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Long Melford to Sudbury

12th May 2021



Distance Time Elevation in meters

Gain Loss Min Max
13.67 4H32 2H48 45 45 22 49






Long Melford, colloquially and historically also referred to as Melford, is a large village and civil parish in the Babergh district of Suffolk. It is on Suffolk's border with Essex, which is marked by the River Stour, just 3 miles from Sudbury, approximately 16 miles from Colchester and 14 miles from Bury St Edmunds. It is one of Suffolk's "wool towns" and is a former market town. The parish also includes the hamlets of Bridge Street and Cuckoo Tye.

Its name is derived from the nature of the village's layout (originally concentrated along a 3-mile stretch of a single road) and the Mill ford crossing the Chad Brook (a tributary of the River Stour).

The Melford Walk follows a section of the disused railway line that once linked Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds. The Walk is now owned and managed by Suffolk County Council as a recreational path and wildlife conservation area. The Walk skirts the eastern edge of Long Melford for 1 1/4 miles dividing the settlement from open countryside. Two other countryside walks - The Melford Walk and the Valley Walk also follow parts of this line and all three can be used as part of a longer walk between Sudbury and Lavenham.

At Long Melford, just past the old railway station, the railway line from Sudbury divided, to take you on your way to Cambridge and the London line or to Bury St Edmunds at a steady average speed of 32mph. The Melford Walk follows the line that was in use to Bury St Edmunds from 1865 to 1961, closing 6 years before the Sudbury to Cambridge lines. Both being the victims of the improving road system.




From Bull Lane, out along the disused railway track; deviation via the main street of Melford on return

Leaving Tim & Helen's house in Long Melford

The compulsory group photo

New developments next to Tim & Helen's

On to the old railway track




Straight and flat.... what more could you ask?

The Drays

Long Melford Railway Station.... now a home



Railway trestle bridge over the River Stour




Did not expect to find these young ladies in Suffolk!


Marshlands with a willow plantation







The Meadow Walk section of the Gainsborough Trail. This is the landscape that the Sudbury born artist Thomas Gainsborough would have known well and loved. The Meadow Walk is 3.5 miles (5 km) and continues her to the right taking you into the heart of Sudbury.

Proceed along the old railway track until very shortly you reach and area on your left which has been fenced off to keep out rabbits. This protected area contains dry grassland flora including Deptford Pink, a scarce wild flower in the English countryside now classified as endangered. Other flowering plants include Wild Clary, yellow Lady's Bedstraw and Mouse-ear Hawkweed, all of which thrive in this very free-draining soil.








Old horse drinking trough on Ballingdon Road, Sudbury

Ballingdon Road, Sudbury

Riverside Restaurant on the bank of the River Stour

River Stour



High Street, Long Melford


George & Dragon Hotel, Long Melford