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The Flitch Way

The Flitch Way near Braintree.

The Flitch Way passes through 15 miles of countryside along the former Bishop's Stortford to Braintree railway in the heart of rural Essex. Its name comes from a medieval ceremony, which originated in Little Dunmow and which still takes place every four years. The ceremony involved married couples trying to prove that they hadn't argued for a year and a day - if successful they were awarded with a Flitch (or side) of bacon.

The route of the Flitch Way has a multi-user surface making it accessible for all throughout the year. Much of the route can be explored on foot, bicycle or horseback taking you through wildlife-rich railway cuttings, past Victorian stations and over embankments with views across impressive farmlands, villages and woodland. Cycling the 8 mile route from Braintree to Little Dunmow is particularly ideal for families as it is completely traffic free giving everybody the opportunity to discover the wildlife. 

It would take a full day to walk the length of the Flitch Way from end to end, but with links to other paths it is easy to plan a circular walk. The route passes through historical towns and villages allowing you to explore places such as Great Dunmow or to combine a walk with refreshments being served at Rayne Station. The station was built in 1866 and was one of the busiest on the line. Renovated in 1994, it is now the Visitor Centre and Ranger base for the Flitch Way.

The Flitch way also links with other countryside attractions such as Great Notley Discovery Centre and Hatfield Forest.


Click here to download the Flitch Way leaflet.

For information on other attractions within 5 miles of the Flitch Way click here.


Essex County Council
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