Skip to content
Melford Hall in Suffolk taken from the Banqueting House
Melford Hall view from steps of Banqueting House | © Michael Graham

Melford Hall to Lavenham railway walk

Follow this easy walk from Long Melford to Lavenham, through woods and open fields, following the route of the old Great Eastern Railway's Long Melford to Lavenham line. You can return to Long Melford by bus, or re-trace your steps if you are able.

Busy road

Take care crossing the busy main A134 Sudbury to Bury St Edmund's road.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Melford Hall car park, grid ref: TL867462

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Hare Drift continues along a concrete path until joining the main A134 Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds road. The traffic on this road can be very fast, so cross with great care. Go through the gate on the opposite side of the road, and walking straight ahead, follow the footpath, which after 100yd (90m) continues downhill. At the bottom of the hill turn left and follow the tree line.

Step 3

Ignore a footpath sign to the left (St Edmund's Way). You will find an exit through the trees on the right-hand side after another 100–200yd (90–180m). Going through the trees, continue across a small bridge over the River Chad, heading slightly uphill.

Step 4

Exit into a plain with scrub to the right. You can see signs now covered with scrub, showing where the path was/should be.

Fallow deer in the parkland at Attingham Park, Shropshire
A group of fallow deer | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Step 5

Head up the plain for about 200yd (180m) keeping the scrub to your right, until the path runs alongside some woodland to the left.

Step 6

Follow the path for about 400yd (360m) until reaching a path crossroad. The section after this is a permissive footpath and dogs should be kept on leads.

Step 7

Keep on for 200yd (180m) until the path enters Lineage Wood to the left and Paradise Wood to the right.

Step 8

When you leave the woodland you are entering a section of railway cutting designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Step 9

You will have reached the end of the SSSI section when reaching the Bridge Street railway bridge. The next section is now known as the Lavenham Walk.

Step 10

Continue on the Lavenham Walk until you reach metal gates.

A pied flycatcher on a twig
Pied flycatcher at Longshaw | © Chris Kelly

Step 11

Reach the metal gates, which are at the Park Road crossing. Crossing the road, go through the gates and continue on for approximately 400yd (440m), until you reach Lavenham High Street to the right of the Bury Road railway bridge. Now cross the road, and continue right up High Street, for approximately 300yd (270m), and turning left into Market Lane walk up to the Market Square.

Step 12

Lavenham Guildhall is across the Market Square.

End point

Lavenham Guildhall, grid ref: TL916493

Trail map

Map route for Long Melford to Lavenham railway walk
Map route for Long Melford to Lavenham railway walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

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)
A man and a woman with rucksacks walk through the gardens at Melford Hall with the Banqueting House in the background.

Melford Hall to Sudbury Mill walk 

Enjoy an exhilarating walk from Long Melford through Sudbury's famed water meadows, passing old watermills before ending at Gainsborough's House and then his statue in Sudbury Market Place.

DistanceMiles: 5.5 (km: 8.8)
Sheep in foreground with Melford Hall in background

Melford Hall estate park walk 

Take in the splendour of the ancient former hunting park of Melford Hall, and the impressive 15th-century Holy Trinity church, on this scenic walk around the estate.

DistanceMiles: 1 (km: 1.6)
Sheep in foreground with Melford Hall in background

Melford Hall Windmill Hill walk 

Take in the Suffolk countryside on this circular walk, with hidden gems, woodland, open fields and spectacular views.

DistanceMiles: 3.75 (km: 6)

Get in touch

Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9AA

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 group of hikers exploring a hilly landscape on a sunny winters day.


This National Walking Month, 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.

Two woman walking with pushchair in the Albana walk at Ickworth in spring

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 group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

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.

The wood panelled Great Hall, at Melford Hall, Suffolk

Things to see in Melford Hall 

Explore Melford Hall, which was ravaged by fire in 1942 and brought back to life as a much-loved home to the family who have lived here for over 300 years.

Lavenham Guildhall, Suffolk

Lavenham Guildhall 

One of the most spectacular timber framed buildings of medieval England at the heart of village life

Sudbury, Suffolk

Fully open today
Two adults and two children walking on the street outside the Guildhall in Lavenham, Suffolk

Things to do in Lavenham Guildhall and village 

From the medieval Guildhall of Corpus Christi to the winding, hidden lanes and historic architecture, there's plenty to discover on a visit to Lavenham village.