WALKING NOTES FOR RAMBLERS (Number 2)
Can you guess the location?
Two pictures from villages or towns in East Anglia
WALKING NOTES for ramblers and those who love a good stroll in beautiful countryside. If, like me, you’re into rolling hills, lush meadows, wild flowers and trees don’t let the weather or a few muddy puddles put you off… get out there in the fresh air!
Walk No.1: Hadleigh hill walk: a network of footpaths along the banks of the river or up on the hillside outside this Suffolk town; circular walks to any length desired. At each turn of the footpath a fresh vista – a farmhouse, copse, fascinating folds in the hills, parkland, river. Take a map (OS Explorer 196) to be aware of all the possibilities. Start point: a rough car park next to the river bridge at the end of Duke Street. Access from High Street, turn by funeral parlour. I went up the hill (starting by Holbrook House sign) and kept going in a straight line until I came to a little-used roadway, using that for return.
Walk No.2: Boxford to Wicker Street Green and Kersey Tye (five-mile round trip) via Cox Hill. Quaint village, attractive houses, traffic-free lanes. Park in village, access A1071. Map 196.
Walk No.3: The Hadleigh railway walk (two miles each way) – views across the countryside from this elevated walkway through Suffolk dales, lush greenery, meadows, off-track footpaths, overlooking farms and busy stables. Car parks at each end, Hadleigh and Raydon. (OS 196)
Walk No.4: Kersey circular; one of the most beautiful English villages. Start Ash Street, footpath to Whatfield, another down valley route to Cosford Bridge, then lanes to Kersey (putting village in middle of the walk) return via lanes. Picturesque valley, church high on hill, famous village with ford and ancient houses. Access lanes off A1141 and B1115. OS 196.
Walk No.5: Walking at Wrabness on the Stour estuary close to Harwich. One of my favourites. Beautiful riverside footpath close to the water. Sunshine, hundreds of wading birds, bird hide. Later ice creams and teas on the river drive at nearby Manningtree. OS Explorer map 184
Walk No 6: Long Melford circular using a combination of the Valley Walk (an old railway track going north from Sudbury, Suffolk) and the Stour Valley Path, taking in Brundon Mill, Borley and Liston Mill. These lovely flowers seen in profusion in the hedges, on a little lawn next to the old rail track and on a long swathe of tiny nodding white heads alongside a footpath between Liston Mill and Place Farm, close to Liston. See Ordnance Survey Explorer map 196.
Braintree railway footpath starting at the station and stretching 15 miles beyond Takeley, perhaps returning from any of several intermediate points by bus;
Clare country park and castle plus the network of footpaths around it on the Essex-Suffolk border;
The Stour Valley walk, in particular Bures dragon, the fantastic Smallbridge Hall and a climb along Wormingford Hill.
Also, I love to do the Sudbury branch line walk in Suffolk; set off along the main footpath from the town, walk along picturesque hillocks to an intermediate station, perhaps Chappel or Marks Tey and return by train. Or you could do it in reverse and train it from London – there’s half price fare offers just now!
Lots of other beautiful walks, many of which can be found in walk books, in particular the AA Book of 1001 Walks. These might include Great Henny (Sudbury), three near Bury St Edmunds – Pakenham, Gazeley and Dalham and the Lark valley, and finally Hartest in South Suffolk.
Any questions: email me on the web site, but please put WALK QUERY in the subject line, or it may be obscured in my huge e-postbag.
I’m leaving a series of brief notes of where I’ve walked for anyone who wants to follow. No detailed routes. Mainly Essex or Suffolk. I’ll assume everyone can read a map – the OS EXPLORER is recommended (the one with the orange cover). Either straight lines or circular routes, make it up yourself! Take anorak, big boots, spare jumper, drink, sandwiches and a newspaper to sit on at damp park benches. Maybe spare shoes and socks in the car for when you return.