Length: 17.3km (10.7 miles) - or 13.3km (8.25 miles) via the shortcut
Toughness: 4 out of 10 10.00
train from Liverpool Street
to Manningtree, arriving 10.55.
For walk directions
. For GPX
If you only do one Essex walk in your life, this is the one to do. It deserves to be done on a fine summer's day, with a scattering of fluffy white cloud, when the landscape looks just like the John Constable paintings that made it famous.
Bringing your pocket book of Constable's greatest hits is not a bad idea, because then you can compare the present day views with his representations of them. Otherwise, this is a gentle pretty outing, passing through the the lovely village of Dedham
with its various lunch options and the terminally-quaint (though heavily touristed) Flatford Mill
, with its National Trust tea room.
This is a walk where laziness is rewarded because the short cut between Dedham and Flatford Mill (the 8.25 mile
version of the walk) is along a very pretty section of the River Stour. Walkers have in the past been known to have a swim
in the Stour, though whether this is a good idea from a Health and Safety standpoint I have no idea. (For the record, I did not get any communicable diseases.)
At the end of the walk spare a glance for the Manningtree station buffet, which (at least last time I looked) was like something out of the 1970s. Trains back
are at 02
past, though mysteriously the online timetable does not show an 18.19. Any of our train experts who would like to comment on this, please do. T=1.39