Heathland wander

A cold afternoon at Waldringfield

A cold afternoon at Waldringfield - Credit: citizenside.com

Cyril Francis follows a route across heathland with river views

The Fox Inn at Newbourne

The Fox Inn at Newbourne

Most of this week’s walk is over heathland, a welcome retreat from rain-soaked clay paths of previous months. At nearby Waldringfield you can sit by the Deben’s edge and watch members of the sailing fraternity messing about on the river. Later on, a descending path takes you through part of a steep-sided valley at Newbourne Springs nature reserve.

Route of the heathland wander

Route of the heathland wander - Credit: Archant

Leave the car park area and walk down the grassy slope. Cross into a lowland area at the bottom and continue ahead on a board walk over marshy ground. Cross a stile ahead and enter a stretch of rough grassland. Continue over the latter and afterwards cross another stile.

The way ahead now goes gently up hill with a hedge on the left. Carry on beside a field edge path and later reach a road coming in from the left with cottages on the right. Carry on to the road junction ahead and turn left.

With All Saint’s church, Hemley, on the right, follow the surfaced road to pass some houses further ahead on the left. Afterwards quickly join a field edge path that passes a row of conifer trees, giving occasional glimpses of the river Deben away to the right.

Later ignore a path going right to White House and continue ahead to reach a minor road. Follow the road down a dip and up the other side. Just after passing the driveway leading to the hill-top church of All Saints, Waldringfield, turn right at a field entrance (unmarked) and continue along the field’s right edge. Afterwards cross in to the next field and head towards the far boundary.

Look hereabouts for a flight of steps set in the bank. Bear right and descend the steps to reach a sandy strip adjacent to the river. Turn left here, cross the sand and afterwards turn left here to pass the entrance leading to the Maybush car park.

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Continue along the rising road for another 200 yards and afterwards turn left to join a broad path as signposted. Turn right at the end, enter a field and cross it on a well-defined path. Cross straight over Mill Road and continue on a field edge path with a hedge on the left. Turn right at the field boundary and continue between hedgerows to emerge beside a road.

Turn left, pass Waldringfield village hall and carry on to enter a cultivated field. Continue straight ahead along the right edge to later meet a minor road at an angle. Bear briefly left, cross the road and continue along the left edge of the newly entered field. Accompanied by a field full of pigs and their accommodation on the right, curve right ahead and continue along an undulating earth track used by farm machinery.

A downhill stretch later passes a set of silos before entering the Newbourne Springs nature reserve. Maintain direction, shortly look right for a path that descends some steps and takes you to the valley bottom. Keep following the well-defined path, partially on a boardwalk, as it winds its way between trees and areas of bracken.

When you eventually meet a junction of paths, turn left and shortly pass through a gate. Keep following the present path to finally exit the reserve at a roadside. With the Fox pub to the left, turn right and bear left at the road junction a head. Keep following a footway to arrive back at your departure point further ahead on the left.

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