Route details, maps, pubs, features, local history and folklore for a wide variety of walks focusing primarily on Norfolk and Suffolk

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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Fynn Valley Circular Walk

A 16 mile walk along the Suffolk Fynn Valley between Woodbridge and Witnesham, with a return route via Grundisburgh and Hasketon.

The Fynn Valley Walk is an official waymarked route following the course of the River Fynn from Witnesham to Martlesham then continuing through to Woodbridge along the banks of the River Deben. For this walk, the Fynn Valley route is walked in reverse then public footpaths are used across the fields to Grundisburgh and Hasketon and back down into Woodbridge to make a circular walk.

Monday, 17 December 2018

The Sandlings Walk

The Sandlings Waymarker

An overview of the Sandlings Walk, a 55 mile long distance path through the forests and heaths of East Suffolk

The Sandlings is a 55 mile walk starting at Rushmere Heath on the eastern side of Ipswich with Southwold, passing through the remaining fragments of East Suffolks Sandling Heaths. The trail leads through Rendlesham, Tunstall and Dunwich forests and also includes riverside walks at Woodbridge and heathland walks across Rushmere Heath, Sutton Heath, Thorpeness Common and Dunwich Heath..

Thursday, 20 December 2018

The Sandlings Walk - Martlesham to Rushmere Heath

Martlesham Heath Control Tower Museum

A 4.5 mile walk across heathland from Martlesham to Rushmere Heath on the eastern fringes of Ipswich

Like most modern towns, Ipswich is suffering from a seemingly endless amount of urban sprawl that envelops the traditional villages that once surrounded it. However, this walk follows heathland that is hidden behind the housing estates all the way from Martlesham through to Rushmere Heath and Ipswich Hospital

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Deben Valley Walk from Wickham Market to Woodbridge

An 8 mile walk along the Deben Valley in Suffolk from Wickham Market to Woodbridge

This walk follows the route of the East Suffolk Line Walks along the Deben Valley. An easy and simple walk with the highlight of the village of Ufford which boasts its very own microbrewery and ancient church. The walk ends with an amble along the popular riverside path between Melton and Woodbridge.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

The Sandlings Walk - Bromeswell to Snape

Wantisden church

A 16 mile walk along the Suffolk Sandlings Path between Bromeswell and Snape taking in Rendlesham and Tunstall forests

The route leads across gorse covered heathland and through forest which typifies the modern landscape of the Sandlings. The forests are a modern development, set up with the founding of Forestry Commission during the 1920's to provide Britain with a sustainable source of timber. One cannot fail to notice the twin airbases of Woodbridge and Bentwaters, the scene of a infamous military encounter with a UFO during December 1980.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The Fonnereau Way to Ipswich

Christchurch Park

A 12 mile walk between Woodbridge and Ipswich incorporating sections from the Fonnereau Way, the Sandlings and the Fynn Valley Way

This walk links the railway stations of Woodbridge, Westerfield and Ipswich with scenic views along the estuary at Woodbridge and the Fynn Valley before entering Ipswich from the west through the historic parkland known as Christchurch park which dates from the 12th century which includes many historic features and a mansion that is open to the public.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Bromeswell Village Walk

St Edmunds church

A very easy 2 mile walk around the Suffolk Village of Bromeswell

The Sandlings Path avoids the busy road between Melton and the footpath across the Heathland to Rendlesham Forest by navigating around the quiet village of Bromeswell. Although only a short distance, it is worth taking ones time to explore this quiet village with its typically East Anglian church of St Edmund.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

An Extended Walk around the Rendlesham UFO Trail

A 12 mile circular walk starting at Eyke and incorporating the UFO Trail in Suffolk's Rendlesham Forest

The Rendlesham UFO trail is a waymarked 3 mile trail around the eastern end of Rendlesham Forest that navigates around the key areas that were involved in the Rendlesham Forest Incident of 1980 in which both civilian and military personnel witnessed unexplained craft land within the forest. Although this can be walked by parking up at the visitor car-park in the forest, a longer alternative is to take the footpaths from Eyke, and make a day of this most wonderful and intriguing part of Suffolk.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Sandlings Walk - Rushmere to Melton Walk Summary

