Walberswick: Along the River Blyth to Walberswick
- Credit: Archant
Richard Tyson explores a wonderful coastal landscape
Some real “best of Suffolk”
The outward part route from Blythburgh’s iconic church uses the old trackbed of the narrow gauge Southwold Railway (closed 1929) along the estuary of the River Blyth with views of the reedbeds and birdlife (egret and marsh harrier might be seen). The walk continues through open access heath to a path fringing the reedbeds which extend to Dunwich (lovely views from the low hills). The return route starts at Walberswick church with its 15th Century spire and passes through heath and forest concluding with a green lane and paths. All paths were easy to use.
Exit the car park at Blythburgh church and go left. Cross the A12 to the White Hart pub. Go down the lane between the pub and road then right (1) onto the riverbank, which was the railway route. Enjoy views over the reeds to the open River, perhaps visiting the birdwatching hide (left after 10 minutes). Keep straight on as the old railway rises through trees and continues into a cutting then turn right onto a track just after passing a cottage. Reach the road at a small car park (2). Cross straight over into open access land and veer left to follow the fence on the far side until you pass a small wood. Now (3) turn right (signed Sandlings Walk) and cross this access land heading for metal gates at the bottom.
Go straight over the road and when a wooden gate is ahead take the path with a fence on the right. In five minutes reach a point (4) where open reedbeds are in front. Turn left and join a boardwalk leading to woodland. After a pillbox and two seats with extensive views, veer left on a path directly towards Walberswick Church. Keep straight over two tarred roads and go down Church Lane. Bear left when heathland is reached then pass a playground.
Footpaths lead over the heath towards distant Eastwoodlodge Farm. Take care on the road for 40 yards past this Farm then bear left (5) towards the gate which enters the access land used earlier. Retrace your route to the small car park (2) but this time take the left-hand track flanked by forest. The path is close to but different in character from the outward route. You rise up with hedges either side (Lodge Lane on the map). Cross over the first road continuing on the bridleway opposite. At the A12 go right then left and the footpath soon reaches the start.