Wakes Colne to Bures Spectacular show of....

25-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 walkicon swcwalks walk46

Book 1, Walk 46, Wakes Colne to Bures

Colne Engaine village pub sign: anyone know the name of the pub? (D.Allen; Vivitar 5199mp)

27-Jan-08 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book1 wakes colne bures engaine swcwalks walk46


Wakes Colne to Bures Spectacular show of....

25-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 swcwalks walk46

Us walking near the buttercups

Wakes Colne to Bures Spectacular show of....

25-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 swcwalks walk46

Us walking through the buttercups

Wakes Colne to Bures Spectacular show of....

25-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 swcwalks walk46

Wet woodland

Wakes Colne to Bures

25-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 swcwalks walk46

Plaque at the Five Bells

Wakes Colne to Bures You have to walk over Thomas to get in the pub

25-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

book1 swcwalks walk46

Wakes Colne to Bures walk


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Thu, 15-Apr-21

Date # Post
Sun, 06-Oct-19

Sunday Walk: Wakes Colne to Bures

Book 1, walk 46
11 miles, 17.7 km
Difficulty: 5/10
Ah Essex! Lovely Essex. Thatched cottages, brooks, farms, woods, and undulating hills. Nice lunch pub.
Get the 10:08 Ipswich train from Liverpool Street, changing onto the Sudbury line at Marks Tey (arr 1106 dep 11:16) arriving Chappell & Wakes Colne 11:22
Return trains at xx:49 changing again at Marks Tey. Bures is a request station. You need to hail the train to stop it.
Get a return to Bures.
Chappell & Wakes Colne station has a Railway Museum, admission £7. Anyone so inclined could get the train an hour earlier (9:08), have a look round and meet the others at the appointed time. Just a thought.
Lunch: The 16th century 5 Bells, Colne Engaine 01787 224 166
Tea: Choose between the Three Horseshoes 01787 228 303, (follow Bridge Street over the town bridge) or the Eight Bells 01787 227 354 in Colchester Road. Both are Camra-recognised.
Walk Directions: here .

Wed, 22-May-19 7

Wednesday Walk Wakes Colne to Bures to Sudbury - along the Colne and Stour Valleys between Essex and Suffolk

Main walk: Book 1 Walk 46 - Wakes Colne to Bures

Length: 17.7 km (11 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

Option to Go Long today by adding Book 1 Walk 8 - Bures to Sudbury
Additional length (via short cut from Great Henny) 12.6 km (7.8 miles)

London Liverpool Street: 10-02 hrs Ipswich service
Arrive Marks Tey: 10-57 hrs Change trains
Leave Marks Tey: 11-01 hrs Sudbury service
Arrive Chappel and Wakes Colne: 11-07 hrs

Senior Railcard holders may prefer a more relaxed train change at Marks Tey by taking the 09-38 hrs Colchester Town service from Liverpool Street, arriving Marks Tey 10-33 hrs, leaving time for a coffee before you take the 11-01 hrs Sudbury service.

Return: Bures to Liverpool Street via Marks Tey: 15-33, 16-39 and 17-39 hrs
Sudbury to Liverpool Street via Marks Tey: 17-32, 18-37, 19-38 and 20-32 hrs

Rail ticket: depending on your destination: either a day return to Bures, or a day return to Sudbury Suffolk

Although the Bures to Sudbury walk has already had two outings this year (on Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday) it makes a perfect "add-on" to our lovely Wakes Colne to Bures walk for those who enjoy a long walk - and today there should be buttercups in the water meadow below the Mill Hotel in Sudbury.

But the Wakes Colne to Bures walk is perfectly satisfying and enjoyable as a walk on its own, and long enough for many SWC mid-week walkers. The walk takes you along the Colne Valley through villages all called Colne something-or-other. Lunch can be taken in the village of Colne Engaine at the usually excellent Five Bells pub. After lunch you walk through varied countryside, woods and farmland all the way to the village of Bures which straddles the Essex-Suffolk border. Those ending their walk in Bures can take tea on the Essex side of the county border at the Eight Bells pub, or you can cross the county bridge into Suffolk for refreshments at the Three Horseshoes pub. When returning up the road to Bures station, please remember: Bures is now a request stop - so stick your arm out to hail the train !

