Heathland and river views

THIS walk starts from the popular Snape Maltings and takes you to some quite remote spots with pretty heathland and views of the River Alde.

Park at one of the car parks at the maltings and then cross the bridge near the quay. Immediately you reach the far side. Turn right along the river wall. The path is clear but may be a little muddy; on the right are reed beds where birders will want to use their binoculars. On the left is Snape Marshes Nature Reserve.

In about 10 minutes enter woodland where a small yellow waymark indicates your route to the right at an information board. The path winds along beside the marshes, with a fence on the left. The heathland is Snape Warren (owned by the RSPB) and is open access land. Pass by a gate in the fence.

The path continues ahead through scrub, giving views of the river. The church tower ahead is Iken but it is on the other side of the River Alde. When the path peters out, return to the gate and go (now right) through it, entering access land (see map beside the gate). Ascend the slope; you are now on a public footpath across access land so you are free to wander around on foot or picnic. Please keep dogs under close control as this is also a bird reserve.

Where another track crosses over under some birch trees, continue straight on under oak trees; descend a little and when you see a gate ahead take the unsignposted path to the right, marked by small posts with red tops. The path continues near a fence through heathland. Reach two gates, which allow you to cross the private drive to New England Farm.

The red poles lead you slightly right and then across a track; ignore a metal gate on the left but, 50 yards further, cross heath, making a half-circle left round some gorse bushes before entering the woods. A winding path next to the gorse takes you into the wood and exits at an official access point on the Sailors Path (at GR408583). Turn left on that dirt road.

About 300 yards after passing some cottages turn left down a path at a small car park with handsome new wooden signs. Go straight down beside a wooden fence and into pretty oak woodland. Just after passing a wooden signpost, another sign and information board are reached. Rather than returning the way that you came, you can turn right through the Marshes Reserve. After one right turn reach the road and turn left, passing two pubs. Finally, use the pavement along the B1069 as far as Snape Bridge.