Salt marsh

The Suffolk Sandlings path between Rushmere, on the eastern side of Ipswich, and Melton

The Sandlings is a long distance path linking Ipswich and Southwold through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A starting point is provided at Rushmere Heath, close to Ipswich Hospital and takes a rural route out behind Kesgrave and through to Martlesham. The trail then heads down to Martlesham Creek, a sizeable creek off of the River Deben that creek was said to be used in 18th century smuggling days as a discreet place to offload contraband. A riverside path then provides access all the way through to Melton. This is the highlight of the walk, a true delight to wander no matter what time of the year.

Although there are no specific pubs along the route, a short diversion gives access to The Black Tiles at roughly the half way point. There is public transport linking the two ends with 800 First Group bus service departing from outside Melton railway station. The 64 service follows a similar route and departs from The Street in Melton. There is no Sunday service.

Features along the route include an anonymous grave on Martlesham Heath known as Dobbs' Grave, reputedly the resting place of a shepherd boy named Dobbs who committed suicide. The area is purported to be haunted some saying it to be the ghost of Brainy Dobbs, an airman from Martlesham Heath airfield.

Martlesham Heath Control Tower Museum is located a little further along and pays homage to RAF Martlesham Heath, which contributed to the development of aviation as well as being a key airfield during two world wars. Open on Sundays from Easter to October.

The impressive renovated Tide Mill sits on the banks of the Deben at Woodbridge and is a worthwhile attraction to take time out and visit. The mill, over 800 years old, is said to be the oldest in the country.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Sandlings Walk - Ipswich to Melton

boat on Deben estuary

The start of the Sandlings can be found in several points in Ipswich but we chose Rushmere Heath opposite Ipswich hospital. One thing about Ipswich is that it always reminds you that it is there despite the peacefulness of the Heath. There is constant background noise of sirens, traffic, distant motorbikes.Once past Martlesham you are then in the serenity of the countryside with all the delights of the river Deben and Martlesham Creek.

NOTE - this walk page has been superseded by a Walk summary located at Rushmere to Melton Walk Summary

Monday, 21 January 2019

An Amble up the Deben Estuary

Felixstowe Ferry

A 13 mile walk along the River Deben in Suffolk, starting at Felixstowe and ending in Martlesham

The lovely walk along the Deben estuary. Although parts are inaccessible due to breaches of the flood banks, the mix of riverside paths, country lanes and footpaths provides an ideal mix of landscapes to keep any walker fascinated. The May bush pub offers a perfect place to take a rest and refreshment, its riverside location unbeatable.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A Spooky Suffolk Walk to Potsford Gibbet

Potsford Gibbet

A 6.5 mile circular walk around Wickham Market in Suffolk to take in the spooky sights of Potsford Gibbet

Jonah Snell was reputedly the last man to be 'hung in chains' at Potsford Gibbet in 1699 as decreed by the cracked plaque that is affixed to the decaying post which is all that remains of the gibbet. His ghost is said to haunt the area and the hill up to the location of the Gibbet is still locally known as Dragarse Hill after he was dragged by his arse up the hill to the gibbet for his part in the grizzly murders carried out at Letheringham Mill.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Sweffling Circular Walk 2

Salt marsh

Short circular walk through the Suffolk countryside around the village of Sweffling

The second circular walk that starts and ends at the Sweffling White Horse pub. This leads the rambler across river valley, woodland and some amazing Suffolk countryside. This is a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning, ending up with a pint and some lunch at the pub which really is a traditional old local with a tap room full of local ales.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Stour and Orwell Walk - Cattawade to Shotley Gate Walk Summery

Salt marsh

A walk along the Stour estuary following the Stour and Orwell long distance path.

The Stour and Orwell Walk is a long distance trail that follows the estuaries of South Suffolk. This 42 mile trail links Felixstowe and Manningtree and this specific walk is the southern most section that follows the north side of the River Stour estuary. There are some superb views across the wide waters that separate Suffolk and Essex and although there is not full access along the waterfront, the route provides a pleasant days ramble to the head of the Shotley peninsular. This specific route also diverges from the official route to take in the village of Erwarton, a quiet and tranquil Suffolk community that is a pleasure to meander through.

