Old Newton/Gipping: Hills and a hamlet

St Nicholas chapel at Gipping

St Nicholas chapel at Gipping - Credit: Contributed

Cyril Francis journeys from Old Newton to Gipping

Route of the hills and a hamlet walk

Route of the hills and a hamlet walk - Credit: Archant

Starting from Old Newton, this delightful walk takes you through undulating countryside to the tiny hamlet of Gipping. Here you can make a short detour to visit the secluded 15th Century Gipping Chapel, noted for its flint flushwork and large windows and built at the behest of Sir James Tyrell. Elsewhere in the vicinity is a spring from which the source of the River Gipping originates. The walk also passes close to the route of the former Mid Suffolk Railway, affectionately known as The Middy.

Leave the car park, turn left and continue along Church Road. Pass a building known as The Church Institute and in another 30 yards turn left to join a descending grassy path. Follow the path to enter the adjoining field and reach the bottom boundary with Old Newton church ahead.

Do not cross the bridge in front but turn left and continue along the headland. Ignore a path going right over a bridge and stay on the current path for another 800 yards or so. Shortly pass under power lines and afterwards take the next path going right over a sleeper bridge. Continue with a hedge on the left, curve right at the boundary to soon pass beside a block wall.

Afterwards turn right beside the wall, cross a concreted area and follow a ditch to the left of a field edge. Take the next turning left, cross a stile followed by two further ones to arrive opposite Mayhew’s Farm standing back from the roadside. Turn right, continue along the road and in about another 100 yards turn left beside a footpath sign.

Continue along a field edge path and later cross into the next field. Maintain direction, head up towards a farm ahead and veer left to pass beside an open-sided barn. Keep bearing right to quickly reach a surfaced bridleway, marked on the map as Gipping Lane. Turn right if you wish to take a brief detour to visit Gipping Chapel, standing opposite the pink-washed Chapel Farm.

Afterwards rejoin the bridleway and continue ahead. Where the bridleway turns left, carry on straight ahead to pass a well-trimmed conifer hedge. The way ahead now progresses along a grassy path running between mature hedgerows Turn left when reaching the far boundary to join Hundred Lane, another fine stretch of countryside.

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Later continue ahead on a broad field margin and afterwards bear left to join a surfaced road. Keep following the road to a corner bending left; from here carry on to the next cottage and turn right on to a road signposted to Bacton. After about 400 yards turn left beside a footpath sign and follow a broad grassy margin that runs along the bottom of a shallow valley.

Curve right at the field boundary and pass a hedge thicket on the left. Keep forward and turn left where the thicket ends. Quickly bear right and head up a rising field edge to arrive beside the Finningham Road. Cross over the road, turn left and then swing right to enter a cultivated field. Continue straight ahead (path not marked at time of walking) and aim for a hedge corner in front.

Afterwards walk beside a lengthy stretch of rail fence with horse paddocks to the left. Cross two stiles and turn left when reaching a minor road ahead. Continue along the road, which swings right and left, to later pass Silver Street farmhouse. Continue ahead for another 300 yards and turn right immediately before reaching the next house. You are now following a section of the Middy Railway Footpath.

Maintain direction and continue towards the bottom of a valley. Veer right between trees and eventually reach Haugh Lane. Turn left, continue along the lane and head towards railings situated at the far side of a bend in the road. Cross over a bridge, turn right and continue to the field corner. Turn left here and take a rising headland path that later swaps sides beside a hedge. At the top end bear right between hedgerows and afterwards turn left to rejoin the B1113.

Carry on to reach the next right turning beside a property named Lugeli Cottage. Follow the path round to the left and quickly bear right, aiming towards a small thicket sited in the middle of the field. Turn left level with the thicket, cross the field and go over a stile to enter a grassy field. After crossing another stile, bear right on a narrow path that leads out on to the road. Turn right and head back to the car park just ahead on the left.