Brandeston: Valley, woodland and quiet lanes to explore
- Credit: Archant
Richard Tyson explores the countryside around Brandeston and Cretingham
The upper valley of the River Deben passes through truly rural countryside between low hills and woods. The walk goes over a low ridge to another pretty valley. There are paths and tracks with a couple of short stretches on quiet lanes then some woodland on the return. Delightfully situated bridges cross the Deben and a tributary. Linger at a pub in either of the two pleasant villages if you wish. Brandeston Hall near the start is the junior section of Framlingham College.
Face Brandeston church and turn left along the road for 350 yards towards Kettleburgh. Take the bridleway track on the right between lime trees and descend to a concrete footbridge (1) over the Deben. Continue beside a wood but just before a cottage turn right on a footpath up a field edge. After another wood go ahead to a clump of bushes. The route is now left up to and through the prominent gap in the hedge (2). Continue to a tarred lane and turn right.
Pass Moat Cottage and 50 yards further turn left towards Chestnut Tree Farm. Go round the bend then take the footpath which turns left just before the farm and goes downhill into the valley.
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Monewden church is away across the valley. At the bottom a wooden signpost (3) directs you to the right beside the stream (upstream if there is any running water). Five minutes after passing Tabies Wood turn right at a metal gate. The path goes uphill to the road via a small metal gate. Turn right and after a corner take the footpath on the left between fences.
Reach a road then turn right and descend straight on through Cretingham crossing the Deben again below the church. Turn right at the T-junction and soon (4) take the public footpath track ahead, which leads to the golf club. Pass the club car park and veer left past the clubhouse. Fifty yards further go right (waymarked) now on a gravel track; keep straight when a grassy track is reached leading to a footbridge over a tributary of the Deben.
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Keep straight ahead after a stile thus reaching a road at the end of Brandeston village. Go right along the road. At newly-built Red House Barns your path goes right over fields to a road; turn left towards the start at the church.