Colchester Cycling UK

Walton on the Naze Ride Report

June 10, 2012

In stark contrast to the dreadful weather in the week, it was a hot summer’s day on Sunday for our ride to the coast.

Five of us rode out of Colchester through High Woods Country Park and Highwoods estate to join Severalls Lane, then Ipswich Road. The Ardleigh Crown Interchange can be quite daunting, but we made a collective decision to cycle on-road to Old Ipswich Road (off the A120 slip road).

After Ardleigh Reservoir and village centre we had a forced stop for a single train at the Station Road level crossing, before continuing toward Crockleford Heath and Elmstead Market for elevenses at The Beth Chatto Gardens, where Keith was waiting for us.

We turned left out of Beth Chatto to join Route 51 (without a doubt the most well signed section of National Cycle Network in the area), catching glimpses of a horse polo game in Little Bentley. We followed Route 51 as far as Stones Green, staying on the B1414 toward Thorpe-le-Soken rather than turning off for Great Oakley. Before Thorpe we took a left along Walton Road, through Kirby-le-Soken, and into Walton on the Naze, turning left at the church into the High Street.

As we arrived somewhat earlier than expected, rather than stop for lunch at The Queens Head as publicised, we regrettably decided to cancel our booking and instead have lunch on the seafront.

Lunch on the seafront in Walton

After eating our sandwiches (and fruit) in the sea breeze, we set off along The Parade, taking in some fine views of the North Sea. We “lost” Keith near Little Clacton, the rest of us continuing toward Weeley Heath, then through Great Bentley, where a cricket match was in play on the enormous Village Green; onto Thorrington and up Tenpenny Hill, turning off for Alresford at the top.

In Wivenhoe we left the roads behind us, preferring to cycle the last few miles back to Colchester alongside the River Colne on the Wivenhoe Trail (a section of Route 51).

Unfortunately placed trees on Route 51

By Malcolm Mitchell