A walking tour of Sweffling with some impressive local landmarks
PUBLISHED: 17:31 01 November 2016
Richard Tyson enjoys a three-mile walk around the village of Sweffling.
The walk starts at the village hall just off the B1119. The hut is preserved from the Great War and is a memorial to the local men killed in the war. The walk goes up and down the gentle wooded slopes that descend to the River Alde, narrow here but capable of substantial flow after heavy rain.
From the little bridge, exit the car park, go left, and left up the narrow stream called The Gull. Continue for about six minutes, then take the path on the left, which crosses the Gull (1). You may find this difficult if the water is deep after rain or you find the slope difficult as the little bridge has been damaged by a recent flood. (To avoid this crossing, turn right from the hut and go up Holdens Lane to a footpath just past the last house.) From the stream crossing, go forward and join a track ahead. In three minutes, turn left down Holdens Lane and take the path (on the right) just before the top house.
Open farmland lies ahead. Pass by a copse and bear diagonally right after a hedge gap. Cross the sleeper bridge going towards two electricity poles and take the tunnel-like path through the wood, which starts at the corner of the wood (2). At the other end of the wood, cross the field straight ahead to the nearest hedge corner, then continue beside the hedge to a crossroads of paths. At a copse, turn left and you have a straight walk down to the Alde Valley below. The views of Sweffling church and the woods in this surprisingly wooded countryside are nice as you descend past some farm buildings to a road.
Turn left for 50 yards, then turn right opposite a stand selling eggs. Cross the Alde by a brick bridge and, 50 yards more, turn left along a track. Soon pass big trees, with the river on the left. Over the river there are mounds with Roman remains said to have been left at the time of the Boudicea uprising.
• Start and getting there: Take the B1119 road from the A12 towards Framlingham and continue past Rendham. Then turn left at the restored Sweffling White Horse pub, continue for 300 yards and park behind the village hut on the right.
• Map: O.S. Explorer 212
• Distance: Three miles
• Refreshments: Pubs at Rendham and (weekend) Sweffling
Actually you are in Benhall parish here and you need to get back to Sweffling. Pass a house and go straight on (gate and stile here) beside a hedge until a cross-path comes in from the left over a footbridge (3). Although the bridge leads to a straightforward return path, I continued straight on, beside a hedge, and passed by Grove Farm with its large pond.
Before you reach a hollow tree, a stile leads across the fence on the left and over a bridge. Cross another stile beside a gate and go straight up (nice retrospective view here). Turn right for 100 yards when a road is reached, then left, and in 100 yards left again, along a field path. Note the two converted windmills here and the nice view over Rendham to its church.
Pass Sweffling cemetery, then go through the Sweffling churchyard. See the 14th Century dragon above the door, go down and turn right past the phone box to the start.
Walked by Richard Tyson of the Alde Valley Group of Ramblers and Jennifer Tyson in October 2016. Use Ramblers’ website to join, or view led walks open to all.