Rivers, a mere and a windmill

All Saints church, Saxtead

All Saints church, Saxtead - Credit: Archant

Richard Tyson leaves Framlingham and walks through attractive countryside to Saxtead Green and back

Route of the rivers, a mere and a windmill walk

Route of the rivers, a mere and a windmill walk - Credit: Archant

Pass through the small gate at the car park fence then bear left with the mere on the right (if the water is too high return to the car park exit and turn right). The castle is beyond with the River Ore flowing through the lake. Enjoy the pretty views as you walk beside the mere.

In due course exit to the lane at a gate then continue in the same direction. When the lane bends to the right turn left through a gate on a footpath. In 30 yards turn sharp right uphill with a hedge immediately on the right and bear right again at the top. In one minute go left over stiles at Little Lodge. Follow signs across a large field to a stile at the end. Here the dwindling River Ore is immediately on the right. This river passes through the mere on its way to join the Alde near Snape Maltings. After the stile go straight on with the river in a ditch on the right. Cross straight over the B1116 and follow the side of the field for 200 yards more. Ignore a wooden footbridge on the right and continue past a small conifer plantation.

Cross the minor road and go straight ahead on a grass headland. Here I disturbed a barn owl, which perched on a branch to eye me over. Cross another little lane and continue slightly right towards a footbridge next to a large tree. Cross the bridge. Your route is not left on the “Brownsord Way” but straight ahead as on the OS map up the field to Hill Farm on the skyline. Enter the farm area at a gap in the hedge to the left of the buildings then go ahead and join the drive (note the waymark as you exit). At a bend in the drive go left (waymark post) towards the nearest corner of a hedge (another post) and then to the open ditch coming straight towards you. Keep the ditch on your right for 350 yards then cross the footbridge (right) and follow the field edge and reach the A1120 just to the left of some cottages. Cross with care and go along the drive to Saxtead church. I found a wooden seat beside the porch for my break.

My route onward is circuitous but the walk can be shortened if you care to walk along the busy A1120 for about 300 yards. I left the churchyard at the back corner, turning left along the headland then right after going through a gap in the hedge. Continue and soon bear left to be beside the River Ore, now a small ditch en route to its source at Saxtead Green. After two right angle bends go left before a sleeper bridge on a right of way which was unmarked. Continue ahead across the second field to a sign at the lane ahead. Turn left and go on to the junction with the A1120.

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Cross the road and find the footpath going near the bungalow (but currently diverted round the back of the plot). When you are behind the bungalow walk across the field towards an electricity post, keeping onward to the left hand of two pairs of trees. Stop at the sleeper bridge and your route is towards five tall poplar trees in the distant woodland. Approaching these a post marks a gap which leads through meadows with waymarks past Manor Farm to the B1119. Saxtead Green windmill and the pub are along the road to the right but our route is the path straight ahead. After two fields and a footbridge go ahead to the copse marked as “Layens Barn”(no barn) where you join a bridleway which actually starts beside the pub near the Mill. Follow the grassy track left and right as you descend.

Turn left onto the bridleway shown as Earl Soham Lane on the map. Trees are beside the path and later flank it. When you reach a tarred road turn left uphill for 250 yards and go right on a path which goes between trees. Finally cross over and go down Danforth Road; at the end a footpath continues to College Road. Cross over to the footpath sign and descend over grass with Framlingham College on the left. The road at the bottom is only 100 yards from the start.

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