Stour Valley Path 6: Bures to Stoke-by-Nayland

21 May 2011

With Lucy going to her canine rally trial in Holbrook, she dropped Stephen and George off in Bures for what should be the penultimate walk on the Stour Valley Path.

Having crossed the Stour once this morning in Bures to go from Essex into Suffolk, here at Bures Mill we have crossed back to Essex and look back at the mill.

The path heads across fields - I gave directions to a couple of men out running.

Anyone feeling tired yet?

A new pipeline is being installed. I suppose the surface is a bit uneven, but no more so than on the rest of this country walk along a public footpath

Climbing onto Lodge Hills, looking back to the scar of the newly laid pipeline

Wormingford church

Maps can never give you complete certainty as to what you will find - this is a public bridleway on the map, but looks just like a minor road on the ground, possibly as a route to Garnons

It is a pleasant morning and with the weather having continued so dry recently, it is very easy underfoot

Crossing the Stour again. Judging from the wiggling county boundary a few hundred metres to the south, this may be an artificial cut (or at least artificially enhanced) in connection with the navigation works.

At Nayland, there were some navigational difficulties as the map shows the right of way initially on the north/west bank after the A134 but there is no crossing point where it apparently changes sides, and the route on the ground is all on the south/east bank. A number of houses have very pleasant landing stages and views out over the flood plain

One course of the river runs beyond the houses seen on the right, and the other flows over this weir, to be reunited a mile downstream at Stanch Hole. There are no public rights of way along the river for quite a distance, however, so the Stour Valley Path heads north.

The pub as we leave the river hints at the former importance of the river for navigation

Houses as we pass through Nayland

I've commented before on unhelpful kissing gates replacing stiles at great expense, but this takes the biscuit. The gap between gate and post is only 30 cm wide, and the gate and post are quite high, making progress very difficult for all but the slim, particularly when wearing a rucksack as many users of the gate will be.

The church at Stoke by Nayland, and on the far side Lucy has been waiting for a couple of minutes after her rally trial - time to go home.

A pleasant morning's walk, and that leaves about 16 km to go to reach Cattawade and the end of the Stour Valley Path and the start of the Stour & Orwell Walk.

Total 15.1 km in 3 hours 29 mins.

Previous Stour Valley Path walk - Rodbridge to BuresStour Valley Path Next Stour Valley Path walk - onwards to Cattawade


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson