This post describes a 10 mile route that starts and finishes in Bures, Suffolk. It is an ideal family walk but also great as a run route.
Download a GPX file of the route
Bures is a pretty village on the River Stour in both Essex and Suffolk, no I am not making a mistake, half the village (Bures St Mary) is in Suffolk whilst the other half (Bures Hamlet) is in Essex. The River Stour runs right through the centre of the village and is a popular put in point for those in canoes, kayaks and on stand-up paddleboards.
This route is just under 10 miles in length and is all in Suffolk, following the Stour Valley Path for 5 miles and then returning to Bures using St Edmund Way. Free parking is available at the start/finish of the loop in the village hall car park opposite the school.
To start the route turn right out of the carpark and follow the road for a short stretch before turning right again onto a footpath around a playing field. You then walk down the drive and around Bures Mill but it is not until you get around to the other side that you get this fantastic view.
After passing the mill the route goes across several fields which are a mix of pasture and arable crops including this gorgeous field of barley.
After this the route gets a little hilly as you climb towards the village of Wormingford.
When reaching Wormingford the path takes you through the church yard and then on across more fields, quiet lanes and rutted tracks until meeting St Edmund Way just after a footbridge crossing the River Stour. Turn left here and continue on to the small hamlet and church at Wissington. I have not managed to go inside this church yet but apparently it has some really interesting wall art.
From Wissington you follow the road for a while, then through a small woodland nature reserve before passing Wissington Grange and this magnificent Oak Tree.
After another short road section the route joins a byway past the wonderfully named Guinea Wiggs Farm, home to a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle.
A few miles further on and you are climbing the last uphill slope to take you back into Bures.
As the grass track meets the gravel drive you can take a detour to the left and visit the Chapel where Edmund was supposedly crowned King of East Anglia in 855 AD.
When I did this route in July there was an Ice-cream van at the chapel carpark which would be a welcome sight on a hot day. From here gravel tracks and a short road section return you back downhill to the village of Bures. On reaching the main road turn right and follow until you get back to the carpark.
Apart from the Ice cream van there are no places for refreshments along this route so you will need to make sure that you have enough snacks and drinks before setting off. On your return you will find two pubs in Bures, a village shop and a small deli so you can replenish any used calories.
You can also extend this walk at either the start/finish or the half way point by following either Stour Valley Path or St Edmunds Way for an out and back section.
Let me know in the comments if you have followed this route and if you also enjoyed it as much as I did.