Take a glimpse at Wingfield Castle on this six-mile route from remote Syleham
- Credit: Archant
Walking is mostly on well-marked paths or quiet lanes in this remote part of Suffolk.
Private Wingfield Castle is glimpsed, and Wingfield church and “college” are of historic interest. The large church contains monuments to the local families who founded the medieval college near the church. Note the mounting block in the churchyard.
From Syleham village hall exit the car park and turn left (west). Just after the last house, take the field path on the left across to a footbridge. Cross the bridge and go left along the field edge. Syleham used to have a nice windmill but it was destroyed by a gale some years ago; now all that is left is the cone-shaped roof on top of the base of the mill.
Reach the road and turn right, continuing ahead as Wingfield Green opens out before you. This is a registered common and hence open access land. On my July visit trees obscured Wingfield Castle but I saw good views of it later. Keep on the road as far as the south side of the green, then turn left along the marked path. Soon, use the road straight ahead, past houses. In about half a mile, take the road to the right at the T-junction signposted to Wingfield and Wingfield College. The church and pub are reached in about five minutes.
After your visit, exit by the north door, take the signposted grassy footpath opposite the pub, leading to a pretty valley with meadows, cornfields and hedges. At the bottom of a dip, go right and in 100 yards go left, continuing between fences with flat fields down on the right; the path is clear but a stick may be handy to push brambles to one side. The path is marked on the map beside the stream but, at a waymark, do not cross the footbridge but continue on a cart track parallel to the stream on the right but a few yards from it. In 12 or so minutes, reach a road at GR 244774 and turn left uphill.
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Pass Abbey Farm’s right-hand corner, then in 30 yards take the footpath on the left through a hedge gap. Cross the field, go over two stiles, then another at the left corner of the next field; the headland path goes towards two modern windmills.
Turn right along the road through Earsham Street with its moated farms, following the signs toward Weybread, but after empty Yew Tree Farm turn left (signed to Syleham 2). Pass a cottage on the right, then take the footpath to the left beside a wire fence; go through a metal gate and keep straight. After a few trees a waymark sends you right. Next, keep straight at a junction. After a little open space, where I rested surrounded only by ripe wheat and huge clouds, go left with a hedge on the left. The path is clearly marked through fields. Reach the Common again and at the road turn right towards Syleham; the first road to the left reaches the start.
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