Skip to content
The half-timbered medieval exterior of Lavenham Guildhall, Suffolk
The half-timbered exterior of Lavenham Guildhall | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Lavenham to Long Melford railway walk

Take a self-guided walk through woods and open fields from Lavenham to Long Melford along a route that largely follows the old GER Lavenham to Long Melford railway line. See a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and the site of an 1891 railway accident. Finish by visiting Melford Hall, home of the Hyde-Parker family, in a well-preserved medieval ‘wool village’.

Wild flowers, wildlife and wool

This walk provides the opportunity to see wild flowers alongside birds and animal wildlife in their natural habitat. Ideal for adventurer families.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Lavenham Guildhall, grid ref TL916493

Step 1

Starting from the Guildhall, walk to your left across Market Square and 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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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).

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

Step 5

At the end of the cutting the path enters an area of woodland (for roughly 440 yards), 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.

Step 6

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 110 yards.

Step 7

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 550 yards until reaching the end of the field.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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

View of Hare Drift on a sunny autumn morning in 2016
Hare Drift on a sunny autumn morning in 2016 | © Michael Graham

Step 10

Now turn left along the A1092 and follow the footpath for about 660 yards. 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.

Melford Hall from an etching c1825
Melford Hall from an etching c1825 | © Neale

End point

Melford Hall car park TL867462

Trail map

Ordance Survey map showing walking route between Lavenham and Melford
Lavenham to Melford Railway walking route | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

Close-up of a Brown Argus butterfly on a leaf

Lavenham Woodland walk 

Spot rare butterflies and countryside views worthy of Constable, as you explore the woodland community project and an old railway line trail around Lavenham.

DistanceMiles: 2.8 (km: 4.48)
A typical view of Suffolk countryside behind Long Melford church in Suffolk

Melford Hall countryside walk 

Enjoy views of open fields, gently rolling hills, beautiful vistas, distant churches and clear running brooks on a walk through Suffolk countryside.

DistanceMiles: 6 (km: 9.6)

Get in touch

Market Place, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9QZ

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

A person walking along the South West Coast Path at East Soar, South Devon


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Visitors in the distance exploring the 'Island' at Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, Suffolk

Walking in Suffolk 

From strolls around famous historic sites to wanders through patchworks of purple heather, these are some of the best winter walks in Suffolk.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.