For those going long today, I suggest you defer your drinks break in Bures until you reach the recently re-opened Lamarsh Lion pub in Lamarsh, before you continue along and up the Stour Valley, through Gainsborough country, all the way to Subury. If you have time before embarking on your journey home, your suggested final refreshment break today is at the wonderful Mill Hotel.

This double header seldom disappoints.
Main Walk Directions are here: L=1.46
Bures to Sudbury add-on is here

3 of us on the early train, 4 on the posted train, making 7 for today's outing, in warm sunny weather, perfect for Spring walking along the Colne Valley.
Whilst we maintained a steady pace all day, we left time to enjoy the lush, green countryside adorned in Spring flowers and omni present cow parsley. We arrived at the Five Bells pub just before 1 pm where five of us dined at a table on the pub's front patio with umbrella shading. Our meals arrived promptly and excellent, too. This pub wins my vote for a top five place of hostelries in the entire SWC portfolio I have dined here on many an occasion, and never been disappointed.
Post prandial, we set out with our two sandwichers (both walking wounded, each nursing a broken wrist they managed the walk very well) as we made our way to Bures, the weather clouding over a little, but still a pleasantly warm 21 degrees. On reaching the town, five walked down the road past the station to one of the local pubs for post walk refreshments before returning to Bures station to catch the 16 39 hrs service back to Marks Tey and London. Two of us decided against continuing the walk to Sudbury and instead opted for the leisurely option which involved taking the 16 13 hrs service from Bures to Sudbury where we walked along the disused railway line to the Mill Hotel, walking over the meadows now covered in buttercups: quite lovely. An excellent shared cream tea and cuppa at this hotel (note: whilst the Five Bells pub makes my top five lunch pubs, the Mill Hotel is No 1 for tea stops no argument !). The 18 37 hrs train from Sudbury whisked the two of us back to London.
The best of mid week days out a lovely walk, fine weather, excellent company, good travel.
Being Thursday morning as I write this twaddle, I now head for my local polling station to vote in those damn silly Euro elections.............
Wed, 11-Apr-18 7

Wednesday Walk Wakes Colne to Bures to Sudbury - a double header along the Colne Valley and into Gainsborough country

Book 1 Walk 46 - Wakes Colne to Bures
17.7 km (11 miles), Toughness 5 out of 10

Book 1 Walk 8 - Bures to Sudbury [taking short cut omitting Bulmer Tye]
13.7 km (8.5 miles), Toughness 4 out of 10

You have a choice of 3 walks today:

1. Standard walk: of 11 miles, a lovely walk through the Colne Valley, with an excellent lunch pub stop.
2. Long walk: of 19.5 miles, a grand double header which combines both Book 1 walks. Toughness 7 out of 10
3. Late Afternoon walk (for workers sneaking off early) of 8.5 miles:.join the long walkers on a lovely walk through Gainsborough country


Standard and Long Walkers

London Liverpool Street: 10-02 hrs Ipswich service
Arrive Marks Tey: 10-57 hrs Change trains
Leave Marks Tey: 11-01 hrs Sudbury service
Arrive Chappel and Wakes Colne: 11-07 hrs

Afternoon Walkers

London Liverpool Street: 15-02 hrs Ipswich service
Arrive Marks Tey: 15-57 hrs Change trains
Leave Marks Tey: 16-01 hrs Sudbury service
Arrive Bures: 16-13 hrs

Please wait on the platform at Bures for the Long Walkers to meet up with you. (Their e.t.a is 16-15 hrs). If they do not arrive by 16-20 hrs, please head off on your afternoon walk: they will try to catch up with you.


