Cyril Francis takes in the scenery of Constable Country

At this time of year especially, progress on walks is often impeded by dense vegetation: the rapid growth of stinging nettles and brambles for example. Indeed, even this short walk along the Suffolk and Essex border has stretches of untrimmed path; a bit of a pain perhaps, but not a disaster.

On the credit side there are stunning views across the scenic Stour Valley to enjoy, an area that inspired the English landscape painter John Constable. Also included is an optional detour to Langham church; well worth a visit.

To commence the walk, cross over the road beside a property named Mill House and join a public path almost opposite. Cross a walkway over the River Stour, followed by a concrete bridge. Go over a stile to enter a hay meadow and cross diagonally to the far right corner.

Cross another stile, bear left and follow the well-worn path, accompanied by a line of willow trees on the right. Continue ahead and shortly swing left and right as waymarked to enter a cultivated field. Carry on beside the field edge and pass a stretch of water away to the right.

Curve left at the boundary and in a few more paces turn right through a gateway onto a track leading to Broomhouse. Leave the track at a right-hand bend, enter the field in front – cropped with potatoes at time of walking – and cross to the far side.

Pass into the adjoining field, cross it and afterwards join a surfaced lane that passes a road coming up from the river and also an old pumping station. Curve left ahead and pass Low Lift Cottages on the right. Follow the tree-lined lane to reach a minor junction; pass straight over and swing left in front to pass a bungalow on the left.

Continue along the lane that later develops into a stony track. Go past a green triangle and look right for a bridge and gate partially hidden by a hedge. Enter and cross some rough grassland, aiming for a similar bridge and gate at the far side.

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The path now follows the top of a shallow bank beside woodland, followed by the edge of Primrose Wood. Enter the next field and walk beside a high hedge on the left. If you wish to visit Langham church, take a sharp right turn as arrowed on a marker post. Follow the steadily-rising path through the woods, pass Church Farm and emerge beside the boundary wall and well-kept churchyard of St Mary the Virgin.

After your visit, retrace steps back to the earlier path, turn right and proceed to the field boundary. Cross a sandy track and afterwards swing left onto a broad grassy path running between some trees.

With an area of open grassland further ahead, turn right and cross a cart bridge to enter the field previously walked. Continue along the right edge and cross an earlier stile and bridge over the Stour. Afterwards return to your departure point to complete the walk.

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