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Lavenham to Long Melford railway walk


A self-guided walk from Lavenham to Long Melford - through woods and open fields - largely following the route of the old GER Lavenham to Long Melford railway line.

Wildflowers, wildlife and wool

The walk provides the opportunity to see wild flowers alongside birds and animal wildlife in their natural habitat. You start and finish in these two well-preserved medieval 'wool' villages.

The West Front of Melford Hall, Suffolk
Destination Melford Hall National Trust Images / Rupert Truman


Lavenham to Long Melford Railway walk map


Lavenham Guildhall, grid ref TL916493


Starting from the Guildhall, walk to your left across Market Square, head down Market Lane to the High Street. Turn right at the bottom and cross the road. Continue along High Street for about 300 yards (274m) until reaching a sign for the 'Lavenham Walk' to your left.

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Old photo of Lavenham Guildhall with old woman
Old photo of Lavenham Guildhall Jane Gosling


To the left of the old railway bridge, follow the FP signs for the Lavenham Walk.

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Lavenham Station on last day of service 10th April 1961
Lavenham Station on last day of service 10th April 1961 John Mann


Follow the Lavenham walk until you reach a pair of metal gates, which is the road crossing at Park Road. Continue on until reaching Bridge Street railway bridge.

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Common Spotted Orchid on Lavenham to Long Melford Railway walk
This Common Spotted Orchid flowers in May to June National Trust


Shortly after going under the railway bridge at Bridge Street Road, you'll reach a fence, signifying the end of the 'Lavenham Walk' section, leading to an old railway cutting which has now been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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SSSI on Lavenham to Long Melford Railway walk
Peace at the site of Special Scientific Interest on Lavenham Walk Michael Graham


At the end of the cutting the path enters an area of woodland (for 400m or so), passing through Lineage Wood to the right and Paradise Wood to the left. When exiting the woodland, you have reached the site of an 1891 railway accident.

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Site of the 1891 Railway accident near Lineage Wood, Lavenham
Lavenham to Long Melford Railway accident in 1891 Suffolk Free Press


Keeping the treeline to the right, continue for approximately 0.7 miles (1.2km) until eventually reaching another small area of woodland to the left. After a further 200m, the path turns right and crosses through the wood for about 100m.

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Exit the wood and turn immediately left, keeping the treeline to the left and ignoring the marker post to the right (St Edmund Way). Continue on for about 500m until reaching the end of the field.


When reaching the end of the field, the path heads immediately right - climbing uphill - and eventually reaches the main A134 Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds road.


This road is very busy with fast-moving traffic, so carefully cross the road and go through the gate on the opposite side.

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Hare Drift on the Lavenham to Long Melford Railway walk
Hare Drift leads to or from Cherry Lane Garden Centre Michael Graham


Now turn left along the A1092 and follow the footpath for about 600m. The entrance to magnificent Melford Hall will be found on the left. After visiting Melford Hall, head into town to pick up your return bus (Chambers 753) to Lavenham.

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Melford Hall car park TL867462

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Lavenham to Long Melford railway walk


Woodland, tree roots, field paths, public footpaths and permissive paths. Can be quite muddy and waterlogged through Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) area. Adequate and waterproof footwear may be necessary. Dogs welcome under close control - on leads where signed. Take care crossing busy main A134 Sudbury-Bury St Edmund's road.

Lavenham to Long Melford railway walk

Contact us

Lavenham to Long Melford railway walk

How to get here

Lavenham Guildhall
By train

Sudbury, 7 miles (11km)

By road

Take B1115/B1071 from Sudbury via Gt Waldingfield. Lavenham Guildhall CO10 9QZ (the start) is in Market Place off the main High Street.

By bus

Chambers route 753 from Sudbury bus station, 7 miles, Chambers Coaches. Bus return from Long Melford to Lavenham Chambers route 753 hourly (no service Sundays).

By bicycle

South Suffolk Cycle Route A1, Sustrans.

Lavenham to Long Melford railway walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking: Free in Lavenham
  • Food and drink: Tea-rooms at Lavenham Guildhall and Melford Hall. Many other outlets in both locations
  • WCs: At Lavenham Guildhall and Melford Hall (when open)