Bures to Liverpool Street via Marks Tey: 16-39, 17-39, 18-44 hrs
Sudbury to Liverpool Street via Marks Tey: 18-37, 19-38, 20-32 and 21-26 hrs

Rail ticket

Either [for standard walkers] a day return to Bures (pronounced "Bewers") or [for long walkers and afternoon walkers] a day return to Sudbury, Suffolk

As that is a long pre-amble I will leave it to you to read the notes on the two walks. Both are favourites of mine, and combined make for a rewarding long walk, with plenty of variety.

Your lunch stop (Standard and Long Walkers) is the usually excellent Five Bells in Colne Engaine. 'Phoning ahead recommended 01787-224166. Standard Walkers can take tea in Bures at the Eight Bells.
Afternoon and Long Walkers should try to stop for tea at the delightful Mill Hotel whose cream teas are recommended.
Directions here for the Bures-Sudbury walk
Directions here for main Wakes Colne to Bures walk L=1.46

Bures is now a request stop
Hi all, I am thrilled to join in on Wednesday. see you soon
Just to expand on my earlier comment, Bures is now a request stop. So getting on there you have to

Face the driver, raise your hand
You will find he will understand **.

("BIlly Brown of London Town", WW2)

Presumably to get off there you have to inform the train guard. If anyone is interested, there is more here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOGSZByaNVg

(** to which the standard graffiti response was

Yes he will understand, the cuss
But will he stop the bloody bus?)

Marvelous lunch pub
by the looks of it
An extract from the menu
Vegan? We have a range of dishes we are able to offer depending on what we have in our kitchen.
It is definitely gaining momentum
An inauspicious start for the 6 of us who arrived at Marks Tey railway station, expecting to connect with the Sudbury service to take us to today's walk start. Alas an incident on the track, near Bures, resulted in the cancellation of our Sudbury train. The station staff were most apologetic and helpful in organising replacement taxis for travellers (most going to Sudbury) but as the cabs had to come from Colchester, we had a long wait for their arrival. No matter, ours eventually turned up, but our driver took such a bizarre route towards Chappel (in fairness to him, some local roads were closed) that we decided to bail out at Earls Colne,and start our walk from there, thus cutting out the opening six kms of the walk.
The weather was overcast mild and dry all day but with no sign of the sun. In a temperature very pleasant for our walk we headed for our lunch pub at Colne Engaine, through muddy fields and more slippery, slubberdub mud which made progress all day very hard going and detracted a bit from ones enjoyment of the walk.
At the Five Bells pub we met up with a new SWC walker who had set out an hour earlier by herself from London and had managed the full morning's walk without mishap or becoming lost. So our muster for the day was 7.
After an excellent lunch for four of us (the Five Bells seldom disappoints) and drinks for the others, we set out into more muddy fields but with some lovely displays of wild daffodils, primroses and some early wild garlic. Add in the young lambs in the fields, we had lots to keep us cheerful as we made it slowly through the slubberdub.
Fortunately no afternoon walkers alighted from the train at Bures as our enthusiasm to continue with the walk to Sudbury was by now diminished. Refreshments for some in Bures, then the seven of us enjoyed a prompt, uneventful and excellent train journey back to London: thank you Anglia.
Six of us only managed just over 10 kms today, but it seemed further than this and for once the distance was quite sufficient and satisfying for a walk outing, given the conditions although somewhat different from the 31 km extravaganza some of us were expecting.
The company today was, as usual, very friendly with excellent banter along the route: our first timer was not totally put off, and might even give SWC walks another go.
I’ve just read Marcus’s walk report with a huge sigh of relief that I bailed out for a mud free amble down the river Lea with various parks en route and the Olympic village new housing and restaurants (mostly gone bankrupt) My panini in the Velodrome could not have competed with your gastronomic experiences.
I’m glad we all avoided a further deluge of rain in an easterly wind but these train cancellations are really infuriating and spoiling the enjoyment of walking groups trying to rendezvous. It would have taken me 5 trains yesterday 3 just to get to Liverpool st.
I met 36 walkers at Tottenham hale and conversed with the somewhat younger profile of teachers still on their Easter break who had not wanted to venture into the muddy countryside. Then a worthwhile conversation with the Chairman of South Bank ramblers with whom I was able to share my experiences as a member of Inner London Area committee of ramblers groups versus RA politics on affiliated groups. A surprising number of walking groups are in desperate need of new walks leaders so I am constantly recommending the SWC walk directions to new leaders. Very few ever use GPS liking compass bearings best so our written format really hits the spot.
Wed, 05-Apr-17 10

