Stour Valley Path | Part 1
Date: 20th April 2018 Distance: 27.6km (17.12 Miles) Parking: N/A
Start Location: Newmarket Ascent (m/ft): 234m (768ft) Weather:

Sunny

Time Started: 08:00 Highest Point: 118m (387ft) Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: 8 Hours 45 Minutes        
Route: Stour Valley Path - Day 1
Newmarket - Cambridge Hill - Devil's Ditch (Earthwork) - Stetchworth Park - Stetchworth - Basefield Wood - Ten Wood - River Stour - Little Bradley - Little Thurlow - Great Thurlow - Great Wratting - A143 - Kedington

I have been planning the Stour Valley Path for some months now and with work patterns and lack of annual leave I have decided to walk the path in single day sections, using public transport as much as possible to arrive and depart from the route.

This is the first day along the path, starting at Newmarket and finishing 17 miles later at Kedington just near Haverhill. My plan was also to document the entire route, researching historical sites and places of interest which can all be found in the video below.


Having arrived by train it was a mile or so walk to the start of the route by the clock tower in Newmarket town centre. Along the way I passed this pretty church.

The only remaining part of the Palace that once stood here. Channel 4 Time Team dug here several years ago.


The clock tower. This marks the start of the Stour Valley Path.


The first couple of miles takes you down the High Street (Great for some breakfast!) and along the roadside in a straight line. The loud traffic of rush hour made this part a little worse than it would normally be.

Newmarket Racecourse.

A glimpse of the Saxon Earthwork called Devils Dyke. The Stour Valley Path runs along the very crest of the bank.

Finally turning off the road and into the Cambridgeshire Countryside.

A view back to Newmarket Racecourse.

The Devils Dyke is the largest of a series of Ancient Saxon Earthworks in the area. Its very impressive and a delight to walk along half of it as part of the route.

Steep banks on both sides.


Vast earthworks.


For a mile or so I'm following two long distance paths, the Stour Valley Path and the Icknield Way.

It was near this pool that I was at the highest point along the whole Stour Valley Path.

Quite a few miles in (10 I think) and this ford and bridge is my first encounter with the River Stour.

Little Bradley Church.

Little Thurlow Church.

Crossing grazing marshes at Great Thurlow.

Great Thurlow Church.


Kedington Church. The last few miles you visit so many churches, probably the most along any 3 mile stretch of the route.


Following the Avenue of trees in Kedington to the end point.

The village sign. Kedington marked the end of this part of the route with the next stage being Kedington to Long Melford.