Routes 4, 5 and 6
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Sawbo Circuit (in green) - 11K - Head down High Street and turn left on St. John's Avenue. Turn right onto the footpath just beyond Victoria Hall and follow it all the way to Old Road. Turn left and follow Old Road to the end. Turn right onto the A1184 and cross over the River Stort. Now you're in Hertfordshire. This part of the run is unpleasant as the A1184 is usually very busy, but you're only on it for about a K (half way along you'll pass a gated entrance with KEEP OUT signs on both sides - this is Beckingham Palace, the home of Posh Spice and her footballer husband, David Beckham). Turn right into Pishiobury Drive, an impressive tree-lined avenue flanked by grand houses set back from the road. Towards the lower end of the drive, immediately after the last house (Chestnut House) on your left and before the grounds of Pishiobury House, a footpath crosses the road. Turn left onto this shady footpath and follow it through two gates into a clearing, and up onto a tree-lined ridge which runs through Pishiobury Park. Follow the path straight along this ridge through the park (don't be alarmed by the presence of cows - this is common grazing ground), straight through the gate at the end in the direction of the sign towards Fair Green, and follow it as it narrows and slopes down to a road. You are now in Sawbridgeworth. Cross this road with care - drivers will not be expecting or watching for you. Stay on this footpath as it slopes down a hill to and over a small footbridge, and then uphill as it turns into a quiet residential cul-de-sac. Climb this short (but steep) hill and bear right at the park at the top of the hill, keeping the hedge on your left flank. You'll come out onto a green area, Fair Green, where three roads intersect. Cross the road in front of you, cross the green area on the other side of the road, and you'll end up on a short side street (Vantorts Road) with a pub called the King William IV on the right hand side. Turn right at the end of this street and go through the churchyard on the footpath to the left of the church. Continue as you pass a school yard on your left and until the footpath comes out onto a road. Bear right here - do not cross this street onto Public Footpath 29. Take the path in front of you called Church Walk (Public Footpath 30) and follow the sidewalk down past a park on your right, down to Station Road. Turn right onto Station Road and a few metres on, you'll turn right onto the towpath, immediately before the bridge over the River Stort. Follow the towpath back towards Old Harlow. You'll cross Sheering Mill Lane and eventually a footbridge which will bring you to the left hand side of the river (and back into Essex). You'll be on the towpath for between 2.5 and 3 K, when you'll go over a small bridge which crosses a sluice. This bridge is at the corner of a large field which opens up in front of you on the left. Turn left immediately after this bridge onto a sometimes overgrown path that heads towards and then under the train tracks [note that this path can be very wet after a heavy dew or rain and as an alternative, you can stay on the towpath all the way back to the bottom of Old Road and retrace your steps back to campus from there]. Stay on the path (be careful of the stinging nettles that lean in from both sides, especially in the summer) and bear left (other footpaths go off towards the right) as the path widens into a road up a shady, fairly steep slope. The Gibberd Garden, which is full of sculptures and follies, is on your left. Follow the path beside the Gibberd Garden as it turns into a paved lane and eventually turns right towards Gilden Way (you are now on Marsh Lane). Look for a row of big oak trees on your right at the top of a large wheat field and turn onto the farm road that goes down through this field on your right, just before the first oak tree. Follow this farm road (which is also a public footpath) straight through two or three separate fields and veer left as it heads up towards Old Road and comes out just across the street from the footpath you took down to Old Road from St. John's Avenue. Retrace your steps to the campus from here. Notes: 1) Do not be put off by the complicated description of this run. It's less straightforward to describe a route that involves so many public footpaths. It's really a lovely +/-11K run - my favourite at the time of writing this. 2) If you bike this route, or any route that includes public footpaths, remember always to yield the right of way to pedestrians, and keep an eye out for signs of a bicycle inside a circle with a red outline which means no cycling. If the footpath is empty, it's probably okay to cycle slowly in these zones, but it would be courteous to dismount around pedestrians. 3) Public footpaths are great opportunities to see the more pastoral sides of Essex. Unfortunately, you have to look down a lot on those described in this run as they're popular with local dog owners, too many of whom do not clean up after their dogs!
Threshers Bush (in orange) - 11.4K - Like the 4 routes shown in the first map, head straight down High Street, onto New Road and Watlington Road (although the road has three different names depending on where you are, you'll travel pretty well in a straight line) until the road divides around a small green. This is around the 1K mark. Turn right and go under Gilden Way via the pedestrian underpass. This will bring you out in front of a short row of tiny cottages. Go past these cottages along the walkway and turn left up the road on the map called Moor Hall Road (although this lower part of the road is really Sheering Road). Stay on this road straight out until you go over the M11 around 3K on. Just on the other side of the M11, a small roads goes off to the right towards Harlow Tye. Turn right onto this road and stay on it, bearing left as it intersects with Hobbs Cross Road around 2K on. Stay on this road until the 4-way intersection at Threshers. Turn right at this intersection onto Green Lane. At the end of Green Lane, turn right onto Foster Street. Stay on Foster Street, bearing left all the way, as it goes under the M11 and turns into Hobbs Cross Road and finally Churchgate Street. Climb Churchgate Street to the lychgate, a few doors beyond the Queen's Head Pub on your left, into the Church, St. Mary and St. Hugh's, go through the gate and the churchyard and come out at the bottom of Moor Hall (Sheering) Road. Retrace your steps to the campus from here.
Town and Country (in blue) - 11K - Retrace the route for the last part of Threshers Bush above, as if you were going to run it in reverse, to the intersection at Green Lane and Foster Street. Do not turn left into Green Lane but stay on Foster Street here all the way to and over the M11, as it turns into Harlow Common Road. Stay on Harlow Common Road to the end and turn right onto London Road for a short distance, and take your first left onto Church Road. At the end of Church Road, a cycle path goes off to your right. A sign identifies it as a dead end but this is directed at any vehicular traffic other than those belonging to the two or three houses on this lane. Stay on the cycle path as it cross a residential street at a roundabout and goes past the first left under the A414. Stay on it until it makes a second left under the A414 and turn left here. Follow the cycle path as it curves around a park and continues in the direction of Temple Fields (it is signposted) under Second Avenue. Follow it up past the Clock Tower, straight on past Mark Hall Wood on your right, over Momples and then Mardyke Roads, under First Avenue, and over Mowbray Road, until it joins the cycle path on Netteswell Road. Turn right here and stay on the Netteswell Road cycle path as it turns into Park Hill and finally Market Street and back to campus. On this more detailed map of this route, the path is shown in orange.