Manningtree – Dovercourt Walk – 06.03.2010

This walk was planned in the morning!  Manningtree – Englands smallest Town.    John Constable – The Painter – His countryside – Famous for “The Haywain”.    We were going to walk across to Mistley & Mistley Towers – not explore Dedham  / Flatford – maybe another time.

Walking into Manningtree itself, it had a must had an artist influence aleady as someone had a metal sculpture of a cow hanging from there wall!   Walking on to what is known as “The Walls” along the Stour Estaury it was quite deceptive to think that Spring was here, particularly as it was sunny but quite freezing.    I think I had the most amazing close up experience with a swan I ever had – there must have been over 70 swans in this place – and I must have lost count! (free-roaming!)

From 2010 – 06.03.2010 – Manningtree – Dovercourt Walk

We then reached Mistley Towers, which is the remains of the a church re-designed by Robert Adam in 1776,    They look quite stunning and I was quite surprised to see them  They were originally part of the Mistley Church of St Mary at Mistley, which has since been demolished – and it was part of a grand plan when they were going to turn Mistley in to a “Spa Town”.

Walking past Mistley, and past a recreation of a Swan – into open countryside.  We walked on into Bradfield.  It was here we decided to join “The Essex Way” – which I had referred to in an earlier blog – the Epping – Ongar Walk – where it starts!   If you read this blog you will know The Essex Way has some great signs in places and in others it does NOT! (So please note who is in charge – more signs please

At first, all was fine leading us to the railway bridge and just after, but then the signs vanished!  We made the rest up (I am not quite sure the stand this what happened on this bit!!)   Finally we found a sign and the Wrabness Nature Reserve!

From 2010 – 06.03.2010 – Manningtree – Dovercourt Walk

Having decided that we could not cope with any more of the Essex way, we decided to stick to the road.  First we had to find the Harwich Road again.  Looking for Road Signs (just as bad as the Path signs I note!)  we saw that we were on Church Hill (we knew this as we stopped for a break at the church!  According to our directions, we thought we were not far at all from Harwich.  Sadly we were wrong  we were still in Wrabness and still had to get to the village of Ramsey first.  On the way, we saw the wonderful little sight of a Windmill.      Quite stunning (and since found it is Grade II listed so will be on the landscape for quite a while)

From 2010 – 06.03.2010 – Manningtree – Dovercourt Walk

As we walked on it was then we realised that the Sun was starting to Set.    Light has started to change at this time of year, as British Summertime begins at the end of March, but the Sun still sets pretty quickly.   We had to speed up our walk sharpish.  Sticking to the roads, we walked up through Ramsey Village and up into Dovercourt.

When we passed into Dovercourt, I did still note that officially it was still 4 miles still into Harwich – so I knew we were not going to make it to Harwich that evening.  I did manage to come across something interesting however, Bobbits Hole Nature Reserve.    By this time it was very dark I could just make it out!  It seems to source of fresh water since the Middle Ages in this particular area – and has a wide variety of wildlife and is now preserved by the Harwich Society Nature Group.

At this point, the cold and need for a hot drink drove us to the local cafe (which by a miracle was still open) for tea.  It was then back to Dovercourt Station for the train back.  Click here for my Route Map

My Photo Album is as follows –

2010 – 06.03.2010 – Manningtree – Dovercourt Walk

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