Making whale-way tracks to the county border
- Credit: Archant
A walk through the beautiful landscapes of the Stour Valley. Walked by: Chris Barker
Start: Little Wratting Church. Parking: Small parking area close to church. How to get there: Travelling South West from Bury St Edmunds on the A143, on entering Little Wratting turn right onto the B1061 and very quickly turn left, signposted Little Wratting church. Map and grid ref: Explorer map 210, grid ref. 690476. Distance: 4.5 miles. Refreshments: Great Wratting Red Lion.
This walk is largely in the attractive Stour Valley on the Essex/Suffolk border, taking in the villages of Kedington and Great Wratting. En route, note the whale bone over the entrance of the Red Lion.
Start the walk with your back to the church, turn right. At a T-junction of roads turn right, walking on a wide green verge. After a short distance cross the road onto another one and just before Black Moor barn turn right, walking on another road with houses to your left.
Turn left at a footpath sign, walking on a hard surface road. At a sign in front of you saying: ‘Private House only’, turn left, walking on a hard surface road, soon coming to some houses on your left.
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When the road becomes a concrete one carry on, having farm buildings both sides. Just before you come to a ditch in front of you turn left walking on a farm track with more farm buildings to your left. The track will then swing to the right, having a hedge and ditch to your left. You will then eventually come to a sleeper bridge by a footpath sign, cross it and carry on, along a green track with fields both sides.
When you come out onto a road turn left and almost immediately right by a sign saying: ‘The Plough Inn 1.5 miles’. When you come to a bridge over the River Stour, cross it, going uphill, soon coming to a footpath sign to your left. Turn left, having Kedington church to your right, with trees both sides.
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When you emerge from the trees carry on in the same direction, soon coming to a footpath sign; just after that turn right walking across a field, at the recording on a well-defined path. When you come to the second telegraph pole turn left, still walking on a well-defined path.
Once across the field, turn right on a path having trees to your left. You will then come to a sleeper bridge, cross this, turn left and after a few paces turn left over a plank bridge. The path will swing to the right and very quickly come to another plank bridge; cross it and carry on in the same direction with trees both sides. When you come to a signpost just carry on in the same direction.
When you come to a footbridge, cross this and carry on for about 20 yards to the A143; cross it then cross a stile in front of you into a meadow, aiming for another stile the other side. Cross this into another meadow, cross it to a metal gate and go through this into another meadow. Cross this meadow very slightly diagonally right, cross a sleeper bridge and carry on straight ahead keeping a wood to your left.
At a field boundary on your right carry straight on across a culvert and with a footpath sign to your right, now having trees to your left. You will then come to a sign saying: ‘No public access or right of way ahead’ and a homemade signpost saying: ‘Footpath across field’. Turn right, aiming just to the left of a house in front of you. You should come to a post in front of you with a Stour Valley path sign on it.
Walk straight ahead between hedges on a green path which will bring you out onto a road. Turn left and when you come to a green grit salt container to your left, turn left soon having the village sign of Great Wratting to your right.
Then turn left by a bus shelter. At a footpath sign to your right turn right, walking on a green path and you will soon come to a footpath sign to your left. Turn left and carry on straight ahead, walking on a green track with a ditch to your right and back to your starting point. (Route walked early April 2018).