Image of walking


Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk


A pleasant walk from magnificent Melford Hall to Gainsborough's House in Sudbury.

Walk along part of the old Great Eastern Long Melford to Sudbury railway line, visiting three old water mills and Sudbury Water Meadows en route. Return by bus.

Header Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk


Map route for Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Melford Hall car park, grid ref: TL867462


Before you start, if you have the time, visit magnificent Melford Hall - home of the Hyde-Parker family, or have a coffee in the tea-room. Then starting from the Melford Hall car park, turn right out of the gate, and keeping to the same side of the road, walk 660yd (600m) until reaching the Cherry Lane Garden Centre. Entering the garden centre, walk just past the building entrance and look for the public footpath sign in front of you. This is known as Hare Drift.


Hare Drift continues along a concrete path until joining the main A134 Sudbury to Bury St Edmund's road. The traffic on this road can be very fast, so cross the road with great care. Go through the gate on the opposite side of the road, and turn immediately right, following the signposted path, known as Roydon Drift.

Read more
Image of Roydon Drift on the Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk
Roydon Drift in late winter/early spring Michael Graham


After 220yd (200m), Roydon Drift heads away from the road across fields on a slightly diagonal route along a delightful tree-lined path until reaching a small copse. Walk through this copse, cross an old stone bridge and then turn immediately left. Now continue past a small sewage works (on your right) until reaching the road at Acton Place. Acton Place was a large country house dating from the 16th century, mostly demolished in 1825. Turn right and follow the road until reaching the main A134 trunk road.


Now cross the busy A134 road (again) with great care, and heading down the road opposite, after a few yards on the left you will find the entrance to the section of old railway track now known as the 'Melford Walk'.

Read more
Start of the Melford walk on the Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk
Start of the Melford walk Michael Graham


After about a mile or so (without turning off anywhere), the track exits onto the Long Melford to Sudbury road (B1064). Cross the road and continue left for about 660yd (600m), passing the old Long Melford railway station and maltings. Look out for a public footpath sign on the right by the postbox. Turn along this path for about 100yd (90m) and the path then bears left along another part of the old railway line. After a short while you will arrive at the old railway bridge across the River Stour at Rodbridge. Opposite you is the Melford Country Park.

Read more
View of a pond in Melford Country park
A peaceful view in Melford Country park during January Michael Graham


Exiting Melford Country Park, turn immediately left and cross the road bridge until reaching a signed fingerpost on the left, which is another section of the old Long Melford to Sudbury railway line. Enter this section and continue until reaching the Borley road. Cross the road continuing on the old railway track, now known as the 'Valley Walk'. After 100yd (90m) or so look out for a fingerpost, on the left, and some steps up to a kissing gate. Go through this kissing gate and after a few yards through another kissing gate and turn right.


Ahead of you is Borley Mill. Keeping to the right of the mill, follow the signed path (with wall on your right), passing through two small gates, until exiting onto water meadows running alongside the River Stour.

Read more
Borley Mill on the Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk
Borley Mill on a sunny day Michael Graham


Turn left through the gate and head along the row of telegraph poles until reaching a footbridge. Cross the footbridge and wander along the river bank to the left, following the path round to the right until reaching another bridge leading up to the main Sudbury road.

Read more
After leaving Borley Mill you are greeted by this view
Follow the telegraph poles after leaving Borley Mill Michael Graham


Turn right following the pavement for 220yd (200m) or so until reaching a fingerpost to your right just past a pedestrian crossing. Turn right and follow this path (which is also a small road so look out for traffic), until reaching Brundon Mill pond. Be ready to be amazed by the sight of many swans.

Read more
Many swans at Brundon Mill pond on the Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk
Swans on Brundon Mill pond Michael Graham


Now cross the bridge, and admire the mill to your right.

Read more
Brundon Mill on the Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk
18th century Brundon Mill, now a private house. Michael Graham


Leaving the mill, follow the path round to the left until reaching a kissing gate. After the gate a small length of fenced footpath will take you to another kissing gate which in turn will take you onto the ancient Sudbury Water Meadows and Common Lands.

Read more
The Salmon leap on Sudbury Water meadows
Salmon leap on Sudbury Water Meadows Michael Graham


Now keeping to the right of the Second World War Pillbox in the distance, head towards a kissing gate by the salmon leap and a small bridge. Crossing the bridge head slightly left towards the old Sudbury Mill (Clover's Mill) now the Legacy Mill Hotel, in the distance, with a further bridge to cross on the way.

Read more
An image of Clovers Mill from an old postcard..
Sudbury or Clovers Miill from an old postcard - probably 19th century. Unknown


Now head up to the main road; turn left onto Stour Street, and follow the road until reaching the road junction with Gregory Street (to the left) and Gainsborough Street ahead. Cross the road into Gainsborough Street and continue along the pavement until reaching Weavers Lane on the left. You have now reached Gainsborough House.

Read more
Gainsborough House in Sudbury
Gainsborough House, the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough Gainsborough House Society


After leaving Gainsborough's House continue along Gainsborough Street until reaching Market Hill and the Market Place. Cross the market place to the right of the statue of Gainsborough and head down until reaching the small shopping precinct on the right. The bus station will be found at the far end of the precinct and your return bus journey to Long Melford.

Read more
The statue of Thomas Gainsborough in Sudbury market place
The statue of Thomas Gainsborough in Sudbury market place Michael Graham


Melford Hall car park, grid ref: TL867462

You made it

Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.

Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk


Field paths, tree roots, grassland. May be muddy - suitable footwear necessary. Not suitable for wheelchairs. Pushchairs possible in dry weather. Some gates. Cross the busy A134 with extreme care.

Dogs on leads where signed, and particularly on Sudbury Water Meadows when livestock are present.

Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk

Contact us

Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk

How to get here

Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9AA
By train

Station Road, Sudbury, CO10 6SU, 4 miles (6.5km).

By road

Entrance to car park and grounds opposite village green, A1092 off the A134 - 14 miles (22.5km) from Bury St Edmunds, 4 miles (6.5km) from Sudbury.

By bus

Chambers Coaches route 753 Bury. St Edmunds/Sudbury - Sudbury/Bury St Edmunds.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Route 13 passes through Long Melford.

Long Melford to Sudbury Three Mills walk

Facilities and access

  • Melford Hall tea-room (during opening times); many cafés in Sudbury.
  • Toilets at Melford Hall gatehouse (during opening times) and various other outlets
  • Parking at Melford Hall car park (during opening times), and street parking (free) where available
  • Gift shops at Melford Hall and Gainsborough House (during opening times)
  • Keep dogs on leads where signed