Grand views and valleys
Starting from Stowmarket, this scenic walk takes you through undulating countryside to the villages of Stowupland and Old Newton. From the top of an uphill stretch there are grand views over a couple of valleys and beyond. The return route passes through the hidden hamlet of Dagworth and features a section of the Mid Suffolk Path.
Leave the car park, turn left and walk towards the town. In another 300 yards, just before reaching a traffic roundabout, turn left to join Pound Lane – a place where cattle were once impounded before going to market.
Bear right between housing at Hamilton Way and enter Crown Street. Turn left, cross the rail level crossing ahead and quickly turn sharp left to continue on a surfaced path running beside the main railway line.
Turn right at the far end and continue along Spring Row. With Cardinal’s Road to the right, keep straight ahead and later turn left beside a grass triangle. Make your way beside Newton Road to meet a road bridge in front. Just beyond the bridge turn right and walk up an access road, which runs parallel with the noisy A14.
Swing left and right at the top to pass Mount Pleasant farm. The path now runs straight ahead: initially between hedgerows, later beside a paddock fence with the remnants of a ditch on the right. Follow the path to the bottom boundary and turn right to join a headland path. Stay on this path, that follows the hedgeline, and swing left further ahead to eventually reach Thorney Green Road, Stowupland.
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Turn left onto the road and follow the footway to Thorney Green. Cross the Green area diagonally on a well-worn path and in about 250 yards bear left on an access track leading to Green Farm. Go through the farmyard entrance, stay on the right edge and shortly pass through a hinged gate, followed by a stile. Continue on a long descending path and follow same to eventually emerge beside a minor road.
Turn right onto the road and quickly go left into some pasture as signposted. Cross a stile, followed by a bridge and then a further (awkward) stile sited beside a tree. Cross the stile and continue beside a field edge on a lengthy uphill stretch accompanied by a ditch on the left. Turn left at the field boundary and follow Whitehall Road to reach the Stowmarket Road ahead. Cross straight over and take the road signposted as Dagworth Lane.
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A downhill stretch, which passes under a railway arch at the bottom, eventually brings you to the hidden hamlet of Dagworth. Continue on an unmade stretch of road, passing an odd assortment of buildings either side, to later meet a water ford. Cross beside the ford and afterwards swing left to continue beside Hop Farm. An access track running beside a high bank on the right leads out to open countryside.
Keep straight ahead on a broad grassy strip that runs between cultivated land on the right and osier beds away on the left. Carry on ahead to cross a stile beside a tree and afterwards continue over a boggy area of rough grassland. Cross a stile either side of a watercourse and then head along the right side of a hay meadow. Cross another stile beside a hedge and turn left to join Spike’s Lane.
In about 120 yards turn right through a kissing gate to enter an area of pasture. Veer right to continue beside the hedge and in another 200 yards swing right and left through a kissing gate. Continue briefly beside a field edge and pass a property on the left. Afterwards, head up a broad access track and turn left at the top.
Go past a refuse site on a downhill stretch and, just before reaching an overhead bridge, turn left to enter Greens Meadow. Briefly keep straight ahead and shortly bear right through the undergrowth to join a stretch of boardwalk and pass under the bridge. Go through a hedge gap to cross a grassy area, with the car park appearing in front.