Stanningfield: Super walk around an historic village
Chris Barker follows a route steeped in history
The highlight of this walk is a tree-lined drive to Coldham Hall, a large Tudor country house. One of the earliest residents was Ambrose Rookwood, who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot and was executed in 1605. One of the paths – Mill Lane – can get difficult after heavy rain. Approximately half-way round the walk there is a conveniently-placed picnic table with wonderful views.
Start the walk with your back to the church, turn left and walk down the road, passing Stanningfield Village Hall to your right. Ignore the turning to your right and keep on the road as it swings to the left.
Immediately after passing a small triangular green to your right, with a village sign and war memorial on it, turn left, walking on a pavement.
Just before you get to the Red House public house on your right, turn left into Norse Avenue and when you come to the top of the road turn left and walk across a small green. Once across, turn right, where you will be faced by a row of garages.
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Walk to the left-hand side of number five, on a bridleway which will almost immediately swing to the left, having a privet hedge to your right. The path will then swing to the right and eventually take you out onto a road, where you should turn right.
When you come to a T-junction of roads, turn left, signposted Bury St Edmunds and Whelnetham. At a restricted by-way sign to your left, turn left, walking on a wide green track. The track will become a path, then back to a track, and you will eventually come to a large green barn in front of you. Turn right here, walking on a concrete yard – now having the green barn to your left and soon another double barn to your left.
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Once across the yard, carry on in the same direction, now walking on a Tarmac drive with a hedge to your right. When the hedge to your right ceases, turn right by a bridleway sign, walking on a wide green track with trees both sides.
After roughly 200 yards look to your right and you will see a picnic table ideally placed, with some wonderful views roughly 50 yards from the track. If you have stopped for a picnic, return to the track and carry on in the same direction, still having trees both sides. This path will take you out onto a field.
Cross this, following the same direction on a well-defined path (at the time of walking), aiming for the right-hand side of a hedge on the horizon.
Once across the field, carry on in the same direction, having a bridleway sign to your right and walking on a green track through trees. This track will eventually take you out onto a road. Turn left and, roughly 250 yards after passing the sign for Lawshall, turn left again by a footpath sign to your left, where you will be faced by a gatehouse to Coldham Hall. Go through the small gate to the left of the main gate and carry on in the same direction, walking on a tree-lined Tarmac drive towards Coldham Hall.
At some more iron gates just in front of the main hall itself, turn left, walking on a gravel drive which will quickly swing to the right. You will then come to another iron railing gate, which is normally open. Go through this and bear slightly to the left, walking on a gravel drive and soon having Coldham Hall cottage to your left.
Just before you come to the end of this drive, look slightly to the left for good views of Rockwood Hall. Then you will come to a T-junction of drives with a public footpath sign to your left. Turn right here, having a hedge to your left.
You will then come out onto a road. Turn left and you will soon come to a turning to your right, signposted Stanningfield. Turn right here, which will take you back to the church where you started.
? This walk was devised by Danny Driver, who accompanied me when recording this walk.