The Stourand Orwell Walk runs for 63 kilometres from Cattawade near Manningtree on the Suffolk/Essex border along the estuaries of the Rivers Stour and Orwell to Felixstowe. The name Stour derives from the Celtic sturr meaning “strong”.  Two walks had been planned the next day within the StourValley, one upstream and one down the estuary.  From our base at

Flatford Mill, East Bergholt, built in 1733.

Brantham Hall, we followed the path east that hugged the estuary, passing Stutton Mill and continuing all the way to Stutton Ness, reaching Graham’s Wharf, cutting inland towards the town of Stutton itself, a beautiful little spot. Within view on the hillside to the left is the Royal Hospital School, an independent boarding school with naval traditions.  After breakfast Sunday morning, I truly felt that rushing off home seemed pointless and that I would rather enjoy another walk, albeit a sort one. The obvious route was to head off in the opposite direction to that taken the day before, towards Flatford Mill, location of one of John Constable’s famous paintings. The Hay Wain was finished in 1821 and shows a hay wain near Flatford Mill on the River Stour in Suffolk, though because the Stour forms the border of two counties, it depicts Willy Lott’s Cottage in Suffolk on the left bank and the Essex landscape on the right bank.  Read more.

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