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Flatford and Dedham is a 7 mile loop trail located near Manningtree, Essex, England that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options.

Length 7.0 mi Elevation gain 383 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Partially paved

River

Views

Wildlife

Over grown

Description
Waypoints (5)
Getting There

This walk is set in the landscape that inspired John Constable, whose birthplace is passed close by. It is a 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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (33)
Photos (61)
Recordings (25)
Completed (52)
Adam Duffill
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Running

Great Trail - lots of fantastic nature to take in and most of the ground is fairly even so I found it good to run on. I’d agree with the previous comment that it gets a bit narrow towards the end, but it’s not for a long period of time and I’d definitely come back and run it again.

Torie T.
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Hiking

Elements of the walk were beautiful - walking by the River Stour with a wide array of bird life and butterflies, a little detour to Dedham, picnicking by the river imaging Mole, Ratty and Toad to pass by, seeing the famous scene from Constable’s Haywain at Flatford Mill and Willy Lot’s house. The walk is flat other than one slight gradient uphill. Some paths are narrow with high hedges on either side. The last 15 mins of the walk is a little repetitive along a busy ish road. The walk as a whole was enjoyable and very doable. Our family ranged from 11-72yrs old and everyone managed well.

Tom Colwell
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HikingBridge out
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Jo Williams
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Hiking

Great views through Flatford and the Stour Estuary. Only one uphill section, some parts a little overgrown and narrow but mainly beautiful open grasslands.

View Jo's Recording
Dan Miller
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Hiking

Great trail! Me, my brother and my dog did it, and it was amazing! We were lucky with the weather, but I’d definitely recommend it! Some stunning views!

Jim Oddie
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Hiking

Nice trails - a little exposed if windy but a lovely flat route for the majority. We stopped in Dedham for a picnic.

Kirsty Baron
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HikingOver grown

So I decided to do this walk yesterday, there are a few good points and a few bad. Firstly I personally wouldn't recommend this walk for people with young children as most of the trail it narrow (very narrow at points). I myself even had to duck at points to get past and I'm only 164cm anyway me and my group were stung a lot on this trail so that is something to consider if you choose this map. However there are some good points to the walk, there is a lovely sheep field that you have to walk through. Great for any animal lovers, the walk also opens up on the second half along the river stour and great stop for lunch.

Daniel Phillips
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HikingOver grown

The first 20% of this trail is extremely overgrown and not ideal for children. The next 40% is nice and open with some great views along the river. The final 40% is a narrow straight path with bushes either side and not much to look at. The middle 40% was worth is but the start and the end wasn't too pleasant.

Lee Scott
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Hiking

Lovely walk and views

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Gill Thomson
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WalkingNo shade

A good morning walk despite the typical British weather. Well signposted.

ally last
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Hiking

Great trail and very easy to follow the route on here. Some great views of constable country. We really enjoyed it - thank you!

Jahed Quddus
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Hiking

Through Dedham and Flatford it was a stunning walk with clear pathways. As you get towards Cattawade the paths are very over grow so beware. Once you reach Cattawade there is a nice view of the river and Felixstowe docks.

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Jason Locke
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Hiking

Some great views but path very overgrown at start and finish. Some ankle hurting holes covered at the beginning by the overgrown vegetation. Some of the directions are a little confusing after Flatford.

James O'Neil
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WalkingNo shade

Decent trail but very busy due to going on a warm bank holiday. Flatford Mill is the highlight and some time should definitely be spent there.

Sigitas Valiusaitis
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First to Review

Great walk, a little bit overgrown at the start, but well worth it.

Johanna Daresjö
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Hiking
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Gus Gallagher
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Hiking
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Sheila Small
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Hiking
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Aleksandra Pajak
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Hiking
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Tim Holden
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Hiking
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Christine Stewart
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Walking
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Kirsty Baron
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Hiking
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Ben Upson
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Hiking
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Drew Lamph
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Hiking
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Anaick Sharpe
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Hiking
Kriton Tsintaris
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Hiking
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Ken Brazzel
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Hiking
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Ken Brazzel
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Hiking
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Ken Brazzel
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Hiking
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Gint Are
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Hiking
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