You will reach a sort of cross roads which is really a T junction, turn left and take the steep hill up past the church and follow the road around and down the other side of the hill. - There are some great views from the top of the hill back across Maldon and the Blackwater estuary, and as you descend the hill you may notice the old bread oven built into the house wall on the left!
You will eventually reach a further T junction having passed through what remains of the old railway bridge. The old line actually runs back to the edges of Hazeleigh Woods and Limebrook, but is not safe for riding.
When you reach the T junction, turn right and continue until you reach a farm on your right. You will see a byway next to the farm which has signs indicating it is closed to vehicular traffic during the winter.
Take the byway, you will cross the railway once again and then you should be able to enjoy a steady uphill canter for around half a mile.
At the end of the track, you will reach the Purleigh to Cold Norton road at which a right turn will take you back towards Purleigh village.
As you come back into the village, you will pass a sports field on your right and then come to a T junction.
From here there are three options to go home, two of them retrace your steps through the village and back down the main road. The third takes you left at the T junction and back via Cock Clarks.
Return 1 & 2
Turn right at the T junction and continue down into the village, you will soon arrive at the T junction that takes you up to the church, turn left and follow the road back past the school.
The road then rejoins the main Purleigh road, continue left/straight on at the junction
When you reach the Queens Head pub, you can either turn back down the track you came out of and then enjoy a long canter back up spa hill and down the side of Hazeleigh woods
Follow the road along past several farms and the Edgewood vets, you will come to Hazeleigh crossroads. Turn Right and follow this back past the livery field back to the farm. - Be aware that the down hill bits of the road are quite slippery even when dry.
Turn left at the T junction and follow the road up the hill towards Cock Clarks.
Continue along Birchwood Road and you will pass a large wood on your left. This is private property, but we have ventured through it in the past.
You will past Chimney Pot Lane on your right, which by now you should know will take you home, but misses out the pub in Cock Clarks.
When you leave the Fox and Hounds pub, continue along the main road, passing over some rather scary red tarmac and you will come to a set of cross roads.
At the cross roads, turn right (carefully, the road can get busy !) and follow along until you reach the Hazeleigh garage cross roads.
Cross straight across the Purleigh road and follow your nose back over the hill, past the livery field and into Limebrook.
Limebrook Farm Livery Yard
Hacking Route: Purleigh - 2 hours
Leave Limebrook via the back gate and you can canter the length of the track until it reaches the tarmac section at the top.
Continue until you reach the road (be careful going either side of the gate at the end)
Continue along Lodge Road passing the 'New field' and the 'Livery field' on your left
Take the left hand fork in the road and follow it round past the chicken hatchery until you reach Hazeleigh Woods.
Depending on the weather the woods may be open or closed. If the board and rope is not across the entrance on the left turn left into the woods and stay on the track, otherwise a steady canter is possible along the verge.
Upon exiting the woods turn left and go about 10 yards down the road until you can turn right onto the signed bridleway.
Dependant on the ground conditions, a good length uphill canter is available at this point, but ensure you pull up before you reach the top of the track as there is a sharp S bend which may unseat you.
Follow the track around the S bend and through the gap in the hedge, the bridleway continues over the hill and down the other side crossing a wooden bridge (which can be slippery) back onto tarmac road.
At the end of the tarmac road the Queen's Head pub can be found on your left, they are normally Horse friendly.
Turn left on the main road (This can be quite fast)
Continue along the main road until the road bends sharply left and there is a straight on fork
Take the fork into the village and you will pass the village school on your right