Wednesday Walk - A ramble up the Colne Valley, with an option to Go Long

Book 1, Walk 46 - Wakes Colne to Bures

Length: 17.7 km (11 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

Option to add on Bures to Sudbury - Book 1, Walk 8
For a long walk of 31 km (19 miles): Toughness 7 out of 10

London Liverpool Street: 10-02 hrs, Ipswich train
Arrive Marks Tey: 10-57 hrs
Leave Marks Tey: 11-01 Sudbury train
Arrive Chappel and Wakes Colne: 11-07 hrs

The tight connection at Marks Tey: in bygone, better days, the rail,company usually held the Sudbury service until the London train arrived. Alas, the service is only held for a few minutes now, and sometimes not at all. If you miss the connection, I suggest you club together to pay for a taxi to Wakes Colne (not expensive): otherwise, it's an hours wait. Senior railcard holders have the option of taking the 09-38 hrs train from Liverpool Street (the Colchester Town service) which arrives Marks Tey at 10-33 hrs, leaving you time for a coffee in the new station concourse as you wait for the departure of the Sudbury service (hopefully with colleagues from the 10-02 London train).

Return: from Bures: 15-33, 16-39, 17-39, 18-44, 19-45 hrs, again via Marks Tey.

Those Going Long, Return from Sudbury: 18-37, 19-38 and 20-32 (thereafter, a bus service from Marks Tey to Witham extends the length of the journey)

Rail ticket: Buy an off peak day return to Bures (pronounced "Bewers") or Sudbury, Suffolk if Going Long.

Today's walk takes you along the Colne Valley with the River Colne acting as your water feature for the day. Railway buffs should note the railway station Chappel and Wakes Colne houses the East Anglian Railway Museum - which is worth a quick visit before you set out on the walk proper. The route is undulating but never steep and apart from one stretch through a wood just before the approach to Bures late in the walk, which stretch is notoriously muddy, the walk should be relatively mud-free.
Villages en route are all named Colne something-or-other and you stop for lunch in Colne Engaine at its pub, the Five Bells, located just below the church - which now has six bells ! This popular pub usually serves excellent food - and it's best to 'phone ahead with numbers: your e.t.a being 1-15 pm: 01787-224166.
After lunch you continue through a number of farms and through woods until you arrive in Bures, where tea can be taken at the Eight Bells pub (head down the road from the station and turn right) or at the centrally located pub in the main part of the town and reached by crossing the town bridge which separates Essex from Suffolk.
If you haven't given this walk a try before, it comes with my recommendation.
Walk directions here: L=1.46

Going Long: adding on the Book 1 Sudbury walk to today's main walk makes for a delightful long walk, for those who have the stamina. The Sudbury walk follow the Stour Valley and St Edmond's Way paths all the way into Sudbury, At Great Henny Church take the direct route (the St Edmond's Way path) ahead, You should make Sudbury circa 18-45 hrs, where your suggested late tea or (deserved) supper stop is the Mill Hotel. Allow 20 mins from the hotel to the station for your journey home.

