Chelmer Canal Trust, formerly the Friends of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Registered Charity No 1086112

Paper Mill Lock Walk

Starts at Paper Mill lock, and is approx. a 3½ mile circular route along the picturesque canal, but the second section is mostly around local farmland.

Come and explore this part of the navigation, you could discover things you didn't know!

Getting here:
For a map of Paper Mill Lock please click on this link or put CM3 4BS into your Satnav.

Car park: At Paper Mill Lock (free). It closes at 5.30 and the gate is locked!

Paper Mill Lock has a tea room and toilet facilities, open from 10am - 5.30pm

Description
The first section of the walk is along the towpath which can be uneven and muddy in places if the weather has been wet.

To start the second section you need to cross a bridge which has steep steps, the route will then follow paths and tracks across fields, so again can be uneven in places and (and muddy if the weather has been wet!).

*Please note, this section of the walk wouldn't be suitable for small children.

Section One - Paper Mill Lock to the foot bridge and return journey.
(Distance approx. 2 miles, allow 1 to11/2 hours)

The starting point is at the Paper Mill Lock information Board.

Did you know… they used to make paper out of rags!

In 1702 there were two mills on the “Island” just below the lock and to the north of it. One mill was engaged in grinding corn and the other in making paper. Paper making seems to have been started at this site by one John Livermore and the mill was most likely used in the first part of the process by reducing rags to pulp.


Walk past the tea room, follow the path through the first gate and to the bridge.

Cross over the road (please take care as this can be a very busy road!).

Go through the gate and follow the towpath, the canal will be on your left.

Continue along the towpath.

Did you know…

Some of the tall trees you can see are harvested to produce some of the finest cricket bats in the country!

They are tall willow trees (Salix Alba). Unlike the weeping willows we associate with the riverbank, this species is a crop, and after careful management they are harvested to produce cricket bats!

Carry along the path, you will pass a wooden seat and an old kissing gate post.

Continue along the path until you get to a foot bridge.
Did you know…

It took TWO days for a barge to make the journey from Heybridge to Chelmsford!

Paper Mill lock was the halfway point, so it was the ideal place to rest. The Heybridge men would come upstream, and the Chelmsford men would come downstream. They would sleep in the bothy (bunkhouse), and stable their horses overnight.

You have finished Section One!

You can either retrace your steps or extend the walk by following Section Two.

Section Two - The foot bridge to Paper Mill Lock
(The countryside route!)
(Distance approx. 2.5 miles, allow 11/2 to 2 hours)

Cross the foot bridge, follow the track across a small field, until you get to the road.

Turn right on to the road.

Continue walking down the road until you see a bridge.

Just before the bridge turn left on to a footpath, the small river Ter will be on your right.

Follow the track as it meanders around the edge of the field, the river Ter will still be on your right.

You will come to a road. Cross the road and continue following the track around the edge of the field, the river Ter will still be on your right.

On your left you will come to a hedge, on your right there is a small bridge. Follow the path to the left of the hedge.

When you get to the road turn right. Walk approx. 200 yards and on your left you will see a footpath sign post.

(If you pass a house with large ornamental stone balls on the grass you have gone too far!)

Turn on to the path. Follow it past a garden and through a field, until you get to a yellow way marker sign.

Follow the direction of the yellow arrow, and go diagonally across the field.

Cross the small bridge over a ditch

Follow the path across the field (towards the house - Botters Farm).

At the next yellow way marker sign, follow the arrow to the right.

You will pass through a stile

After the stile, turn left and follow the track.

Look out for a small grey building on your right, the next yellow way marker sign is beside it.

Follow the path in the direction of the yellow arrow across the field.

Continue on the path around the edge of the fields until you get to the houses.

Follow the road from the houses until you get to the junction with the main road.

At the junction you turn left and follow the road to get back to Paper Mill Lock.

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