Alton Water - Stutton - Brantham - Tattingstone

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Alton Water - Stutton - River Stour - Brantham - Tattingstone

The disguised house at the start point is known as Tattingstone Wonder and has a false tower attached. There should be adequate space in the car park, but it is well-used by families intent on making a circuit of the lake on bikes. The walk through Stutton and down to the Stour is very pleasant, but the stretch along the river is not to be missed! You will have north Essex in view on the opposite bank and may see vessels passing up or downriver, to or from Mistley. This is a small town right next to Manningtree. Both are worth a visit.

Mistley has a former 'secret' bunker - a relic of the Cold War - which you can inspect. It also has a maltings and excellent views along the Stour seawards. You are of course, in Suffolk and all too soon leave the river to walk inland, past the church in Brantham, then across fields and the railway line to meet a road. Here you will have a choice to make. You can follow the road and choose to turn off at one of two sideroads to return to your start point. Alternatively, you can do as we did and try to follow another path through farmland.

Unfortunately the day we did this to prepare the walk, no-one had used the path for a very long time (presumably foot-and-mouth was at least partly to blame). It was a hot day and we were in shorts. There were nettles up to our waists for at least a mile! Perhaps foolishly we persevered and made it back to the road, where we turned for Tattingstone. I have to say the sensations in our legs for the next 24 hours were something not to be recommended! If, as some say, nettle stings are a cure for rheumatism, we should be safe from it for life! You should also be aware that the railway crossing has not been well-maintained and can be confusing and difficult to negotiate (details can be found in the walk directions).

Nevertheless, this circuit is well worth the effort and the more who use it the better it should become. Let's hope the pioneering spirit is alive and well!

England - East England - Suffolk - River Walk

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Pub, River, Wildlife, Woodland
03/09/2015 - Jez and Sally Peacock

Walked on the morning of the 3rd September 2015 Nice interesting walk with lots of variation, we particularly liked the stretch along the beach with the views of Manningtree across the river. Found no real difficulties crossing railway line and paths all clear until point 17 when you turn left off the main road through a lowland path It is a shame the path is not maintained as it is one of the best bits but too many nettles. Eventually the path becomes unpassable once you cross the stream and we ended up taking the route through the landfill site and back to the Wheatsheaf. Take some money with you because as you leave Tattingstone when you are not for from the end there is a very good roadside farm shop

03/09/2015 - Jez and Sally Peacock

Walked on the morning of the 3rd September 2015 Nice interesting walk with lots of variation, we particularly liked the stretch along the beach with the views of Manningtree across the river. Found no real difficulties crossing railway line and paths all clear until point 17 when you turn left off the main road through a lowland path It is a shame the path is not maintained as it is one of the best bits but too many nettles. Eventually the path becomes unpassable once you cross the stream and we ended up taking the route through the landfill site and back to the Wheatsheaf. Take some money with you because as you leave Tattingstone when you are not for from the end there is a very good roadside farm shop

06/05/2013 - martin oakley

May Day Bank Holiday Monday 2013 We did this walk today. The weather was fantastic, with excellent views across the Stour Estuary. Just a couple of comments. A parking permit is required to park at the car park at No 1. which is obtained from the Alton Water visitor centre. We parked nearby as we didn't have a permit and didn't know where the centre was. Walk along the foreshore at the Stour Estuary is beautiful, lots of suitable picnic spots. The church at Brantham (point 13)is worth visiting, or just note the weather vane - St Michael with angel wings! The path mentioned in the notes was difficult to find, I think the footpath has been diverted. Just before the pond, turn left (which is signposted)uphill towards the railway, then turn right walking on the field edge with the railway on your left. There is a gate to go through by the small wood, the footpath is clear to see, but there are a few nettles. There is another footpath sign then follow the field boundary away from the railway and exit at point 18.

29/09/2009 - Adrian Perkins

I did this lovely walk today. At WP14 there was a notice advising that the footpath ahead was closed at or near the point where it crosses the railway. This is not true. It was not closed, was highly walkable, and obviously well used. The first two-thirds of the stream-side footpath which starts at WP17 was easy, obviously recently cut and utterly gorgeous. However, the last third, from the pool onwards, seems to have been completely abandoned. I decided I wasn't feeling that intrepid, and instead carried on eastwards along a broad track which is NOT a right of way. It takes you up to meet the bridleway heading north just beyond what is marked on the map as Folly Farm. In fact it is now a landfill site. I then took the bridleway northwards to meet the road (and rejoin the route) near "The Heath". I found this a satisfactory solution to the problem as far as I was concerned, but I couldn't possibly recommend it as it involves trespass! I will notify Suffolk CC of the problem, but I won't hold my breath. Walked and updates entered September 2009. Adrian (Admin)