The Colne and Stour Valleys provide a beautiful landscape through which to walk.
The Stour Valley Path (East Anglia) is a 60 mile route that starts in Newmarket and ends at Cattawade where the Stour meets the sea. The path follows the valley sides of the River Stour through the beautiful Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire countryside, including the Dedham Vale AONB. A public transport itinerary pack ‘Days Out Along the Stour Valley Path’ has been developed to allow walkers to do the path in stretches and take a bus or train back to a start point. Click on this link for more details:
The River Colne Countryside Project opened the Colne Valley Path in May 2006. The Colne Valley Path links Great Yeldham to Colchester. The route allows walkers to enjoy the delights of the Colne Valley from the rivers edge to high on the valley side that opens up long views of this wonderful valley.
The Colne Valley is rich in history and wildlife and walkers will be able to enjoy many of the delights along the way. Starting at the Great Oak in Yeldham the path takes in the historic villages of Castle Hedingham, the great viaduct at Chappel and Lexden Dyke near Colchester before finishing at Balkerne Gate in Colchester.
Wildlife watchers are in for a treat as the route takes in a range of wildlife habitats including grazing marsh, woodland and past ancient hedgerows. In addition the route crosses the Woodland Trust’s new estate at Fordham as well as passing by a number of County Wildlife Sites that are in private ownership.
The route follows existing public rights of way and open space and is waymarked with yellow discs to guide walkers. In addition a route guide is available from the Project that describes the route as it crosses meadows, woodlands and flits from the river bank to high up on the valley sides.
The walk is a testing 22½ miles. There are many opportunities to stay bed and breakfast overnight in the valley so that walkers may like to take a day or two enjoying the valley. Alternatively walkers can use the local bus service to get back to the start point on each day of walking.
For more information on the Colne Valley Path or the work of River Colne Countryside Project then please contact the project officer: Simon Amstutz, Project Officer, River Colne Countryside Project, c/o CBC, PO Box 889, Town Hall, Colchester, CO1 1FL.