The Mayflower Line
The Mayflower lines runs from Manningtree to Harwich Town and was first proposed in 1846. This historic line provides a much needed transport link and runs along the river Stour with some beautiful scenery to enjoy.
It was my first time travelling the line and I was looking forward to it very much. I started my journey at Harwich Town catching the 12:28. The trains run hourly and there was plenty of seats. I was mindful to sit on the right hand side of the carriage to make the most of the views.
We set off promptly, stopping at Dovercourt and then the Harwich Ferry Terminal. There is a great view of the old gantry crane as you pull into the station. The port of Harwich was one of the first places in the UK to develop the gantry crane and it’s a fitting reminder to it’s historical past.
Wrabness was next on the line and here the conductor joined us and I must say he was the politests and most helpful conductor I’d ever come across. From Wrabness the train ambles along to Mistley, now, I did consider getting out here but I was keen to experience the whole journey so I pushed on to Manningtree.
I alighted here and made my way along the platform and out of the station. I decided to walk into Manningtree which didn’t take too long. My recommendation though would be to get off at Mistley and walk the other way into Manningtree as the river views are well worth it.
Manningtree is a picturesque town in a perfect position against the river with several coffee shops and pubs serving food and drink. I stopped for a coffee in the centre and took in the beautiful historic architecture.
After I was suitably rested I walked down to the riverside and took in the wonderful vista across the river. I headed east towards Mistley following the well trodden path. This is a walk that’s well worth it, there’s plenty of parking and a few ice cream vans too. I grabbed an ice cream and used one of the many benches to fully appreciate my surroundings.
My journey continued on to Mistley and as I rounded the curve in the road I was greeted by the welcoming site of Mistley Towers. These two towers are what remains of the church that was sited here and are certainly not going to be ignored by any visitors!
The sleepy village of Mistley is dominated by the maltings and you’re greeted by the sweet smell as you pass through. There are a couple of coffee shops here which I didn’t visit but I have made a mental note to pop back and sample their wares.
My short visit was over and it was time to go back to Harwich. The station is not far and I was soon on my way back.
If you ever get the time to travel the Mayflower Line I highly recommend it and when you get to Harwich why not take in the old Train Ferry Pier to complete your railway journey.
It’s a Bluzer!