Start: By the Cricketer’s Arms, Rickling Green. Map Ref: TL511298
Distance: 2 miles.
Surface: Roads, tracks good field edge and woodland paths.
This short walk should appeal to those who want to get out in the fresh air for an hour during the winter. The 301 bus service which runs hourly between Bishop’s Stortford and Saffron Walden passes through Quendon so is convenient for non-drivers. There are no obstacles and no thick mud to contend with but obviously footwear suitable for the time of year is required.
Start from the hardstanding on Rickling Green in front of the Cricketer’s Arms. With your back to the pub, turn right and follow the Green to the far end past the red post box. Soon after, turn left into Woodside and follow the bridleway into the wood, straight on past the footpath which immediately goes off to the left, and 50 yards further on take the left fork by the holly tree.(If you take a brief excursion of a few yards up the right hand path during February you will be rewarded with a nice display of snowdrops).
By May this wood will be carpeted with bluebells and the public can enjoy the spectacle from the several footpaths which go through and round the wood.
The path soon emerges from the wood onto a track bordering open countryside. Turn right on the track and follow it past the end of the wood, down a slope and turn right at the bottom where the waymark points up a grassy path. Turn left when you come to the smart cream and white house and then turn right 40 yards further on. This leads you down to the main road where you turn right and after 35 yards cross over to the lane which takes you up to Quendon Parish Church. Take time to admire this beautifully kept little church dedicated to St. Simon and St. Jude. Carry straight on past the church following a bridleway through the bushes, bearing right to come out on to a field. Turn left and then bear right on a grassy path across the field to the corner of a wood.
From this path there are far-reaching views across the upper Cam valley towards Debden, Widdington and Little Henham. The wood ahead is an ancient hazel and hornbeam coppice and the remains of the old woodbanks along the edges are clearly visible. As well as bluebells one may also see oxlips and orchids flowering there in the spring and perhaps catch a glimpse of the deer that frequently visit. You will probably see their tracks in the soft ground at entrances to the wood.
On reaching the corner of the wood, turn right and follow the edge of the wood to the far end of the field and round to the brown board fence. The path turns left into the wood here and then turns right. Follow the path through and out of the wood to the main road. Turn right and after a few yards cross over to a tarmacked path by the first house. This path will take you through to Rickling Greeen where you turn left to go back to the pub.