Flitch Way is a former railway line that passes through 15 miles of rural Essex between Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree.
The flat, relatively straight and well-surfaced route is a favourite with joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers, horse riders and families 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 several historic towns and villages.
If you are travelling on public transport to get to one of the Essex Country Parks – take a look at the Traveline journey planner.
C/- Great Notley Country Park
There are a number of parking places along the Flitch Way - depending on where you want to start and finish. See the Flitch Way map.
The flat, well-maintained Flitch Way path is accessible to walkers with a range of mobility needs. It takes a full day to walk the 15 miles from Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree, but with many access points along the route and links to other paths, it's easy to plan the length of walk that suits you.
A there-and-back ride of the Flitch Way is possible in a day, including a refreshment stop. The surface stays fairly good all year round, so the Flitch Way is a good bridleway for winter and autumn when others are knee deep in mud.
The Flitch Way also connects at Graunt Courts with a bridleway that links Blake End and Frenches Green.
Cycling the eight miles from Braintree to Little Dunmow is ideal for families. Traffic free, it gives everyone the opportunity to discover.
Acting as a wildlife corridor, habitats along Flitch Way include grassland, wildflower meadow, farmland, woodland and hedgerow. These habitats support diverse plants, mammals, birds and insects, including orchids, glow worms and butterflies.
Dunmow Cutting is an especially important area for wildlife, its south facing bank providing a superb habitat for wildflowers, birds, butterflies and other insects.
Friends of the Flitch Way brings together local people wanting to maintain and improve the Flitch Way.
Under the guidance of Rangers, the Friends undertake many tasks, including coppicing, pond regeneration, scrub and ditch clearance, litter collection, hedge planting, installing benches, cutting back overgrown sections and even restoring a railway carriage. They also raise funds and apply for grants for development and maintenance of the Flitch Way. Contact the Friends directly through their website to get involved. Meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 9.15 at Rayne Village Hall. Contact Wendy Moss on 01376 329245 for more information.
Rayne Station was built in 1866. Now the Visitor Centre and main refreshment stop for the Flitch Way, it opens summer 9.30am to 3.30pm and winter 9.30am to 5pm.
Here you’ll find exhibitions on the rich heritage of the Flitch Way countryside and public toilets, including baby change and accessible facilities.
Inside Rayne Station is the popular Booking Hall Café, a community hub where you can have breakfast, lunch or a quick drink, including a huge range of specialty sandwiches, kids meals, jacket potatoes, paninis, toasties, soup, scones, cakes and hot drinks.