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Clare and Cavendish Circular

Essex Walk

County/Area - Essex & Suffolk

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.7 miles / 12.5 km    Ascent - 500 feet / 152 metres

Time - 4 hours 20 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Clare and Cavendish Circular
Click image to see photo description.

This walk from Clare (Essex) explores the Stour Valley east to Cavendish (Suffolk). The route follows field paths, tracks, and lanes apart from some road walking through the two villages. The scenery is pleasant, and you can also explore the Clare Country Park with its castle. There are a number of points along the route for refreshments.

The start of this walk is the car park at the Clare Country Park (grid ref. TL771451). After parking return to the entrance of the car park and turn left (signed to the Priory). Cross the River Stour and turn left along a footpath (river on your left). Continue past a small weir (grid ref. TL774451) and turn half right across a field. Go through the hedge and continue straight across the next field to Hickford Hill (grid ref. TL776448).

Turn left along the road for 200 metres and fork left down a clear track with adjacent fingerpost. After 600 metres the River Stour is close by on your left (grid ref. TL782450). At this point turn right between fields. Reaching the end of a hedge, turn left and with the hedge on your left continue for 1.5 kilometres until you regain the banks of the River Stour. Pass a small brick building to reach a lane (grid ref. TL797453). Turn right and continue ahead for 600 metres. Turn left at fingerpost and follow the path with hedge on your right across a field. Reaching the other side turn left and follow the path with hedge right to the field corner. Turn right into the next field and follow the hedge (on your left) which soon bends left.

Continue up the edge of the field to reach a grassy track (grid ref. TL800456). Turn right and follow the fading track keeping the hedge on your left. Nearing the field corner, bear half right across the field to pass through a small wood. Emerging from the wood follow the path ahead (hedge right). Nearing houses ahead, the grassy track doglegs and then follows the hedge on your left to reach Pentlow Lane (grid ref. TL812461).

Turn left and follow the road into Cavendish. Turn left along the A1092 (Melford Road) and continue ahead into High Street. Bear right past the George into Peacock Lane. Turn left and pass the front of the Five Bells. Continue along the right-hand side of the cemetery (following the Stour Valley Path). Entering a field walk half right on a clear path to enter the next field where you bear right following the hedge on your right to reach a lane (grid ref. TL800467).

The SVP goes left along the road. Continue to a house on the left. Just pass this house, turn left onto the signed footpath which follows the right-hand field edge. Continue into the next field and turn right along a grassy track with hedge right. Follow the track as it turns left to pass Houghton Hall on your right. Continue ahead initially with hedge right before heading straight across a field to the far side. Turn left along the hedge (on your right). The path soon bears right out of this field to join a clear track heading towards Hermitage Farm.

Just before the Farm, turn left and follow the path down the field edge. The onward path then leaves the field to join Harp Lane which is followed to the A1092. Turn right and follow the road into Clare. Bear left into Market Hill. Continue along the A1092 and turn left into Malting Lane (brown sign on right side of road to Country Park) and back to the start.

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