Manningtree circular walk
Depart London Liverpool Street @ 09.02 – arrive Manningtree @ 10.12 [NB: last minute change to train schedule, the 9am train is no longer running]
Please buy a return ticket to Manningtree (via any permitted route to give us flexibility with return trains) – Cost: £21.35 with freedom pass and senior rail card concessions.
Break off point from Dedham, our lunch stop. There are no buses on Saturdays from or to Manningtree station, but there is one bus (81A) departing at 14.37 from Dedham to Colchester Railway station, with a short walk from the bus stop to the station.
The Walk – approx. 8 miles
Terrain is good with very little mud due to dryer weather this week.
Morning – generally easy terrain, but there are three stiles, two by the railway crossing, all sturdy and manageable. A short uphill at the start of the walk to Lawford Church, from there mainly flat with one short downhill via cut-in steps, thereafter easy walking to Dedham.
Afternoon: I am pleased to report that the Fen footbridge across the river Stour has been repaired so no diversion necessary. This section is mainly on the flat, with some graduated upward slopes along the way. We’ll have a stop in East Bergholt (Constable’s birthplace) to look at the church and the bell cage before making our way to Flatford Mill (his Haywain painting comes to mind) where we’ll stop for refreshments (tea/cakes/ice cream etc) before making our way back to Manningtree station. The walk from Flatford to Manningtree station is approx. 40-45 minutes at a steady pace.
Lunch in Dedham:
NB: I won’t be making any table reservations as there are two pubs and two nice tearooms within a couple of minutes from each other, so people can choose where they want to hang out over lunch. Dedham is a lovely county town and it’s worth it having a look around. For picnickers there are some benches along the playing field behind the church yard and a couple within the church yard.
The Marlborough – https://www.themarlboroughdedham.co.uk/our-menus/
The Sun Inn – https://www.thesuninndedham.com/menus/mainmenu/
The Essex Rose tearoom – serves light lunches/cakes
Arts & Craft Centre tearoom – serves light lunches/cakes [you can also find a great selection of gifts and hand crafted items over three floors]
Please be prepared for a long day as I do not wish to have to rush this walk, hopefully the weather will be on our side. If we miss a return train, you can pick up more refreshments at Manningtree station.
Happy walking, Sigrid