Bildeston: Beside the tranquil River Brett

Cyril Francis, bildeston/chelsworth walk, 24/5/14

Cyril Francis, bildeston/chelsworth walk, 24/5/14 - Credit: Archant

Cyril Francis enjoys a walk around two of Suffolk’s prettiest villages

Route of the tranquil River Brett walk

Route of the tranquil River Brett walk - Credit: Archant

For those who prefer shorter walks, this leisurely stroll takes you across the fields from Bildeston to the picturesque village of Chelsworth and back. Along the way you’ll encounter extensive views over rolling countryside, an isolated church, attractive half-timbered houses with pretty gardens and a tranquil setting beside the River Brett.

To commence the walk turn left along Duke Street and later pass the local Baptist Chapel (1), originally formed in 1737. Bear right in to Church Lane, pass a line of cottages and afterwards turn right to join Consent Lane.

Reach Silwood Barns ahead, turn left over a sleeper bridge and continue on gently rising path with a hedge on right. Curve left at top of field and follow path to Bildeston Church boundary. Turn right here and proceed towards silos at Church Farm, afterwards swinging left as waymarked through a line of thicket.

With church (2) on left, cross over lane and continue straight ahead beside cultivated field edge, with broad margin on left. Go through hedge gap to enter adjoining field and continue on sweeping downhill path that brings you to Chelsworth. Enjoy panoramic views of rolling countryside as you go, including the distant tower of Monks Eleigh Church (3), seen across the fields away to the right.

Turn right at roadside and continue walking through Chelsworth. Reach the Peacock Inn (4) and make a short detour left over a humpback bridge for delightful views of the River Brett.

Otherwise maintain direction and later turn right on to a broad stony path where the road bends left. On verge opposite is village sign and plaque (5) giving a potted history of Chelsworth. Continue up sloping path and shortly ignore a turning left. Keep forward for another 400 yards or so, afterwards turning right as guided by a marker post.

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Walk beside deep ditch on right and access next field over a sleeper bridge ahead. Stay on the field edge path to eventually reach Church Farm and Bildeston Church once more. Continue down the surfaced Church Lane, bear right at bottom and take footway to return to your point of departure.