please empty your brain below

Sounds idyllic.

You were quite close to Margaret Thatcher's place of work as a research chemist with BX Plastics (formerly British Xylonite), at Lawford Place, before she was elected. Now part of a housing development, I think. The company also had a factory just north of the river, near Brantham.
"making some kind of map essential"

Some kind of map is *always* essential
A lovely area this, I did a similar walk a few months back, taking in Flatford, Dedham and East Bergholt.

The scone of the month sounds disgusting. I thought Earl Grey might be something you have *with* a scone rather than *in* it!
"be able to manage at 70" ...that be one day in 2035 to look forward to
Haven't been here for quite a while; must do it again soon ... before I'm 70!
Very good photos; would make good cards for National Trust shops.
I do love Dedham. The latest stay was with my better half last summer, when we walked a chunk of the Essex Way footpath and stayed overnight in the Sun Inn. She wanted to see Flatford Mill so we went at the best tourist-free time - 7.30am on a Sunday. Took a great set of pictures to boot. And your point about the last stretch of the Stour Valley Path holds; interesting it ain't. That said, the path in the other direction, towards Stoke-by-Nayland, Bures and Sudbury, is just gorgeous. Well worth a walk sometime.
Looking back to Randolph Churchill
Stour (or Stour House) stands on the rim of Dedham Vale looking down towards Dedham and backs on to what was once the green of East Bergholt until it was enclosed. The house was once the home of Winston Churchill's rather disappointing son, Randolph - but, after all, WS was a tough act to follow!

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