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A summer outing at beautiful Butley

PUBLISHED: 14:29 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:29 16 July 2018

Across the reedbeds to Butley. Picture: SUE RUSACK

Across the reedbeds to Butley. Picture: SUE RUSACK

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Not just a walk, but a whole day out at Butley. Walked by: Sue Rusack

The route for a walk through ButleyThe route for a walk through Butley

Getting there: Chillesford on B1084 from Melton to Orford. Park at the Froize Inn, ask permission, or on road. Alternative start at Orford (Point B): park near the primary school. Note: The walk includes the Butley Ferry - a row ferry manned by volunteers at weekends (April to October 11-4), at other times by arrangement. There is a small charge. (www.aldeandore.org) Map: Explorer 212. OS reference TM 388523. Refreshments: Froize Inn, Chillesford, on route (check opening at www.froize.co.uk). Many in Orford. Distance: 8.8 miles.

A  walk around Butley. Picture: SUE RUSACKA walk around Butley. Picture: SUE RUSACK

This isn’t just a walk, but a complete day out: it includes a trip over the peaceful River Butley, on a row ferry, the option of exploring Orford village and castle, not to mention beautiful scenery - perfect for a summer holiday outing.

There has been a ferry over the Butley since the 16th century. It is a charming spot filled with birdsong and wildflowers. There are wonderful views, particularly from the summit of Burrow Hill.

Butley Mills. Picture: SUE RUSACKButley Mills. Picture: SUE RUSACK

From the Froize car park, turn right and walk a short distance along the road to take the signed footpath right. At the first fingerpost continue straight ahead on the Suffolk Coastal Path (blue disc with yellow arrow).

Follow the well-marked path over several driveways, until signed right along a farm track towards Sudbourne Hall. Turn left onto a drive and continue past the front of the house. Cross the main driveway onto a signed footpath ahead. Pass the cricket pitch on the left and walk on to reach a metal gate.

The river at Butley. Picture: SUE RUSACKThe river at Butley. Picture: SUE RUSACK

Turn right here along a wide track and pass cottages on the right. Continue ahead by woodland and bear left where the track forks. Follow the wide sandy track that gradually descends to meet a lane. There are splendid views here of Orford castle and church to the left and the estuary ahead.

At the lane turn right and continue onwards when the road becomes a track and follow signs right, then left to Butley Ferry. Pass Ferry Cottage, climb the river wall and turn left through a gate. Follow the path until you reach the jetty on the right. Hail the ferryman, who may well be on the further shore, to cross the river.

Butley ferry. Picture: SUE RUSACKButley ferry. Picture: SUE RUSACK

Once over, cross the river wall and continue ahead through a gate. Shortly take the marked footpath right up and over Burrow Hill. We chose to picnic here and take in the stunning views. Over the hill, continue on the track between two dykes.

When the path forks keep ahead and head for the farm buildings. Follow the lane as indicated as it passes left through the farmyard and on past several cottages. Take the right turn at the Old Chapel, marked with the blue/yellow Suffolk Coastal sign.

When the path merges with a track bear right, to follow a wood. Turn right when the track reaches a lane, and pass the Butley Mills Studios and Butley Mill. Look right here to find a sculpture hiding in the reed-bed. On reaching the main road, turn right back to the Froize Inn. (Route walked June 2018).

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