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Harlow Sculpture Walks


24 km / 15 miles
The town of Harlow in Essex hosts a growing collection of around 100 sculptures and other pieces of public art. With works from Frink, Hepworth, Moore and Rodin among others, it is no wonder that Harlow is called 'Britain's first sculpture town'.

The best way to discover the collection is undoubtedly on foot and these trails lead you round many of the gems of the collection.

Three walks around the town, almost entirely traffic-free, have been developed by Peter Aylmer, an Essex resident and former LDWA London Group Chair. Linking together many of the finest works, they are a very short highlights walk, a medium walk of five miles and a much longer trail of some 15 miles.

These Harlow Sculpture Walks have the first walkers' guidebook to Harlow and its sculptures and this is listed below.

The 15-mile trail is described on this webpage, as a longer route suitable for distance walkers. However shorter sections of it are possible using local buses.

The guidebook explains the historical background to the New Town and its sculpture collection. GBP2 of the purchase price goes to support the work of the Harlow Art Trust, whose website is listed below.

The master planner of Harlow New Town, the architect Frederick Gibberd (1908-84), had a strong belief in the civilising power of art. From the outset of the town's development in the 1940s and 50s, he led the drive to bring sculpture into its streets and public places; so successful has this been that, with around 100 pieces of work on display, Harlow is now known as Britain's first 'Sculpture Town'. Gibberd's layout for the New Town involved linking communities to the centre, and each other, by traffic-free routes along green wedges that followed the lie of the land, often the pre-existing road network or the natural pathways accorded by tributary brooks of Harlow's northern barrier (and Essex / Herts boundary), the River Stort. Seventy years on, they survive, and this guidebook uses them wherever it can.

Source: Trailman/Peter Aylmer


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Other Paths
Urban Parkland
Start and Finish: TL446112 - Harlow station, Harlow, Essex View on StreetMap
Open Date: 2023
Web Sites: Harlow Sculpture Town

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook Harlow Sculpture Walks  (Trailman  - 2023 )


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 167
OS Landranger Active 167
OS Explorer 174, 194
OS Explorer Active 174, 194

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< 1 km

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Route Profile:

25.2 km (15.7 miles)
219 m (719 ft) ascent
92 m (302 ft)  maximum height

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