The route is waymarked throughout although it is advisable to use an OS map or GPX tracker software to clarify the route in a few specific points where the way onwards becomes ambiguous. Do check tide times as there is a short section along the beach by Sutton Ness which can become inaccessible during periods of high tide.

The main limitation of this walk is the transport access between the two ends. There is no direct bus service and one needs to use Ipswich as a link. Having said this, the services do allow ample time to perform the walk.

It is advisable to take food and drink as there are little opportunities to purchase any on the route, with the only pub encountered being that at the end of the walk.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Rendlesham Forest and Butley Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A woodland walk, a UFO encounter, quiet country lanes and a good old country pub

This is a great way to spend a day exploring. Rendlesham forest has many trails created by the Forestry Commission in order to discover this working forest. However this trail goes off piste to discover a little more. The first notable thing of the walk is the runway close to the car park. Although now redundant, this was a RAF air base that was taken over by the USAF and was a key hub during the Cold War. The forest surrounding the base is renowned as the location of a UFO encounter by US military that occurred during December 1980 and the Forestry Commission have a trail dedicated to this. The first part of this route heads out along this trail to view the UFO sculpture that depicts the craft encountered at one of the alleged landing sites. Some claim that the forest is still subject to strange unearthly occurrences so tread carefully!

The route heads out to view the curious sculpture which substitutes as the village sign for the village of Capel St Andrew. This iron man was commissioned at the millennium and created by local sculptor Paul Richardson. It is said to represent St Andrew as a fisherman, with his left hand clutching an eel whilst his right holds a fish. He is surrounded by oak trees that once covered this landscape and at his feet is a chapel from which the word capel is derived.

The walk also pays a visit to the ruins of Butley Abbey which dates from the 12th century. All that is left is a tall arch from the original church building which is now hidden away within a group of farm buildings. Further north is the impressive building of Butley Priory which was originally a 14th century gatehouse to the abbey. These days it is renovated and used as a wedding venue.

More information on the UFO encounter can be found at An Extended Walk around the Rendlesham UFO Trail.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Aldringham Fen Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A Short Circular Walk around Aldringham Fen

This is one of Suffolk's little secrets, hidden away from roads and off the beaten track. Tranquillity is guaranteed and there are some times of the year when one can walk around the entire route without seeing a soul. The area known as Aldringham Fens is a secluded haven of nature and wildlife, an area of marsh and reed-bed fed by the Hundred river which passes to the southern side of the fens.

It is thought that the fen may have possibly been the result of medieval peat extraction. It is known that before the railway arrived The Fens were a continuation of what is now Thorpeness Mere, the whole area being a vast shallow expanse of salt marsh. The railway provided an embankment to separate the Mere from the fen and the Mere became the modern day boating lake as part of Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie's early 20th century vision of a creating an idyllic Seaside village by the sea.

Access to the walk is via a footpath from Aldringham through to the picturesque Aldringham church. This is a pleasant path through an undulating Suffolk coastal countryside. The path continues down to the fen through more country side before circumnavigating the wetland by footpaths across boardwalks, across heath and through woodland . Return is back via the church.

This walk can equally be accessed from the village of Thorpeness, navigating along the side of the Mere to North Warren where there is access onto the Fen path.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Leiston to Buxlow Church Ruins - Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A country ramble to the lost parish of Buxlow

This walk provides a days ramble to view the ruins of Buxlow church. Many may have never heard of the parish of Buxlow, even those local to the area, and they can be forgiven for their ignorance since the parish was consolidated with Knodishall on 22nd February 1721.

Little is left of Buxlow church, which was dedicated to St Peter. There is merely a remnant of a wall from the old round tower that now rests in the garden of a domestic house which is viewable from the track that runs between the two houses. There are suggestions that the church was one of those recorded for Knodishall in the Domesday book and records certainly show there was a rector of the parish from 1301 onwards. By the middle of the 17th century it was reported to be 'decayed and ruinated tyme out of mind' although a rectors of the parish were still being recorded up to 1716 when Robert Witchingham held the honour.

