Incredible summer walk that takes you through Roman ruins to one of Essex's best pubs

Sow a mini wildflower meadow in the smallest of spaces to encourage wildlife
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The ultimate walk, to end all walks under the newly sun-filled sky, is the walk and cycle route, which connects public footpaths to woodland, meadows, cemeteries, rivers, and Roman ruins. The 24-mile walk, which circles and crisscrosses Colchester, offers you plenty of choice: with three distinctive routes that can also be adjusted and all connect for your own bespoke walk. Part of the walk even leads you past Colchester’s number one pub ‘The Taproom’, built on 2000-year-old Roman baths.

Thoughtfully designed to show off the many wonders of Colchester, the three main walking and cycle routes are: The Orbital East, The Orbital South, and The Orbital West. Each of the pathways joins up, making for an extra long weekend walk or a taste of Colchester with some real highlights along the way.

For those looking for a quieter path with a nature reserve, woodland with kissing gates and a wooden bridge, the Orbital East walk winds down into Welsh Wood Nature Reserve, featuring a stream, uncommon plant life, and in the springtime a carpet of bluebells.

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Along the South Orbital path, you will find Bluebottle Grove, a stretch of footpath that forms a series of late Iron Age defences, as well as pre-Roman graves. The path also weaves along the garrison, a walk along the quays, and by a church cemetery, home to woodpeckers, tawny owls, muntjac deer and over 1,500 evergreen trees. In taking the South path, you might also be tempted into The Taproom, Colchester’s number one pub, which serves in-house brewed beer, and is built on Roman baths that are around 2,000 years old.

A West Orbital path bends through an 80-acre nature reserve, Hilly Fields, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, with extensive Iron Age and Roman remains, and later an important site of Parliamentarian encampment during the Civil War siege of Colchester in 1648. As part of the route, you will also come upon the breathtaking 74 hectares of rich mixed habitat at Cymbeline meadows, including working farmland where cattle graze, meadow and woodland filled with wildflowers and grasses, and a variety of wildlife along the Colne River, including otter, kingfisher and water vole. And if that is not impressive enough, you will also be walking through Charter Wood, planted in 1992 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Charter to the Borough by Richard The Lionheart.
With summer coming around, you can really take your pick of the best of Colchester, and not be disappointed.

Further information, with copies of the maps can be found here.

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