The Suffolk Stour Valley in search of a Dragon
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Escape out (just 1 hour, 15 mins from London Liverpool St) to the picturesque and peaceful Suffolk/North Essex Countryside on this 10.8 mile rural circular walk, which encompasses the scenic Stour Valley. Discover along the way, the well kept secret that is the Bures Dragon Hill side carving. We'll also take in a couple of lovely little suffolk village/hamlets en route along with some riverside paths along this gently undulating route.
Our walk commences (and ends) in the pretty village of Bures itself. Bures literally straddles the North Essex and Suffolk borders by way of the River Stour. Having started in Essex, we'll take the bridge over the River into Suffolk, through the village and head up into the lovely Stour Valley countryside.
Our first stop will be at the well hidden & small thatched 13C St Stephens Chapel. For such a tiny chapel, it has an impressive interior and houses the tombs of some of the De Veres family (no, not Richard or Audrey - for those of a certain age!) a great historic wealthy family of this border region.
A short walk behind the chapel takes us to the best view point of the Bures Dragon. Definitley photo worthy and an impressive sight from the distance, the hill carving measures 75 x 95m with the perimeter extending to nearly half a mile. It represents an apparent legendary dragon that terrorized the village of Bures in the Middle Ages.
From here, our walk will take us up to Arger Fen - a lovely woodland reserve area and an actual Site of Special Scientific Interest. Walking through the woodland, we'll then head out back to the open countryside, alongside the River Stour in parts. We'll wander through the little village of Wissington and onwards to the north of Wormimgford Village, through the church yard there.
Then we'll be on the homeward stretch back to Bures, via the Stour Valley Path. Be prepared for quite a gentle but unexpected ascent up one side of the valley with some nice views. Then it's downhill again, past Bures water Mill, back into the village for a well deserved pint/beverage in the pub back on the Essex side of the border.
*Note - the high level view photo of the Dragon is a drone shot. The other photo is the view we'll get on on the walk
Is it dog friendly? Your pooches are welcome to come along but please note and abide by the Countryside Code (https://tinyurl.com/rlqvp3h) and be prepared for a couple of stiles on the walk. Please also remember not everyone loves dogs as much as you do so please be mindful of other members.
New Members - I would like to warmly welcome any newbies looking perhaps to try this as their first Outdoor Lads event. You may find this link useful https://www.outdoorlads.com/my-first-event or if you have If you have any questions then feel free to message me.
Photo credits: All photos taken by Andy Gent. Permission given to OutdoorLads to reuse
IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement
You MUST complete a Participation Statement, in addition to booking your event space before attending an OutdoorLads event. You only need to complete this Participation Statement once, not for each event you attend.
What to bring
Water: bring at least a litre
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Rucksack: or any other bag
Footwear: hiking boots, sturdy trainers or wellies
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally not jeans which become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch, snacks and plenty of hydration. There are very limited shops from which to buy lunch in Bures and we will not be passing any on this rural route.
At the end of the walk a traditional Oudoor Lads farewell pint/beverage is planned at the pub near the station in Bures.