A heavenly heathland hike into the heart of east Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
A walk through East Suffolk’s glorious heathlands, around Shottisham and Hollesley. Walked by: Sue Rusack
Getting there: Take the B1083 from Melton towards Shottisham. Turn left in village to find on road parking. Map: OS Explorer 197. Map Reference: TM 321448. Refreshments: The Sorrel Horse, Shottisham. Distance: seven miles.
This wide circular walk takes in many glories of the heart of East Suffolk’s heathlands.
Pass the church on Church Lane in Shottisham and bear right onto the restricted byway. Turn left almost immediately onto the footpath between wooden fences: there are allotments on your left.
Keep ahead over a stile and cross to the corner of a field where you bear left. Turn right opposite Vale Farm up a track towards farm buildings. Pass through Home Whin Farm yard and keep right where paths fork to follow the track. Where the paths fork again, take a short left hand track in front of cottages towards signed pathways. Turn sharp right here onto the restricted byway alongside a wood, leaving cottages on your right.
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At Bussock Barn the track curves and climbs uphill, it bears slightly left along a line of trees, before descending to Brew House. Keep right as the track forks to walk in front of the house and then turn left.
After 100 metres find fingers posts and turn right to take a narrow signed path that winds through woodland and follows alongside the Poplar Farm riding course. Once out on open heathland, walk towards a finger post on the left, but before reaching it, turn right uphill to take the path through gorse.
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Keep ahead past several cottages, the riding stables and Poplar Farm. Shortly after the farm, just before reaching the road, turn right onto a signed track uphill across a field. Keep ahead until reaching the houses of Hollesley village, with the church ahead. Turn right at the metalled road onto the marked restricted by-way and follow as the road turns into a track.
Turn sharp left at Vale House Farm onto a signed path following a hedge. Turn right at the end, opposite a pink house (Meadow Farm) onto duck boarding and cross a footbridge. Then bear right as indicated along the meadow to the finger post in the far corner. Turn left up steps and walk uphill across a large field towards a red house.
The path is signed ahead through a gate to leave the red house on your right and on down the drive to meet the road on a sharp corner. (Turn right here for the short cut from Point A to Point B). Otherwise continue by turning left onto Lodge Road, a long quiet road with scattered properties.
Pass Gresley Farm, then Coronation Avenue on the left. As the road descends, turn right up a broad unmarked bridleway, following a line of telegraph poles. At the end of the field the path makes a slight left to continue onwards along a narrow path by a hedge.
Emerge onto the road by more livery stables and turn right. Continue on to the corner where you will see a bridleway ahead. Follow the bridleway across the fields turning slightly along a tree line to meet the Hollesley Road. Turn left and then shortly right up the bridleway beside a campsite and a small holding with animals including llamas. Beyond the small holding cross over a track and take a small diagonal path left through trees. Continue on the diagonal until you meet a wider track and turn left.
Descend into Shottisham past the playground and left at the end to return to Church Road. (Route walked early April).