Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rodbridge to Sudbury Valley Trail Walk

5.15pm 8.6 miles in 1 hr 11 mins 17 seconds

Week to date mileage 23 miles

Month to date mileage 145

Average weekly rate 30.4 miles

Average monthly rate 132

Year to date 382

Lifetime 9975

I parked up at the Rodbridge picnic site which is between Long Melford and Sudbury and is reached by taking the B1064 road just off the A134. The bridge over the River Stour at this point indicates the border at this point between Suffolk and Essex.
From the Rodbridge picnic site you can take a 3 mile walk along the the Valley Trail which was part of the Great Eastern Railway linking Colchester to Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds, and was known as the Stour Valley Line. Trains operated along here from 1865 until 1967.
The weather wasn't great as I set off there was a persistent drizzle which showed no signs of abating. The Valley Trail runs through the Sudbury riverside meadows, which are the oldest continuously grazed pastures in East Anglia.

Along the walk you pass by Borley Rectory just over the border in Essex which was said to be the most haunted house in England between 1863 and 1939 until it burnt down.

The walkway seems very suitable for wheelchairs being entirely flat as you would imagine but is obviously well looked after and is now a site of much wildlife and wildflowers.
The walk continues into Sudbury to Friars meadow but I decided to return to the Ballingdon Bridge and here there is a pathway leading into the busy town centre of Sudbury. Arriving at this time of day the road was too busy to attempt much of a run. There are some wonderful houses in many different pastel colors near the river but I retraced my steps as it was too busy to try and cross roads here.

I returned via the valley walk to Rodbridge to have a look around the picnic site. Unfortunately the weather had closed in and the rain was beginning to belt down. Nevertheless this is a beautiful; spot and well worth the trip. I have made a note to return later in the year and this time get around Sudbury.


  1. Wow! You are right. I already this place just by seeing your pictures. Boy, I need to go for a walk. But where will I find this beauty here? I especially love the bridge. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I hope to visit one

  2. Well I guess this is a long way for you to visit Gatekeeper as this is Sudbury Suffolk England. If you visit England don't miss out on a visit to Suffolk it is only a day trip from London about 70 miles




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