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Essex Walk
Manningtree, Flatford Mill and Dedham

County/Area - Essex & Suffolk

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.1 miles / 11.5 km

Ascent - 300 feet / 91 metres

Time - 3 hours 50 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference TM094322
Lat 51.948861 // Long 1.045606
Postcode CO11 2LH (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Manningtree, Flatford Mill and Dedham
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk exploring the Stour Valley from Manningtree with the river forming the Essex/Suffolk boundary. The route includes a variety of scenery from the marshes beside the river to picturesque Flatford Mill which was the subject of John Constable's best-loved paintings. The walk continues to Dedham before returning along the Stour Valley back to the start. The route uses sections of the Stour Valley Path and St. Edmund Way.

The start is Manningtree railway station (grid ref. TM094322) from where there are regular services to Liverpool Street, Ipswich, and Norwich. Exit the station and turn right and follow the road down to the main car park. At the bottom of the ramp turn left past the footpath fingerpost to turn right onto the St. Edmund Way. The path runs parallel to the railway and then turns right through an underpass following a track in a northerly direction. After 300 metres the route turns left and continues along a track between hedges. The path then turns right to reach the south bank of the River Stour. Turn left and with the river on your right continue upstream. After 700 metres the path turns right and continues to Flatford Lock (grid ref. TM077332).

Bear right across the bridge into Suffolk and continue ahead when reaching a road. Bear left up the path into Flatford Mill car park (NT). Continue north through the car park to the exit. Turn left along Flatford Road. After 200 metres take the signed footpath on the right. The path runs parallel to the road for about half a kilometre to re-join the lane. Turn right and almost immediately left down a narrow track (signed to Fen Bridge and Dedham). Follow the track past a house on your left and continue to cross a bridge. 100 metres beyond the bridge turn right onto the St. Edmund Way and continue to the B1029 in Dedham (grid ref. TM058366).

Turn left along the B1029 and continue across a bridge into Essex and the centre of Dedham. Reaching a T-junction with the church opposite, turn left and continue into Brook Street. Just after Dedham Art & Craft Centre (on your right) the road bends to the right. On the bend, turn left taking the right-hand of two tracks (signed to Flatford). The route passes Dedham Hall on your left and continues to the River Stour. Bear left along the river and continue to Flatford. Reaching the bridge over the river, bear right and retrace your steps back to the start.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

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