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A man and a woman with rucksacks walk through the gardens at Melford Hall with the Banqueting House in the background.
A couple walk in the gardens at Melford Hall | © National Trust Images/ James Dobson

Melford Hall to Sudbury Mill walk

A pleasant country walk along part of the old Great Eastern Long Melford to Sudbury railway line, starting from magnificent Melford Hall. Apart from the Hall, visit Melford Country Park, Borley Mill, Brundon Mill and Sudbury Mill, ending at Gainsborough's House and statue in Sudbury. The walk also goes across ancient Sudbury Common Lands. This is a good route for families.

Total steps: 14

Total steps: 14

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 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.

Step 3

After 220yd (200m), Roydon Drift heads away from the road across fields on a slightly diagonal route along a 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. Now turn right and follow the road until reaching the main A134 trunk road.

Step 4

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'.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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.

Step 10

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

Step 11

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 Common Lands.

Step 12

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 Mill Hotel, in the distance, with a further bridge to cross on the way.

Step 13

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.

Step 14

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.

End point

Sudbury bus station, grid ref: TL874412

Trail map

Map of Melford to Sudbury Mill walk, Suffolk
Melford to Sudbury Mill walk, Suffolk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9AA

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