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The Flitch Way stretches almost 15 miles along the track of the former railway line between Braintree and Bishop's Stortford which opened in 1869. Although the last passenger train ran in 1952, goods continued to be carried until the end of 1971. Most of the track was removed in 1972 with the final stretch towards the Bishops's Stortford end going in 1974.
Today, the flat, relatively straight and well-surfaced route is a favourite with joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers, families, and in some sections - horse riders - looking to escape the traffic.
There are a number of interesting sites along the way, including Victorian railway stations, Hatfield Forest, Great Notley Country Park, Rayne Station with its Booking Hall Café and Railway Carriage Museum, and several historic towns and villages.
A variety of landscapes and habitatis can be found along the Flitch Way ranging from open stretches affording views of farmland on either side of the track to enclosed areas such as the Dunmow Cutting.
Why is it called the Flitch Way? The name comes from the medival Flitch wedding ceremony, held in Little Dunmow, in which the local monks gave a side of bacon (a flitch) to any newly married couples who lasted a year and a day without arguing.
- On-site catering - Rayne Station is now a Visitor Centre and main refreshment stop for the Flitch Way, it opens summer 9.30am to 3.30pm and winter 9.30am to 5pm.
- Picnic site - Along route