A stroll through the open countryside of Laxfield and Ubbeston
- Credit: Archant
Richard Tyson discovers the hidden delights of secret Suffolk.
This walk explores two pretty paths, which go eastward from Laxfield through a variety of scenery. Most of the route is on grassy fields and there are also sections in serene woodland or on quiet lanes with minimal traffic.
From the Co-op shop go towards the church with its massive tower and enter the churchyard on your left. Go diagonally downhill noting the King’s Head pub (“Low House”) on the right. Exit the churchyard and go ahead. After two right angle bends our route takes the track on the right marked as footpath and a little uphill. When a black gatepost is in front, go left then pass between allotments. Now the path is grassy past trees reaching a tarred lane beside a sign “Redroofs”. Turn right on this minor road then in three minutes go left and right at a junction.
Walk along the road marked to Ubbeston for about 400 yards, using the grass verge.
When the road bends to the right beside “Little Meadows Farm” take the footpath track to the left. High hedges line the route until a gate and stile are reached; the aroma of fresh hay greeted us as we checked that the route ahead passed a young tree surrounded by a fence then reached a wooden gate. Go through the waymarked wooden gate then through the green metal gate opposite. Continue along the field edge to two stiles linked by 20 yards of path.
Now open country lies ahead. Keep the hedge on the left as you go over the top of the hill then, descending, go through a small metal gate on the left. Now the path follows a headland with the fence on the right. In 15 minutes a waymark post leads left for 20 yards then turns right through a cereal crop to a footpath sign at a road (the path follows an old field boundary).
Turn right. The lane is straight and leaves the high, open country of the Suffolk plateau to descend into the valley of the infant River Blyth. Pass through woods then glimpse the redbrick tower of Ubbeston Church on the right. Very soon take the lane to the right and then a footpath on the left of the church entrance. The church is private and deconsecrated so we pass by following the footpath arrows into woodland with the tiny River Blyth on the left. Here’s a good spot for a break among the lovely hornbeam trees with their ribbed trunks. The path becomes straight crossing a driveway and after grassland goes straight on at a field corner; a metal gate exits to a minor road (rush- hour here – we saw two cars!). Keep along the lane for half a mile then, after a right-hand bend and a cottage, take the footpath to the left. This ascends gently between fences then continues on a farm lane; Laxfield Church tower is now suprisingly close. At the next road turn left downhill and continue up to the start.