This walk starts amid the traditional landscape of a pre-factory farmed age in East Anglia. Through winding country lanes and sleepy hamlets it progresses onto the high wheat plains of the Suffolk/Essex border, with panoramic views over the Stour.
Chappel station is the well kept home of the East Anglian Railway Museum. Go out of the station and walk down the driveway to the road. Turn right at the T junction by the signal post and walk uphill. At the T junction turn right onto the road signposted “Fordham” and cross the station throat via the bridge.
Just beyond the bridge, before the railway cottages, is a gap in the hedge on your left. Turn into this and follow the edge of the field along a well marked footpath paralleling the railway, towards a small wood.
Pass over a stream across the small meadow, keeping to its left hand side, and pass into the wood. Follow the board-walked path through the wood keeping the railway immediately to your left. Keep an eye open for deer and foxes. At the footpath T junction turn right and follow the track through the wood, onto a grassy track to the road and turn left onto the road. At the triangular junction, bear right sign-posted “Fordham”. Carry straight on at another T junction, heading towards Mount Bures.
At the next bridleway sign on the right (it probably has a chain across the entrance), turninto the bridleway. Carry on past Sergeant’s Orchard (an Essex Wildlife Trust reserve). The path leads to a concrete track, which you take until a T junction on the track. Turn left and follow this for about a mile, past the reservoir. You are now on the old Wormingford air-field which was originally a relief airfield in World War One, and used by the United States Air Force in World War Two. It is now used by the Essex and Suffolk Glider Club. Before you reach the glider club’s clubhouse, a line of trees curves away to the left towards a boundary edge. Fork left along the side of these trees (trees will be on your right) and follow the trees to the road.
Turn left onto the road and immediately right before a group of houses. Follow the edge of one of the house’s garden and at a gap in the hedge fork left towards the cluster of houses following a well trodden path to the main Colchester to Bures road. This is Wormingford. The Crown public house is just down the road to your left if you require refreshment. Otherwise cross the main road and go along Church Road. Past the final house turn left into a green lane which turns into a well marked field path.
Continue along this to the road, then turn sharp right inside the hedge and follow it downhill. Pass over a stile into a rolling meadow and turn right following the crest of a hill along the fence. Go through the gate at the corner of the meadow and cut across to the gate to the right of a clump of mainly pine trees on a bluff overlooking the Stour Valley. Pass left through the gate, down the hill and across the field towards the valley floor. Pass over a bridge across a farm track, and follow the path to cross the field into the valley bottom. Pass through the hedge at the field corner and proceed down along the left hand hedge to a farm track. Turn right down this onto a meadow land by the Stour and turn left by the power pole.
Where the meadow and field meet the trees, pass through the hedge by the signpost and follow the path along the hedge on your right. Follow the path straight on. Under a tree, cross a footbridge and climb a stile. Now cut straight across the water meadows towards Bures Mill using the stiles set into paddock fences. At the mill, cross the river by the mill pond. Pass round the mill and go down the driveway turning left then right into Bures. (You will also see a footpath cutting off a field corner which you may also take.) Turn left into the village and at the Community Centre turn left through the childrens’ play area onto the recreation ground.
Walk diagonally across this to your right until you reach the cricket field, then right again along a boundary wall. A gateway brings you into a gravelled lane passing alongside the village church of St Marys. On reaching the main road turn left over the bridge from Suffolk into Essex. Where the main road bears to your left, carry straight on past the Swan Inn to Bures station.