NT Heritage Open Day Visits with 8 Mile (13km) Hike & Picnic

  • September 14, 2013 · 8:30 AM
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A rare chance to visit two historic National Trust (NT) properties, open exceptionally for free for the Hertitage Open Day scheme, linked by a 8 mile stroll through lovely rural East Anglian countryside.

Itinerary

After alighting from our rural branch line at Sudbury station, we have time for a bonus 50 minute town tour - highlights include fine East Anglian architecture, the birthplace of the artist Thomas Gainsborough and the world famous "Horse Trough", with links to the 101 Dalmations!

We will then take a bus to Lavenham, one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe.  Amongst the many timber framed listed buildings is the 16C Guildhall, now a local history museum with a charming walled garden.  This is also our first NT property to visit, with guided tours for those who want to learn more about the history of the village and Guildhall.

After all of this exhausting history and culture, we will reinvigorate ourselves with a 4 mile saunter to our second NT stop at Melford Hall.  We will have around 2 1/2 hours to visit this Elizabethan banqueting house, stuffed with nautical memorabilia, including loot plundered from a Spanish ship in 1762, learn more about it's links with Beatrix Poter, explore the 52 hectare estate and take a picnic on the lawns.

The final leg will invole meandering onwards another 4 miles through deep East Anglian countryside back to Sudbury.  Those who want to head straight home can do so (Plan A), whilst the rest of us will find a suitable establishment to socialise, take much deserved refreshments and perhaps play some darts (Plan B).

We will not be taking a pub lunch as a group on this trip, but will have a group picnic instead - sharing is encouraged!  Park games will also be available for anyone with excess energy to burn! Both NT properties have tea rooms for those who would prefer this option, or if the weather turns against us.

The terrain is flat to gently undulating on well sufaced trails (~1/2 on disused railways) and the distance moderate, so this will be a chilled and relaxed day out.

Transport

Outwards: 09:02 train from Liverpool St, changing at Marks Tey, arriving Sudbury 10:21, then 11:10 #753 bus onwards to Lavenham, arriving 11:40.

Return: Plan A, probably 18:26 train from Sudbury, arriving Liv St 19:45.  Plan B folks will probably return 2 hours later.

Cost

£20, including the return train fares and bus from Sudbury to Lavenham and guided / backmarked hike.  Please pay the hike leaders in cash on the train.


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  • Marion

    A fun day out. I love walks where you can buy/get random things, from jam to eggs, blackberries to plums and pears, soap to Peter Rabbit pins. Oh, and a book on carrots & Co.

    September 16, 2013

  • Tony

    Magic as usual :))

    September 15, 2013

  • Zita

    It was little bit of everything in 1 day, really happy to joined yesterday and feel lucky meeting great people of this meetup!
    I just missed one info...did anyone finally buy from the farm eggs? :)

    September 15, 2013

    • Zita

      I assume she is having a very nice breakfast than. Enjoy! :)

      1 · September 15, 2013

    • Marion

      Yes. I did. Thank you. :-)

      1 · September 15, 2013

  • Lotta

    Thank you for another fab hike - surprised at how much we could fit into one day!

    September 15, 2013

  • Mehdi

    Great day out. Very well planned. Thank you Andy/Paul and everyone else!

    1 · September 15, 2013

  • Andrew H.

    I slept like a contented baby after all that delicious wild (and OK not quite so wild NT garden) fruit, random interactions with the perhaps slightly too friendly locals and the exertions of pip-spitting, which surely should be introduced at the next Olympics? Thanks all for so wisely ignoring the dire weather forecast and making it yet another memorable day out!

    5 · September 15, 2013

  • Maja

    I wasn't going to write much, but here is my true comment about today: this walk will be long in my memory not because of the length or the weather nor because of the National Heritage sites. I will remember it for the sweet plums and apples I ate while chatting to you about philosophy, ethics, love, careers, discrimination, Mothers, friendship and alienation. I will remember it for the ripe blackberries that distracted me from keeping an eye on the colourful jacket of our backmarker Paul (my apologies for getting lost). I got lost and you found me...and I thought I was leading :-)

    6 · September 14, 2013

  • Gabrielle

    Thank you, thank you, thank you...

    I am at a loss for words, so I'll express myself in song :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...­

    1 · September 14, 2013

  • Emmylou

    Brilliant day - all that free fruit! And the funniest game of snap I've ever played.

    1 · September 14, 2013

  • Maja

    It didn't rain! Well done Paul :-)

    2 · September 14, 2013

  • Annie

    Three dizzy spells today and therefore reluctant to take a space when I may not be up to a whole day out. Apologies for the late (though reluctant) change in RSVP. Hope you all have a super day!

    September 13, 2013

  • Maja

    Are we swimming?

    September 12, 2013

    • Emmylou

      For once, I'm not going to argue.

      September 13, 2013

    • Gabrielle

      Tomorrow everybody including me will get a mud bath whether we like it or not... Bring it on :)

      September 13, 2013

  • Linda

    Hey, so sorry, but can't make it due to work :(. Only just saw today that I'd moved off the waiting list! Enjoy tomorrow!

    September 13, 2013

  • Edmund

    I planned this morning something else as I did not think I was going to get in sorry

    September 13, 2013

  • Andrew H.

    Hi all, the weather forecast hints a a touch of dampness in the air on Saturday! Despite the terrible risk to my hairstyle, the trip will still go ahead whatever the weather. There are also plenty of cafes and pubs on our route if it gets too wet for a picnic.

    1 · September 12, 2013

  • Adele

    sorry, I have to work this weekend, and quite bummed to be missing this great trip

    September 12, 2013

  • Matthew F.

    Sorry guys...I am ducking out too

    September 11, 2013

  • Margaret

    Sorry, I won't be able to come along. Have fun!

    September 11, 2013

  • Marion

    No swimming?

    September 2, 2013

  • Pedro

    Unfortunately have to pull out due to important commitments. Hope the weather forecast improves a bit, and that you can have a swim rather than experience a flood! Have fun!

    September 11, 2013

  • Stephan

    Really sorry I can't make it this time... Hope someone else can take my place, I'll see you in one of the next hikes

    September 10, 2013

  • Claudia

    Sorry- have to work...

    September 9, 2013

  • Santiago

    Dear all, I have family coming this Saturday. Hope someone can take my place and enjoy the hike and ..... swimming?

    September 9, 2013

  • Milena

    Misread dates, I will not be away..

    August 22, 2013

  • Ozgur G

    Couldn't get my doctor's consent. You all enjoy the day!

    August 16, 2013

    • Maja

      You just get better. There will be walks in future.

      August 16, 2013

  • Marion

    Will join you at the stop in Stratford (09.09). Andy, please still include me for the tickets. :)

    July 27, 2013

  • Stephan

    Hi there! I'm from Germany and have been living in London for about a year. Always looking forward to meet new people. The hike sounds great!

    July 27, 2013

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