Walking in Essex
Although Essex is a heavily populated county there is a vast arable landscape peppered with such jewels as finely restored manor houses, exquisite village churches and accommodating pubs. Epping Forest, final outpost of a vast Saxon and Norman hunting ground, provides splendid walking close to the capital. Explore its sunlit glades and magnificent hornbeams. The willow lined river Stour, north of Colchester, provides beauty and peaceful walking past water meadows and historic churches. The Colne Valley provides woodland walks in farming country and the lonely coastal marshlands are a bird watchers joy.
Dedham is a very popular traditional Essex village with the added attractions of an art museum, the Shakespeare Gallery, a magnificent parish church, a rare-breeds animal farm and boating and canoeing on the River Stour. Perhaps its main claim to fame however, is as the birthplace of the landscape painter John Constable. Only a mile away across beautiful water meadows is Flatford Mill, a location made famous as the subject of one of the artist's paintings.
A Walk from Dedham [TM 057332] OS Map: Explorer™ 196
The walk begins along the banks of the Stour at Dedham Lock and explores the beautiful countryside that inspired not only Constable but many other artists both past and present, returning along the valley of the Black Brook to the village. About 3.5 miles.
Best Pub for this walk
The Sun Inn, High Street, Dedham Tel: 01206 323351 (Good Pub Guide)
This is an old Tudor coaching inn with plenty of character including four log fires, splendid fireplaces and old oak beams. There is an excellent choice of interesting dishes on the menu in addition to the usual soups, ploughman’s and sandwiches. Local produce, fresh garden herbs and fish straight from Billingsgate market are used in the recipes.
This walk is fully described in the guidebook 'Pocket Pub Walks in Essex ' by Laurie Page
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