Chris Barker follows a picturesque route in west Suffolk

This undulating, picturesque walk takes in part of the Glem Valley and some of the Bury St Edmunds to Clare walk, as well as Cordell Hall, with good views of Hawkedon village and church, Stansfield church and windmill.

Leave the car park via the road you entered on and turn right. At a T-junction, cross the road on to the pavement and turn right. Immediately after crossing a bridge over the River Glem turn left by a footpath sign, walking on a green path with trees both sides. You will then come to a footpath sign on your left. Turn right along a green path with trees to your right. After approximately 150 yards look for a gap in the hedge to your right. Turn right here and cross a sleeper bridge, go up some steps, then through a gate. Continue in the same direction, with a fence to your left.

You will come to another gate. Go through this and cross a small grass area, aiming for the left-hand side of a large barn in front of you: “stables”. Carry on in the same direction, now having that same barn (stables) to your right. You will come to a semi-hard road running parallel in front of you. Turn left here, now having hedges both sides. This will soon take you out on to a road, which you should cross before continuing in the same direction, walking on another semi-hard track by a footpath sign with a hedge to your right.

At the bottom of the hill look for a footpath sign to your left and turn left here, walking on a green path and having a hedge to your right. After a while you will go through a gap in the hedge into another meadow. Continue in the same direction with the same hedge to your right. You will then leave the meadow and go through another gap in the hedge. Carry on in that same direction, on the same path, with the same hedge to your right. When the hedge to your right turns right, carry straight on by a footpath sign across the field in front of you. At the time of walking there was a well-defined path. Once across the field carry straight on, up a small bank near a footpath sign, on to a Tarmac drive and turn right. When the Tarmac road swings to the left, carry straight on, on a semi-hard track with a fence to your left, which will quickly swing to the right. You will now have a hedge to your right.

When the path starts to zig-zag you will soon come to a footpath sign in front of you. Turn left on another track, soon having a field to your right. The track will then swing to the right. Just stay with it, with the same field to your right. It will then swing to the left by a footpath sign. You will now have a tall hedge to your right and you will come to a crossroads of tracks. Turn right here on a concrete drive. You will soon have Cordell Hall to your left and then, just before you come to a bridge over a stream, turn right by a footpath sign to your right. You will walk through a gate (normally open) and into a meadow. Cross the meadow slightly diagonally right. At the time of walking there was a defined path across the meadow.


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Once across, look for a footpath sign to your right. Turn right here, immediately over a sleeper bridge; then, walking on a green path for a very short distance before emerging on to a more defined path running parallel in front of you. At this point turn left on the path, with trees to your left. Keep looking for a footpath sign to your left; at this point turn right, walking on a wide green path. You will quickly come to a wide track running parallel in front of you. Cross this and carry on in the same direction, by a footpath sign into some trees. You will soon come to another footpath sign, telling you to carry straight on across a field in front of you. At the time of walking there was a defined path across this field.

Coming out onto a wide green path, turn left – having a hedge to your right. After a short distance, look for a gap in the hedge to your right. Go through this and immediately turn left, walking on a green path with a hedge to your left, which will take you out onto a semi-hard drive. Carry on in the same direction, soon having a hedge to your right. You will cross a ford and soon after that you will come to a footpath sign to your left. Turn left here, walking on a green path with trees to your left. This will bring you out on to the road, where you should turn right. You will soon go up a hill. At the top, turn left by a footpath sign, walking on a pebble drive. You will shortly have a wooden gate in front of you; walk to the left of this by a footpath sign and carry on in the same direction, soon having Stansfield Mill and a fence to your right.

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Once the fence ends, carry on in the same direction, still walking on a green path with trees to your left. You will eventually come to a gap in the hedge in front of you. Go through this and carry straight on along a path with fields both sides, then through another gap in the hedge by a footpath sign. Continue straight on in the same direction, with a field to your left and good views of Hawkedon church in front of you.

Once the trees to your right cease, turn right, still having trees to your right. The path will swing to the right and go over a sleeper bridge, after which you should turn left on a green path with a hedge to your left. The path will then almost immediately swing to the right. Stick to it, still keeping a hedge to your left.

The path will then swing to the left again. Keep with it and you will soon come to a footpath sign to your left. Carry straight on, walking on a wide green path with a hedge to your left. When the path swings to the left, carry straight on, crossing a stile in front of you by a footpath sign. You will now be following a green path and coming to a footbridge over the River Glem. Once across, continue in the same direction, walking on a green path with a fence to your right.

You will soon have a metal gate in front of you. Cross a stile to the right of that, which will bring you out to a road. Cross this and carry straight on by a footpath sign, walking on a green path with a tall hedge to your left. You are now on the Bury to Clare walk. The path will then swing to the right.

When you come to the field boundary turn left, straight over a plank bridge. Cross the field facing you and immediately pick up a path running in front of you, walking in the same direction, with a hedge to your right. You will then be walking across another field, aiming for a telegraph pole in front of you. Once across the field, turn right, walking on a Tarmac road, which will soon swing to the left. Stick to the road until you come back to the village hall on your right from where you started.

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