We tried something a little different this morning – getting the bikes on the train at Marks Tey to Sudbury, and then cycling back to Marks Tey. It was a little different – whilst we had taken the bikes on the train once before, and cycled around Clare and Cavendish before training back, that was in about 1987!
We did consider getting a train from our local station, but that would have meant a change at Colchester, then at Marks Tey, so in the end put the bikes on the rack on the car and drove to Marks Tey. We may not be as young and as fit as we were in 1987, but we still managed (through necessity) to get from the car park at Marks Tey at 11:57 onto the station, and over the bridge (with the bikes) for the 12.01 train!
The train journey is a short one that goes over the Chappel Viaduct. In pre-Beeching days the train went out to Clare, but now terminates in Sudbury between Roys of Wroxham and Waitrose.
The 15mile route is on the Gmap Pedometer site : click on the thumbnail below to see it.
As it’s only a 15mile route, you should have plenty of time for sightseeing, and there’s a lot to see in Sudbury, as we’ve mentioned before. The route we took takes you straight out of the railway station and up Station Road to a t-junction, where you turn left, and follow the road until the next t-junction, where you take a left, to a third t-junction, where you turn left again.
Once you’re over the river, at the first traffic lights, turn left, and you’re headed south, into the countryside, and very quickly back in to Essex. Bear left onto the Lamarsh Road, and brace yourself for a couple of steepish hills. It’s lovely countryside, so make sure you enjoy it! You’ll pass the Henny Swan pub and restaurant, and further down the road you’ll get to the Lamarsh Lion. We had a meal at the Lamarsh Lion a while back (review) and stopped there today for quick half and an early respite.
Continue down the road, up and down hill, until you get to Bures. Turn left under the railway arch and along Station Road until you come to a t-junction. You’ve got a couple more pubs nearby, and the village of Bures itself. If you’re not going to be passing through here for a while, spend 15 minutes looking around. Otherwise, turn right onto the Colchester Road, and you’ve got a half mile or so of the busiest road on the ride, and it’s not that busy! Look out for the signpost taking you to the right for Mount Bures. There’s a bit of a climb up to where you cross the railway line. Cross the line and carry on straight ahead.
There’s a lovely church to the right, and after a little while there’s the Thatchers Arms, where we stopped for another quick drink, and a bowl of pickled quail’s eggs and crisps (as you do) and admired the view from their garden, which was very bucolic today as there was a farmer in an old tractor threshing (or doing something) with a field of hay.
Carrying on down past the East Anglian Railway Museum you come to a junction – admire the Chappel Viaduct to the left, and cross over the road, over the new bridge, past the lovely old Swan Inn, which is great for food and ale drawn straight from the cask (review). But it’s only 5 minutes from the Thatchers Arms and the Swan Inn, so you probably won’t stop at both unless you’re determined to stop at all the good real ale pubs en route!
If you admired the wonderful arches of the Chappel Viaduct, you’ll have been impressed by their height. Well, you now have to go up a couple of hills as the ground rises to the level of the top of the viaduct!
After you’ve reached the top (the hills aren’t that bad, this is Essex!) you go through Great Tey. There is an option to take a little longer, and to head to Kelvedon railway station (details at the bottom of this page). But to get back to Marks Tey, take the signposted left to Aldham, where you follow a quiet lane until you come to a t-junction, and turn right where it’s signposted Marks Tey, and you’ve got the final stretch back to the railway station.
Alternative route to Kelvedon
Click on the image below for a map.
Passing the left turn to Aldham, which takes you to Marks Tey, take the right by the side of the church, and take the left at the junction past the pub. The tricky bits on this very rural lane is to take the right onto Buckley’s Lane (it’s the first decision you have to make on the lane, about 1.5 miles in to this part of the journey); and to take the right rather than the left at the t-junction a little while later – the left takes you straight onto a stretch of the A120 you wouldn’t want to cross over, whereas the right takes you to a t-junction with the B1024/Colne Road, which you turn left onto and go past the entrance to Marks Hall before you get to the A120 where it’s much easier to cross into Coggeshall.
Follow the signs through Coggeshall town centre, and after the junction where if you look to the right you can see the famous white clock tower, look for the left turn to take you down and over the bridge. It’s plain sailing on the B10124 through Coggeshall Hamlet until you get to Kelvedon railyway station. Of course, if you have time, spend some in Coggeshall which is another lovely village Essex has to offer.