September walks

The summer has disrupted our weekly local walks project, so time to get back to it. But first, another weekend away in Suffolk…

18 September – Southwold

3.75 miles. Walk 2 in the Suffolk Circular walks book. From Southwold pier, circling the town anti-clockwise.

Joy and I spent an early-Autumn campervan weekend in Suffolk (we’d recommend the Haw Tree Farm campsite) and opted to get our post-summer walking going again with a fairly short, easy circuit around the edge of the pretty seaside town of Southwold, leaving plenty of time and energy for lunch, a wander around the town itself, and a trip to Dunwich beach in the afternoon.

The route sets out from Southwold Pier and, in all honesty, I found the first mile or so pretty uninspiring – avoiding the nettles while walking through scrubland with views only of edge-of-town housing. But as you emerge onto the banks with views across the marshes and then walk along the River Blyth to Southwold Harbour it becomes much more interesting. Here, there is plenty going on, with boats and riverside food stalls. Anticipating a very pleasant campsite supper that evening, we bought fresh fish from one of the fish stalls.

The footbridge to Walberswick is closed for repairs at the moment, but the small ferryboat was running and, on another day, this might make a good extension to the walk.

Instead we turned back into the town and completed the route by walking the full length of the promenade above the beach – a very nice walk as the sun came out, and good preparation for lunch in the Crown Inn.

26 Sep – Cottenham – Smithy Fen – Lode – Les King Wood loop

4.8 miles. From Rooks St, along the High St out to Smithy Fen, follow the Cottenham Lode path to the edge of Rampton, return along Rampton Rd, then via Les King Wood to Broad Lane, returning to High St.

Finally, we got back to our local walks project on a glorious Autumn Sunday evening – perfect weather for Fen walking in the low sun. We didn’t go very far, putting together a couple of regular shorter walks from our standard set of walks around our village.

We walked out of Cottenham past All Saints church – its distinctive tower with its bulbous pinnacles is the village’s main landmark. We turned off the main road at Smithy Fen and almost immediately turned left onto the path alongside Cottenham lode (one of the many characteristic drainage-ditches-cum-waterways around here). We followed the path along the raised bank beside the lode as it runs behind the village for a couple of miles before joining the Rampton Road just at the edge of Rampton village. Returning to Cottenham on the Rampton Road footpath, we cut off at the edge of the village on the relatively recently-established footpath through Les King Wood, which comes out back at the point where the lode crosses Broad Lane. Following Broad Lane back towards the High Street thus enables us to complete a rough figure-of-eight.

Combine this route with the route we followed around here in back in March and you have a four smaller loops all converging at the Broad Lane bridge over the lode, which can be combined into longer routes, or used individually when a quick, short walk is in order.