If you head out of Manningtree east along the waterfront, you will end up in Mistley in about two minutes! That could be slightly longer as there is often a mobile coffee shop, ice cream van, and lots of swans and a photogenic view of the Stour estuary to slow you down.
Mistley has two striking porticoed towers, all that is left on an unconventional Georgian church designed by Robert Adams in 1776 on behalf of Richard Rigby, who was responsible for developing Mistley Quay. There’s a brouhaha and a hullabaloo at the moment as access to the Quay is no longer possible, due to landowners erecting a large fence.
Trains stop at Mistley station, and the A120/B1035 gets you into Manningtree/Mistley easily. You can take in Manningtree and Mistley on a circular 25mile route starting in Colchester.
Out and About
Mistley adjoins Manningtree, and for a full day out visit both of them.
Once you’ve photographed the two towers, and walked up and down the High Street admiring the industrial heritage, you can pop into Mistley Place Park, which has rescue animals of all shapes and sizes (and a tearoom).
There’s the famous Mistley Thorn restaurant and rooms, if you want to go a bit more upmarket. Opposite the Thorn is the famous swan fountain, and there’s a nice cafe behind it.
If you can, find the time to visit ancient oak Old Knobbley. He’s a venerable tree about 800 years old. We’ll repeat that. He’s a tree that is about 800 years old. You don’t get to see many of them, so go and say hello. You’ll find him on Facebook.
If you’re a walker and like long walks, Mistley is on the Essex Way, and railway stations at Manningtree, Mistley, Wrabness and Harwich make it a stretch of the Essex Way perfect for doing by public transport rather than having to park a car at the start and finish point of your day’s walk (or walking from point A to B and back to A!).
There’s a 7mile AA circular walk that starts at Manningtree Station and goes through Mistley. The Mistley part of the walk will be about half that distance.
And The Daily Telegraph had a 13mile Mistley to Harwich as ‘Walk of the Month’ back in April 2006. (It’s a linear walk, so you get the train back!)