. Go straight over at the road junction to the next junction at The White Hart Hotel close to town.

Step 7

At The White Hart Hotel junction you have the option of going into town and exploring the antique shops and cafés and to see the Victorian clock tower. Otherwise, turn right at this junction, signposted 'Kelvedon and Grange Barn'. Before the bridge there's a picnic area on right-hand side where you'll often see ducks. Cross the bridge and walk halfway up the hill to the Essex Way, by Grange Barn.

Step 8

Now, for an optional detour, cross over the road from Grange Barn and follow the Essex Way footpath eastwards, where you will be able to see St Nicholas' Chapel and the ruins of Coggeshall Abbey. Step 9

St Nicholas' Chapel, an old red brick church with no tower set in a green field
St Nicholas' Chapel, Essex | © National Trust/Sarah Barfoot

Step 9

After about 10-minute walk, you'll see St Nicholas' Chapel on the left and then a few minutes further along the Abbey ruins also on the left. When you've finished, return along the Essex Way, cross over the main road, then back into Coggeshall Grange Barn. Spend some time looking at the woodworking exhibits in the Bryan Saunders Collection, which is open whenever the barn is open.

End point

Grange Barn car park, grid ref: TL848223

Trail map

Map route for Grange Barn and Paycocke's House circular walk
Map route for Grange Barn and Paycocke's House circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Paycocke's Tudor Coggeshall walk 

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Get in touch

Grange Hill, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1RE

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

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