Wilderness, Wildfowl and a pub
- Credit: Archant
Richard Tyson enjoys some unspoilt landscape around Ramsholt and Shottisham
Walkers who have only visited Ramsholt in summer will be astounded at the different river scene in winter – an almost complete absence of boats and people, with the Deben being taken over by estuarine birds. Do not be deterred by 300 yards of muddy path at the start where the bank has been strengthened recently because beyond that all paths are in good condition. Beautiful river views extending as far a Woodbridge are followed by good rural paths via Sutton Knoll (SSSI), Wood Hall and Shottisham village.
From the corner of the car park go downhill towards the Ramsholt Arms and Dock. Turn right along the beach for 200yards and go up to the river wall, bearing left along the recently repaired bank. The track to the church was waterlogged but this walk visits it later. The path soon goes through pleasant woodland and along a river wall where interesting birds are on the pools and the riverside mud.
Hemley village and church are seen across the River. After a sluice is passed the path goes up to the clifftop above the coralline crag beach known to yachtsmen as The Rocks; you can see Waldringfield and Methersgate Hall with many parts of Woodbridge in the far distance. Just before a cottage bear a little left and pass Shottisham Sluice. The way ahead is clear along the wall for about 700 yards as far as the next big trees (1).
Turn right into the copse at a waymark then go through a rusty iron gate and diagonally across the field to a wooden footbridge (N.B. older maps may not show the paths as they are now). Turn right along a headland and right again at a T-junction. The fenced off sandy hill here (“Sutton Knoll”) is of interest to geologists as described on two information boards. In a few yards turn left along a track straight towards the distant buildings of Wood Hall. When you reach a bridleway sign on a tarred drive turn right. JacobeanWood Hall Hotel (a popular wedding venue) is passed and the tree-lined drive exits at the B1083 (2).
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Cross straight over to a footpath gate. Reach the wooden gate 200 yards in front by veering left to a culvert and then walk towards the gate. Pass through and after some allotments turn right into Shottisham past a pink cottage and steps up to the Church. The thatched Sorrel Horse pub ahead was proposed for closure in 2011 but successfully revived by a group of local volunteers.
Continue the walk by going up the track opposite the Sorrel Horse. Keep straight on until the way descends to the B1083 road. Cross over and continue up the road opposite. In 500 yards your route to Ramsholt Church is the track going right beside a wartime pillbox. Keep along the track for three-quarters of a mile. Turn left at an unmarked junction of tracks so that you now go beside a high hedge directly towards Ramsholt Church. Turn left along the approach lane for 400 yards then turn right. The track is straight at first then descends to the right past the old school and climbs up to the road. The car park is 100 yards to the right.
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