North Benfleet circular walk
North Benfleet Circular Walk is a gentle one-and-and-a half mile walk through farmland, taking about an hour and centred on the Church of All Saints, North Benfleet.
Planning your walk
If you are going by car turn off the A127 into Pound Lane, North Benfleet, and then left into Harrow Road. At the end is a small area for parking at the start of the walk. But take care not to block Carpenters Farm entrance.
Using Public Rights of Way
Some Circular Countryside Walks and Nature Trails incorporate Public Rights of Way in their routes. Public Rights of Way most often follow ancient footpaths and should be clearly marked. Where a Public Right of Way crosses privately owned land, walkers are expected to stick to the path and exercise due care and consideration.
See Public rights of way enforcement for further information and to report any problems encountered when using a Public Right of Way.
- Proceed up Harrow Road to Carpenters Farm where you will see a sign Bridleway 150. Follow the arrow down Rushbottom Lane, an ancient country road between hedgerows. On your left you will see teasel and an elm hedge consisting of suckers from elms blighted by Dutch Elm disease.
- Pass the footpath markers to your left and right, continuing along Rushbottom Lane. On both sides are wild flowers - stitchwort, wild arum, red campion, burdock, hedge bedstraw and ground ivy.
- At this point is a large old elm and pedunculate oaks. In the hedgerows are dogwood, elder, wild rose and hawthorn shrubs.
- Turn right across the bridge to bridleway 182, through the hedgerow. There is cow parsley to the left and nettle and goose grass to the right. Red campion may be in flower and ivy and bramble features a little further on.
- Here you will see red deadnettle and creeping buttercup before coming into a clearing with The Church of All Saints in attractive and panoramic surroundings.
- You can visit the church, dating back to 1200, and pick up a leaflet on its fascinating history. For example. at the entrance to the 16th century porch is a memorial stone inscribed "sacred to the memory of John Cole, a soldier of Waterloo". At the famous "up and at em" charge of the Footguards in 1815 he was wounded by a musket ball, but kept on going into the thick of battle. He survived and died 21 years later with the musket ball still in him.
- While at the church take a walk along Footpath 146 with its panoramic views of the area. There's a lone sycamore tree before crossing the bridge back to Pound Lane. Returning to the pond you will probably see ducks and geese sunning themselves. Afterwards, walk back to the bridleway and continue to Point 8 along the footpath to the right of the hedgerow.
- On the left are black hore hound and a hedgerow with wild rose, blackthorn, apple dogwood, hawthorn and field maple. There are good views of the countryside and the Old Rectory to the right.
- At the cross-way turn right, keeping to the south of the hedge. Look over the stile to cultivated fields. Those on the left are rough grazing and full of clover, daisy and thistle.
- Continue along the field boundary to School Lane. Cross the stile and turn left past the Old Rectory cross the right and walk along boundary between the two fields to Rushbottom Lane. At Rushbottom lane turn left and return to your car