A few years ago I considered writing a short book describing walks around my home town of Upminster in Essex but it was thought that the market was too small. I often walk the footpaths in this Essex countryside and until recently rarely saw more than one or two other people.

Now things have changed, coronavirus lockdown means that we can only walk locally and it has been good to see lots of people enjoying country walks. I’m often being asked where we can walk and there seems to be lots of interest in routes and the places they pass, so I’m writing up a number of walks, all starting in Upminster and Cranham. These will be posted in this blog over the next few days.

Each walk will have route instructions, a bit of information about points of interest, a few photos and a map. The routes are drawn on Ordnance Survey maps but for copyright reasons these will only be shown for the period of the coronavirus restrictions. The OS Explorer map covering Upminster can be bought from their website https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/maps/explorer-map-southend-on-sea-basildon.html

Obviously in the current climate we must follow government advice and use common sense.

Only walk with members of your household and keep two metres from other people. Most of the paths are wide enough for this, or allow you to wait in a safe spot for others to pass, however please try to avoid stepping on farmers’ crops.

Try to not touch any surfaces that others may also touch. Most gates are small and wooden and easily opened with a knee. I will note any points of concern at the start of each walk – for example stiles that not everyone will be able to negotiate without touching the hand rail.

The paths for most walks can be accessed from several points and I have shown these in the walk descriptions. Current advice is not to drive to our exercise, so it will be necessary to walk to the starting points. Depending on where you live this will of course add to the length of the walks.

Take care but enjoy our lovely Essex countryside.

Peter Caton  15/4/20