The south of Uttlesford is a rural, gently undulating area filled with numerous small villages connected by winding roads, quiet lanes and good footpaths.
The area is rich in listed buildings, most now in private ownership, but the unique history of the villages is clear to see. The quiet nature of this area means that it is the perfect place for a walk, cycle or horse ride.
Hatfield Broad Oak
Just south of the National Trust owned Hatfield Forest, a rare example of a medieval royal hunting forest, lies the village of Hatfield Broad Oak. HBO, as it locally known, was a thriving market town in medieval times. The layout of the village and the buildings have remained largely intact making this a wonderful opportunity to see a wide variety of architectural features. The village is also home to the renowned Broad Oak Sausages which are served in local pub, The Cock Inn.
Read more about Hatfield Heath here.
Read more about The Cock Inn here.
As the name suggests the pretty village of Hatfield Heath has it’s focus on the heath. Cricket has been a key part of village life here for over 150 years and on match days the boundary crosses over the road! There is an abundance of places to eat and drink, most of which have uninterrupted views over the heath. The Village Tearoom is a great place to stop off if you’re visiting with kids or try a hidden gem called the Little Seafood Bar which specialises in fresh seafood direct from Billingsgate market every day.
Read more about the The Village Tearoom here.
Read more about The Little Seafood Bar here.
The Rodings are a collection of eight villages originating from the Saxon invasion of the sixth century. The area is rich in timber-framed manor house, farms and thatched cottages. It was once an area with an abundance of windmills but today only one remains with the sails still turning at Aythorpe Roding. The Black Lion pub in High Roding used to be a coaching Inn and is rumoured to have a ghost of a Roundhead officer frequenting the old hay loft. The area is a great place to explore on foot.
Download the countryside walk through three of the Rodings here.