You will also need to bring along the Walk 8 walk directions here

Next Week: SWC 192b Haddenham to Stone via Waddesdon Manor
will do the longer walk if the day is nice....
10 off the train at Wakes Colne, with nine setting out on the morning leg of the walk, and our Birthday girl taking a taxi to the lunch pub to enjoy a relaxed morning: she joined us on the afternoon leg of the walk.
sunny morning afternoon initially overcast then sunny again mild to warm all day. Fine walking conditions for this lovely walk. Plenty of Spring flowers and blackthorn blossom, and some new born lambs in the fields (discouraging us to order lamb shank or shepherd's pie for lunch). Said lunch stop at the Five Bells was as good as ever, with generous portions of well cooked food, served with a friendly smile. Although one in our group returned her meal (over cooked) everyone else enjoyed their repast. The afternoon was initially overcast but the sun soon shone through again as we headed for "Bewers", arriving just after 4 pm, and in good time for the 16 39 hrs return train service to Marks Tey. The four chaps on the walk said their goodbyes to the ladies on the walk at Bures station, and set out on the Sudbury walk, still in lovely Spring sunshine. More plentiful displays of wild Spring flowers and blossom as we headed along the Stour Valley path. Visits to churches and stops to admire the scenery meant we arrived in Sudbury a little later than planned, so we (very reluctantly) by passed tea at the Mill Hotel and headed direct to the toy town railway station, to catch the 19 38 hrs service back to Marks Tey. A quick connection there, and we were back in London on the dot of 9 pm.
SWC days and double headers do not get much better than this.
Sat, 23-Apr-16 5

Wakes Colne to Bures

t=1.46 Length: 18km / 11m
Toughness: 5/10
Transport: Take the 10:02 from London Liverpool Street, change at Marks Tey to arrive at Wakes Colne at 11:07
Return from Bures is at xx:33

From the description:
Many walkers associate Essex with flat landscapes, surly pubs and badly maintained footpaths. This walk suffers only from this last failing – in summer, one 400 metre stretch near the end (just past point [8]) can be invaded by almost head-high nettles or vegetation, so wear long trousers and take a walking pole and compass if possible. Other paths on this walk can also be overgrown in high summer. For the rest, the walk is delightful. Since the last edition there have been some path diversions and a new route is now recommended between Chalkney Wood and Earls Colne. Chappel & Wakes Colne, the station where the walk starts, is a railway museum on every side, with old carriages on display. The village and church at Chappel are a foretaste of the lovely architecture to come, along the Colne Valley, such as fine thatched barns and cottages and the neo-Tudor mansion of Colne Priory. The lunch pub at Colne Engaine is just past the church, and then the route follows the side of a fishing lake (not marked on old OS maps, as it was only created in 1995). Brooks, farms, woods and undulating hills lead into tea at one of the pubs in Bures.

Five of us off the train for this lovely Essex/Suffolk borders walk. We especially enjoyed the beautiful sight and scent of bluebells in the woods. We endured stinging hail stones indespersed with spells of warm sunshine and overall the weather was kind, if a bit chilly at times. Unusually we all had packed a sandwich so we ate together in St Andrews church yard before being made to feel very welcome in the Five Bells for hot drinks. Cracking on, we hardly passing another soul on this thoroughly enjoyable walk catching the 16.33 from Bures to be back in Stratford at 17.30. Well worth the trip.
Wed, 25-Mar-15 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 29-Nov-14 6 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sun, 08-Jun-14 9 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 16-Mar-13 4 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 10-Mar-12 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 24-Sep-11 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 07-Aug-10 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sun, 13-Jun-10 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 10-Oct-09 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sun, 10-May-09 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 08-Nov-08 Wakes Colne to Bures
Mon, 26-May-08 Wakes Colne to Bures
Mon, 26-May-08 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sun, 27-Jan-08 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 17-Nov-07 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sun, 29-Jul-07 Wakes Colne to Bures
Mon, 09-Apr-07 Wakes Colne to Bures
Mon, 09-Apr-07 Wakes Colne to Bures
Sat, 18-Nov-06 Wakes Colne to Bures