In the warmer months, gardening and cycling are my favoured outdoors pursuits. But when autumn and winter bed in, I try to walk every day. No more than 5 minutes from our house is The Langleys, a country estate dating back to the early 18th century.
I tend to enter the grounds through the southern gate, past this lodge. Latin translation reads: “To be, rather than to seem”.
The photos were taken in the order that the walk unravels. One of the delights of this stroll from April to early October is the cows. A local farmer rents much of the fielded areas for his herd.
The main building is listed Grade 1. The Tufnell family owns the estate. They keep a very low profile. I’m glad it’s open to the public. Dog walkers are warned to pick up all excrement.
The trees across the estate are stunningly gorgeous.
Above is the West Lodge, where I turn sharp right.
The cow shit produces brilliant autumn mushrooms.
The path heads back towards the main house.
The barn below is empty. Maureen reckons it could be a thriving tea shop and craft centre. Maybe. It would spoil the blissful sense of peace.
This house opposite the barn enchants me. The tenant left several months ago. I feel a sense of magic whenever I pass. Living there with a log fire roaring and the sound of the nearly river would suit.
The path leads past the house, down to a small bridge over the River Chelmer.
On ‘Brexit’ day in June 2016, and the following few days, the Biblical storms that erupted sent a raging torrent across this small weir.
Kids find this old building spooky.
Children like to play poo-sticks from the bridge.
If elves and faeries exist, I reckon this little area will be one of their strongholds.
The path flattens out here and runs east.
The Essex Way footpath branches off left. The estate path swings right, out to the North Lodge, less than half a mile away.
Below are my favourite two trees. How many years have they been companions?.
In early spring, an owl could be heard most evenings along the path below.
Heading back now. I love this spot.
I usually exit at the gate below, and walk back into Great Waltham.
Good eh? I also like this walk at night.