Whilst admiring this piece of history the lady from the adjacent house engaged us in conversation stating that there have been many archaeological finds in the fields to front of the ruins. She even remarked of the many Roman coins that were constantly being unearthed. This is certainly not recorded on the Suffolk Heritage website so this is merely word of mouth. This does spark the imagination as the nearby hamlet of East Green is one of the suggestions of the long lost Roman station of Sitomagus. Maybe there was a connection from East Green to Aldringham which local folklore states was was a Roman port, the river Hundred in those days said to be navigable to sea going ships.

Note that a similar walk is described on this site with an alterntive route. This can be found on the page titled A Walk Around the Churches of Knodishall and Friston.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Saxtead and Earl Soham Circular Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A country ramble through rural Suffolk taking in the villages of Saxtead and Earl Soham

This walk can be described as a typical Suffolk rural ramble. Quiet country lanes and accessible footpaths make this suitable for anyone.

Highlights begin almost immediately with the working Saxtead Green Post Corn Mill, preserved and maintained by English Heritage. As the route descends into Earl Soham there is the 13th century church of St Mary which is well worth visiting. The village of Earl Soham is a real piece of picture postcard Suffolk with its broad leafy main street providing an air of tranquillity. At the western end the road passes across the River Ken which is no more than a babbling brook that feeds into the River Deben.

At the edge of the village is the traditional old pub known as The Victoria. Unspoilt and unmodernised, this is a delight to visit. It once hosted a brewery, but due to demand it was moved across the road and has subsequently moved out of the village although it still supplies the pub with its traditional local ales.

Leiston to Reckford Circular Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A circular walk encapsulating Leiston Airfield, Theberton woods and the Minsmere River

Few may have heard of Reckford and indeed as a location it is pretty much lost in the landscape. There is a Reckford Road in the neighbouring village and there is a 16th century Reckford Farmhouse and there is the Reckford Bridge but to all intents and purposes the community of Reckford is not recognised, just a small area of the village of Middleton. Whether the area was ever judged to be a village is unknown. Nonetheless we will make it the destination of this circular walk.

The walk has much to feast ones eyes upon. The former WWII Leiston airbase commonly known as RAF Leiston hosted the USAF 357th Fighter Group who were locally known as the Yoxford Boys. Little is left although there is a memorial that pays homage to the US crews that flew out of this airfield and never returned. There are some hidden remnants in the landscape, a broken up runway that crosses the farmland, old buildings that have camoflaged themselves in the undergrowth and now either lie redundant of have been put to use as farm buildings.

The walk continues onto the broadleaved woodland known as Theberton Woods before navigating down the quiet country lanes and tracks to Reckford.

Return is along the banks of the Minsmere river to Eastbridge then back to Leiston via the Abbey ruins.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Leiston to Hazlewood Circular Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A somewhat challenging circular walk to Suffolks ancient parish of Hazlewood

Hazlewood was an ancient parish that bordered the River Alde in the Plomsgate Hundred of Suffolk. In 1934 it was annexed with the neighbouring parishes of Friston and Aldeburgh although names in the landscape still bear testament to its existence, including Hazlewood Common, the ultimate destination of this walk.

This is a challenging walk in respect of 20 yards of jungle to navigate through in order to get to The Grange farmhouse. Navigation of this neglected footpath does involve crawling on all fours as well as climbing across fallen trees. Not a walk for the feint hearted.

This challenge borders a field which was part of a WWI airfield that was in operation between October 1915 and September 1919. Known locally as Hazlewood Aerodrome, this grass airstrip was one of several support sites for RNAS Great Yarmouth and served as a night landing ground. It was also used by aircraft responding to Zeppelin raids. Little remains of the site as all support buildings have now either been demolished or collapsed although there is reputedly some concrete footings that can still be seen.

Other features on this route are the ancient Great Wood and some post medieval quarries. Return is across Aldringham Common where the former Aldringham Providence Baptist Chapel can be seen. Built in 1812, this chapel hidden away on the common was replaced in 1915 with a design by the Suffolk architect, poet and artist, Cecil Howard Lay. It has since been converted into a private residence.

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