Could you describe us your hike in a couple of sentences?
It was a very easy circular walk, mostly flat and of low difficulty for anyone regardless of your level of hiking. A great way to connect with nature in a picturesque landscape which looks like a postcard of the beautiful English countryside.
How do you get there?
If you’re based in London, you should buy a return ticket to Bures. There are two trains per hour departing from Liverpool Street Station (if you live further east, you can also catch the train via Stratford) and one change at Marks Tey. Once you get to Marks Tey, you’ll need to hop on the train to Sudbury (one per hour) and get off at Bures.
When did you hike here and what kind of equipment did you bring?
Mid October. The weather was still alright but the days were shorter, so my advice would be: take an early train so you can enjoy the hike before the sun sets.
In terms of equipment, I wore a pair of Gore Tex hiking boots, (the terrain can get quite muddy so bear it in mind) a raincoat and a pair of waterproof trousers in case it rained. I wouldn’t say walking sticks are really necessary for this hike, but I did see some people using them.
How long is the hike?
It’s a circular walk. I would say it took us approximately 4 hours start to finish, walking rather slowly and taking a break for lunch. I would also suggest bringing a map if you can and keep an eye open for signs. Sometimes you may think you’re off the trail but this is normal as you need to climb through fences and across fields as it’s part of the public footpath so just keep an eye on the map.
Any highlights of your day?
You should totally check out the 800 year old church: St Stephen’s Chapel. Open 24 hours, it was built on the grounds of where Edmund, original patron saint of England, was coronated in 855 AD. On the way back to Bures, you can buy free-range eggs from a box on one side of the road, which can be spotted before getting to the chapel. You can leave some coins and take as many cartons as you like.
Any country pubs I could try?
I am afraid to say that there are none along the circular walk. You can nevertheless have a pint at the end of your hike when you get back to Bures. Located in a 1922 public house, The Eight Bells has a cosy atmosphere and is also very close to the train station so you don’t miss the hourly train heading to Marks Tey!
Is there any place you can take a good picture of the hike?
Everywhere, really. As I said before it looks like a postcard of the English countryside. The scenery is beautiful even down to the small details and there will be plenty of photo opportunities: the mushrooms under the trees, the falling leaves, the farms and the cattle… But if I were to suggest a place to take a picture, it would be from behind St Stephen’s Chapel where you’ll be able to shoot a lovely panoramic.