Essex’s best walks: Three miles around the hills near Alphamstone and Lamarsh

PUBLISHED: 12:57 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:10 04 June 2020

View at Lamarsh

View at Lamarsh


The area around Alphamstone is a rather hilly part of Essex, but the ups and downs of this walk provide some lovely views of the Essex countryside | Words and photos: Laurie Page Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council

The walk

1) Proceed up the road following the road sign towards Pebmarsh. At the next road junction (fork) keep right and after the peach-coloured thatched cottage, turn right onto a footpath − going down between a fence on the left and a high bank.

Alphamstone ChurchAlphamstone Church

At the bottom, cross a footbridge over a babbling brook and go through a wooden kissing gate then up to a wooden field gate where there is a footpath junction. Turn right across a meadow. This leads to another gate by the little lane (Henny Back Road). Turn right down the lane.

2) Continue for some distance, as the lane runs back uphill ascending quite steeply. When you reach the road junction at the top, turn left and proceed to the next road junction.

Alphamstone church and cottageAlphamstone church and cottage

Before you continue, enjoy the wonderful distant view ahead. Turn right along the lane. Continue to where the pylons cross the road. Here you turn right through a gate onto a footpath, which is part of the St Edmund Way.

Follow a wide path with distant views to the left. This eventually bends sharp left with views of Lamarsh Church in front with its unusual round tower. Descend to the road at Lamarsh Hall.

Lamarsh ChurchLamarsh Church

3) Turn right along the road to Holy Innocents Church. Opposite the church, turn right onto a footpath next to the access drive to the Old Rectory, keeping to the right of the hedge. The path runs up along the field boundary.

At the end of the tree line, follow the way-marker sharp left and at the next way-marker soon after, turn right going uphill along the field edge with good views to your left, then going back down between trees.

The walk mapThe walk map

Continue on through a kissing gate into a grass field and down to another gate by the lane. Turn left along the lane and uphill quite steeply, back to the road junction by Alphamstone Church. 

Compass points

Distance: 2.7 miles (4.4 km).

Starting point: Alphamstone Church (Sat Nav CO8 5HE)

Getting There: From the Henny Road, which runs between Bures and Sudbury, turn off at Lamarsh onto Lamarsh Road which takes you to the Church of St Barnabas at Alphamstone. In front of the church, by the red telephone box, is a small parking area.

Map: OS Explorer 196 Sudbury, Hadleigh and Dedham Vale

Refreshment: The Lion at Lamarsh (Sat Nav CO8 5EP) and two miles north on the Henny Road is the Henny Swan, which comes highly recommended.

Places of interest nearby: Several miles to the north, over the county border into Suffolk and just the other side of Sudbury, is the village of Long Melford which has two very good stately homes. Melford Hall is a National Trust property and the seat of the Parker family. Beatrix Potter was related and often visited the hall. Kentwell Hall, almost next door, is a grand, privately-owned Tudor house which stages wonderful Tudor Days, recreating Tudor life.

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