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What am I looking at?

This viewpoint looks out over the Box Valley, with Stoke-by-Nayland in the distance to the left and St Mary’s Church in Polstead to the right.

The River Box is arguably the most picturesque tributary of the River Stour, flowing through extensive quite, unspoilt countryside.

What lives here?

Polstead contains several areas of ancient woodland, including Dollops Wood, which is situated to the north of the village. The woodland is well-known for its annual display of bluebells, which flower between April and June.

The wood is dominated by beech, oak and alder trees and is home to a range of wildlife including gatekeeper butterflies, bullfinches, goldcrests and whitethroats.

Looking back…

Marten’s Lane, which starts at the trail head on the northern foot of Polstead Hill, gets its name from Maria Martens – the daughter of a renowned mole catcher who was murdered in the nearby ‘Red Barn’ in 1827.

The manhunt, trial and eventual execution of Marten’s killer was well-publicised and inspired songs and plays that remained popular throughout the 19th century and are even occasionally performed to this day.

Walks and more

The centre of Polstead is less than a kilometre away and has a pub and community shops. Polstead Church is even closer; its position on top of the hill off Holt Road offering fantastic valley views.

For a more challenging walk, why not try the 10km Polstead Circular, which incorporates part of the famous Stour Valley Path.

Routes and more can be found in our Box Valley Explorer Guide.