To Lavenham and beyond

THIS walk starts at the well-known medieval wool town of Lavenham. It then ambles through undulating countryside to Preston St Mary and back to Lavenham, where it will take you to the market square and the Guildhall, then to the High Street and the impressive Swan Hotel before returning to the start.

To start the walk, leave the car park towards the road on which you entered. Just before you get to the toilet block, turn right through a small gap in the hedge. Once through, turn right, walking on a Tarmac path with a fence to your left. This path will take you onto a road. Turn left, walking on the pavement on the right hand side of the road. You will soon come to a partly hidden and broken footpath sign to your right by a red dog-litter bin. Turn right here, walking on a green path with a field to your right.

When you get to the field boundary, carry on along the same path through some trees, soon having a garden to your right. You will soon come out onto a road. Turn left, walking on a pavement. This road will then quickly swing to the left. At this point you turn right, signposted ‘Local Traffic Only’. You will soon come to a road to your right. Ignore this and carry on, along Lower Road. When you get to Prentice Street on your left, turn right by a footpath sign, immediately walking over a bridge.

Once you are over the bridge the path will then swing to the left. Keep to this path, with a stream to your left. You will soon come to a footpath sign to your left. Just stick to the path and you will come to a large field. Walk straight ahead (at the time of walking there was a well-defined path). When you get to the brow of the hill you will see a small copse in front of you. Aim for the right-hand corner of that, where you will see a signpost. Once you have got there, just carry on in the same direction, keeping the copse to the left.

When you come to the field boundary on your right, go on for a few paces and then turn right, walking on a track. You will soon come to another footpath sign to the left, by a small tree. Turn left here, walking on a path with a ditch to your left. Stick to this path as it dog-legs left, still having a ditch to your left. When you get to the field boundary the path will swing to the right by a footpath sign. Stick with it, still having a ditch to your left.


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When you come to the field boundary on your right, walk – straight ahead, by a footpath sign – across a sleeper bridge and immediately turn left on a path between trees. Once you emerge from the trees, carry on for a few paces across a farm track, then crossing a stream, and you will come out onto a Tarmac drive. Turn left. You will come to a footpath sign to your right. Turn right here immediately, crossing a sleeper bridge. Go up a few steps and carry straight on, following a wide green path with a hedge to your right.

You will eventually come to a footpath sign in front of you. Turn left here, walking on a wide green path, having a tall hedge to your right. You will eventually come to a footpath sign to your right. Turn right here and after a few paces turn left, walking on a green path with a tall hedge to your left. After 50 yards or so look to the left for a gap in the hedge, unsigned. Turn left here and go over a sleeper bridge, walking on a green path with a tall hedge to your left. The path will then swing to the right and left as it takes you out onto a road.

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Turn right and you are now walking in Preston St Mary. Soon after passing the village hall on your left you will come to a footpath sign to your left - turn left, walking on a gravel drive. When you come to the end of the drive turn right, on a path which will soon swing to the left. Continue in the same direction having trees to your right. When you come to the field boundary carry on for a few paces then turn left, walking on a green path with a tall hedge to your left.

You will come out onto a road, cross this and carry straight on by a footpath sign, walking on another green path with a tall hedge to your left. When faced by a hedge, go through the gap in front of you and turn left, walking on a wide green path with trees to your left. The path snakes its way round the field to the right. At the field boundary carry straight on between some trees along a green track, which swings to the right and then left. Stick with it, still having a tall hedge to your right. When you come to the field boundary on the left turn left, walking on a wide green path with a tall hedge to your right with good views of Lavenham church in the distance.

At the field boundary turn right, then go under some electricity wires, with a pond on your right. You will soon be faced by a large field in front of you. Turn left here, walking on a green track with a hedge to your left. When you come to the field boundary on your right carry on in the same direction. You will soon have another field, this time to your left. Continue in the same direction on a wide green path with a tall hedge to your right. You will come out onto a road. Turn right here for a few paces and then left by a footpath sign, walking on a path with a ditch to your left.

When you come to the field boundary on your right, carry straight on over a wooden bridge, eventually walking on a wide green path with trees to your left. You will come to some footsteps to your left. Go up these and turn right along a green path that will quickly swing to the left. Stick to it, having a large field to your left. When you come to a footpath sign on your right, turn left, walking on a track for about 20 yards, and then turn right by a footpath sign up a slight bank. Carry on, on a green path which swings to the right, re-tracing your steps from earlier in the walk.

There will soon be a large field in front of you. Continue across the field, by a footpath sign on the same path you walked earlier. Once across the field, carry on in the same direction, walking on a wide green path, soon swinging to your left with a stream to your right.

The path will swing to the right and across a bridge that will bring you out onto a road. Cross this and carry up Prentice Street. This will bring you out onto the old market square. Continue, soon having the Guildhall to your left, then aim for Market Street in front of you. Continue down the street, which soon leads out onto the High Street. Turn left, soon having Clark and Willcox surveyors to your left, and carry on in the same direction, ignoring all roads until you come back to the car park from where you started, which will be on your left.

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