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Constable Country: Flatford and Dedham

This walk is set in the landscape that inspired John Constable, whose birthplace is passed close by. It is a 7 mile circular walk through lovely pastoral scenery, 8 miles north east of Colchester in Essex. It runs either side of the River Stour, visiting both Dedham and Flatford Mill. A detour provides some contrast to the wide river valley by climbing up to the edge of East Bergholt. The entire valley is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The seaward end of the walk provides excellent views over the RSPB Cattawade wetland reserve. Both bird and butterfly watching are rewarding.

Most of the route is on farmland, mainly grass. One mile is along a flood bank, while 0.8 miles is on pavements by the side of roads. These roads are busy, but provide views across the tidal valley of the River Stour. There are two short sections that are a bit grotty, but two big breaths and you will be past them, and the rest of the walk more than compensates, imho. There is one steady climb on the walk, otherwise the walk is flat or downhill. The climb can be avoided, if required. There are no stiles on the route, only gates, but both sheep and cattle are likely to be encountered. Allow 3.5 hours.

The walk starts and ends at the car park of Catterwade Picnic Site, accessed off the B1070, at CO11 1RG. If you are coming by car, there is a brown picnic place sign showing where to turn off the B1070, a photo of which is in the gallery for the walk. Ipswich Buses route 92, from Ipswich to Manningtree, stops by the picnic site. Manningtree, from where it is quite easy to link up with this walk, is served by the 104 Colchester to Harwich bus, as well as by trains from London, Ipswich, Norwich and Harwich. There is a field path from Manningtree railway station that links directly with this walk.

The full walk can be viewed and printed via the iFootpath website - Constable Country: Flatford and Dedham This walk is also available on the iFootpath App.

To book discount train tickets to this location please visit Train Genius

Location (Map)

Dedham, Gun Hill and the Stour Valley
Along the Colne Valley from Chappel to Colchester