March's Hidden Gem
The Suffolk countryside is vast and varied and there are still a few gems that remain relatively untouched and unknown.
Luckily, the Suffolk Cottage Holidays team know the Suffolk countryside like the back of their hand. This month our Copywriter, Gill Bendall, is going to divulge her Suffolk Hidden Gem with you. A wonderful walk close to the popular market town of Woodbridge but away from the hustle and bustle of the town.
Gill Says "The waterfront at Woodbridge is lovely at any time of year, and visitors will enjoy a stroll downriver where they can watch youngsters messing around on dinghies and at the water’s edge, while – if the tide’s right – sailing boats head for the Tide Mill Yacht Harbour.
One of my favourite walks, though, is in the other direction: heading upriver where the expansive mudflats are less-friendly to seafarers but still-busy yards keep the town’s ancient boatbuilding traditions alive. Start this walk at Lime Kiln Quay, where waymarkers guide you down a track between an historic bungalow with an elaborately-carved timber porch and a terrace of brick cottages. Don’t miss the Tom Moye squid sculpture here – it’s fun and, I think, pays homage to the industrial heritage of the place.
From here, you basically just turn left and keep the river to your right… the path is easy to follow and popular with walkers and their dogs. If you’re lucky you’ll get the chance to chat to some of the people who live in the houseboats you see here too… a few sell eggs and other produce from their own nearby garden plots, so take some cash and ‘shop local’!
The walk to Melton and then onto Wilford Bridge takes around an hour-and-a-half, depending pretty much on how often you stop to chat or to enjoy the views. Definitely allow lots of time for the latter – there are lots of sad-looking carcasses of old barges to be seen, and you’ll enjoy spectacular views across the estuary where cormorants spread their wings on the dead trees of the flooded grazing marsh.
Even under the brightest of blue skies, these upper reaches of the Deben can be eerily captivating. There’s an almost-haunting, timeless quality to the water and surrounding landscape; watch the tide trickling out to leave only tiny streams snaking across the river bed and you’ll admire the waders and other wildlife that thrive here.
And once nature has nourished your soul and the walk has worked up a thirst, there’s nothing nicer than a refuelling stop at the Wilford Bridge, a Deben Inns pub that serves fabulous food and drink and goes out of its way to make walkers, and dogs, feel welcome.
One final nice thing about this walk: if all that food and drink makes you lose your appetite for the return walk downriver, you can hop on a train back to Woodbridge from Melton Station – it’s just a five-minute journey and costs around the same as a ‘posh’ coffee."
What's your hidden gem? We will be sharing a Suffolk Hidden Gem with you each month - why not sure share yours too?