55 – Woodbridge, the river Deben and Martlesham Creek 4.2 miles – 15th March

In short: a wonderful walk of discovery, idyllic views – boats, rivers, marshes, countryside and interesting sights in an old Suffolk town. Mostly flat well surfaced paths and pavements but the section beside Martlesham creek is extremely muddy in places and so proper walking boots are required. 1 hr 50 mins walking + 30 mins pitstop.

A real treat for us this week – 24 hours in Suffolk and there’s some beautiful early Spring sunshine with real warmth and promise. We decide to take a walk on the opposite side of the river Deben from that explored when we walked at Sutton Hoo in October – walk number 35. The walk we are following is from the National Trust again – entitled ‘Kyson Hill, Kyson Point, Marshes, Mudflats & Woodbridge walk’.

We park at the Woodbridge station car park as suggested – this is surprisingly large and also cheap at just £2.50 for the whole day (or indeed £1.50 for 4 hours which would definitely have been sufficient).

We walk back through the car park to the station (passing the pristine public toilets in the middle of the car park itself – albeit we didn’t spot these on our arrival) and take the footbridge over the railway line to the left of the station building. We immediately see what all the hype for this walk is about as we face the gorgeous river Deben with its numerous boats and waterbirds.

We go straight ahead on the path on the far side of the footbridge turning right onto the path beside the river with the beautiful Deben and all its boats on our left.

We follow this path for quite some time and it really is stunning. Unsurprisingly on this beautiful morning there are quite a few people using the path – dog walkers, bird watchers and ramblers – but it never feels too busy.

We pass rowing and sailing clubs and a delightful looking model boating pond next to a well-positioned cafe in a park on our right – plus further clean well-maintained public toilets.

And then suddenly there are no more buildings and we are surrounded by water and countryside – with equally beautiful views across on the far side of the river.

The birdlife is superb and we are genuinely entranced by the views in all directions.

Eventually we come to the end of this well-tarmacced path as we enter a patch of woodland. There is a National Trust sign in front of us but we turn left and head downhill on a path to the water’s edge. In fact with hindsight we should have taken the National Trust path up to the viewpoint of Kyson’s Hill (we think…the directions are definitely wrong here but we aren’t quite sure how or where we miss this path) – and next time we do this walk we’ll definitely give it a go!

At the end of this riverbank stretch we take a path up to the right just in front of the private property sign and cut off the corner of this, Kyson Point, to pick up the path running alongside Martlesham Creek on our left. This path isn’t as well surfaced as the first one beside the Deben – and in fact it is extremely muddy in places – but it is easy to follow.

After a short while we draw opposite the Martlesham boatyard on the far side and arrive at a T junction of paths where we turn right to head past the sewage works.

This path rapidly becomes a track and leads us out onto Sandy Road where we turn right to pass under the railway bridge and continue along the verge. To be honest this isn’t the most pleasant part of the walk but after 5 or 10 minutes we arrive at Broomheath on our right where we turn right into an interesting housing estate with attractive properties set in pleasant grounds.

We turn left at the entrance to Porter’s Wood and, following the walk instructions, take the path that runs alongside the edge of the woods back down to Sandy Lane. However we are aware as we walk that there are paths running through the woods that we could have taken which would have brought us out to the same place.

We turn right at Sandy Lane and right again at the main road which we then cross to the footpath on the far side up some steps.

This again is a rather uninteresting part of the walk running as it does between high fences at the ends of gardens. At the end of the path we cross the road to enter Portland Crescent on the far side and we walk down this road to the path at the end which runs down between graveyards on both sides.

At a junction of paths we fork left into parkland where we head straight down the grassy slope between trees to a meadow-like park at the bottom of the hill. Here we bear right across the grass to the steps up to the road, Seckford Street, where we turn right.

Just after reaching a market place we turn right into the churchyard of the lovely St Mary the Virgin church where we turn left and out beside the stunning building of a private school (previously an abbey). We continue along this road, Church Street, crossing The Thoroughfare onto Quay Street and thus back to the station yard.

Here we have a choice of cafes and decide on the Whistlestop Cafe – obviously once the actual station waiting room and refreshments area. The sun is still shining and so we take a table outside and treat ourselves to some local delicacies…Suffolk ham & eggs/fish and chips!! Yummy – what an end to a fantastic morning.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *