Chelmondiston: Perfect Pin Mill

Boats moored at Pin Mill on the River Orwell

Boats moored at Pin Mill on the River Orwell - Credit: citizenside.com

Cyril Francis follows a popular route around an idyllic location

Route of the perfect Pin Mill walk

Route of the perfect Pin Mill walk - Credit: Archant

Starting from Chelmondiston, this popular walk visits the hamlet of Pin Mill, an idyllic spot much frequented by sailing enthusiasts and artists. A cliff-top path allows stunning views over the River Orwell and the Nacton foreshore. The undulating path also passes the National Trust’s woodland plantation, now returning to its former glory following the ravaging effects of the 1987 hurricane storm.

Leave the car park, walk out to the road ahead and turn right.

Keep forward and shortly pass the Foresters Pub and the opening to Pin Mill Lane. Continue ahead and turn left at the top of a small hill to join Hill House Lane. Keep following the surfaced path to Hill Farm, bear right and pass some farm buildings on the left.

The path shortly develops in to a broad track, heading out in to the countryside with hedgerows on either side. Go past the entrance to the Cliff Top Plantation on the left and keep following the descending track to emerge beside a kissing gate. Maintain direction and reach Clamp House positioned close to the river.

You may wish to move forward a few more paces and get a close-up view of the waterway, noting the presence of pleasure craft and commercial ships making their way to and from the inland port of Ipswich. Afterwards turn left, pass a tiled black barn on the right and quickly pass a National Trust sign to enter woodland.

Keep following a well-walked path to the top of a sloping path. After a steep-ish descent, carry on up the opposite side. Continue along the top of the slope and eventually exit the woodland through a kissing gate. Continue beside a meadow to later emerge beside a flight of concrete steps. Go down the steps and turn right at the bottom to join Pin Mill Lane. (If you wish to take the shorter option, turn left and return to the B1456 road junction, where you turn right and return to the car park.)

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Otherwise, follow the lane to the water’s edge with the Butt and Oyster pub appearing on the right. Turn left by a toilet block and continue beside the waterfront. Shortly turn left again and pass beside the Pin Mill Sailing Club premises. Bear right in front and keep following the path and later turn right at a three-way footpath junction.

Carry on beside a field edge on a well-worn path and briefly enter woodland. Cross a field to re-enter woodland and head towards the river’s edge. The ground hereabouts is boggy at the best of times and you may have to pick your way ahead very carefully. Continue through a wooded area leading to a riverbank and afterwards emerge in front of the clubhouse of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club.

Keep forward turn left on to a surfaced road to pass the Cat House on the right. When smuggling was rife on the river legend has it that a white china cat was placed in the window to warn smugglers that excise men were on duty. Further ahead and immediately beyond a car park turn left, descend some steps and follow the marker posts through mixed woodland. Keep following the rising path that later passes through a greensward area to eventually emerge in the Woolverstone playing field.

Skirt St Michael’s Church on the left and afterwards bear right along a surfaced road. Ignore the first stile on the left and climb the second marked ‘ Public Footpath Chelmondiston’ to cross a stretch of pasture. Crossover consecutive stiles and the driveway leading to the impressive building of Woolverstone Hall, nowadays home of the Ipswich High School for Girls.

Continue along a field edge path with a hedge on the right. At the field boundary maintain direction and pass Park Cottages on the left. Keep following the path where it bears right and shortly ignore a turning on the left. Further ahead, descend a partially surfaced lane in an area marked on the map as Page’s Common. Pass a lane going right and also the isolated Longwood Cottage. Afterwards take a field edge path, Church Lane, that heads towards Chelmondiston and the edge of a housing estate.

Cross between areas signposted as Collimore Close and Woodlands Road and shortly turn right on to a footway. With St Andrew’s Church ahead, follow the footway curving right to join Church Road, Crossover the B1456 in front and return to your point of departure.

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