Category Archives: The Newsletter

This is the new venue where members and potential members of the Ipswich Outdoor Group can read about recent events, share news that is relevant to group interests but not appropriate for group emails, write about group initiatives – anything from charity fund-raising to activism aimed at keeping our footpaths open – present opinion editorials on issues close to their hearts, post classified ads, cartoons, pictures or anything else that occurs. Unlike the old Newsletter, it will be updated as and when new material comes to hand and, as this is a work in progress, it will be formatted as we go along and get an idea of what is required. Feel free to offer suggestions if any occur to you.

For the moment, content is divided into three categories: reports of past doings; announcements about upcoming events or issues of note, whether IOG instigated or particularly related to IOG interests; and classifieds, where you can advertise items for sale, for rent, or wanted. Follow the links to the right to filter.

Please send all contributions to Marie-Louise Karttunen for prompt posting.

Big Chateau Weekend – 17th-20th January

Pic contributed by Kari and others; text added by M-L

Towards the end of January, to lift the post-Christmas lethargy, 24 IOGers convened at the Chateau d’Hallines – a magnificent house about half an hour south of the Channel Tunnel and 10-minutes drive (or slightly longer by bus) from the market town of St Omer, heavily bombed during WWII. With 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, not to mention numerous entertainment spaces, the self-catering accommodation was a steal, with cost per person ranging between £90 and £140 for 3 nights. And what a lot of fun we had for that!

High on the list of ‘must-dos’ were the team dinners, which gave everyone considerable entertainment – even the cooks!

A nightly source of workout and huge hilarity was provided by the trampoline room – where even old folk in their 60s hopped and flopped and shrieked with laughter. There were a few injuries of the torn muscle variety, of course, but the less said about that the better…

There was plenty of opportunity for quieter indoor entertainment, however.

To be fair, people also cycled with the bikes provided by the chateau…

… walked a charming coastal route mapped out by Lou called Sentier des Crans:

… or a much more ambitious 18-mile round trip to Agincourt led by Francis …

… or lunched in splendour at La Sapinière, a 10-minute drive from the chateau – fabulous food, wonderful views. It was quite a weekend, providing clear evidence that a trip abroad need not call for an airport ordeal – or an overdraft. Thanks to everyone who made it so memorable!


Guinness World Records – Longest distance danced in a conga line! 28.04.19

The conga team in sunshine in the afternoon
The conga team in sunshine in the afternoon
Ian from Suffolk Rickshaw Company cycled ahead of the conga line and carried the team of volunteers doing the filming
Ian from Suffolk Rickshaw Company cycled ahead of the conga line and carried the team of volunteers doing the filming

The longest distance danced in a conga line is 18.22 km (11.32 miles) and was achieved by Ipswich Outdoor Group in Felixstowe, UK, on 28 April 2019.

The team combined two of their favourite activities; being outdoors and having fun, to achieve this record. They dressed up in colourful costumes and performed the conga to the sounds of Black Lace’s “Do The Conga”. The entire attempt was in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice who the team raised funds for.

Happy faces after the conga
Happy faces after the conga


Ipswich Marina and Parks – Saturday 11th January

Text contributed by Barbara, pics by Peter

Peter’s last minute invite for a 9-mile walk exploring three of Ipswich’s parks led to 13 people, both newcomers and long standing members, meeting at St. Peter’s Dock car park in Ipswich. We set off just after 11.30am and headed along Ipswich’s waterfront, past Noah’s Ark and uphill towards landscaped Holywells Park. Our first convenience stop was at the charming Stables Cafe. We then left the park and took Cliff Lane downhill and entered Landseer Park at its most northerly tip. We traversed the park and followed Raeburn Road southwards to the entrance of Orwell Country Park where most of these pictures were taken.

Peter first showed us the most westerly part of the park which gives a good view of the Orwell Bridge from the north and we did a loop along a top-secret (aka very overgrown) path. We then rejoined the main pathway and passed under the impressive Orwell Bridge. Walking along the pebbled shore of the River Orwell was most scenic. As this part of the walk was rather windy we had our packed lunch in a more sheltered area amongst trees. We then continued for a bit along the river and turned inland until we reached the path along the A14 from where we turned back towards Orwell Bridge. As it was getting chilly we opted for the short route back and ended our walk at Cult Cafe at the waterfront just after 3pm.

Thank you to Peter for a most enjoyable walk!


Glen’s and Jim’s Roam and Romans event – Sunday 12th January

Text and pictures submitted by Christina

On Sunday 12th January, Glen and Jim, a qualified town guide, joined forces to organise a fun day out in Colchester and surrounding Essex Countryside. Probably 32 IOGers enjoyed a two and a half hour guided tour which started at the War Memorial in front of Holly Trees Museum which Jim recommended and which is free. Our guide led us through Colchester Park, a lovely Victorian park which is divided into the upper park and the lower park by the Roman Wall. 80 per cent of this amazing relic of Roman history are still intact. The park prides itself on an impressive castle built by the Normans in the late 11th century, on the old temple of Claudius.

In front of it lies the stony remains of a Saxon Abbey which, according to Jim, was probably deemed so holy at the time when the castle was built that the Normans did not destroy it, although it must have provided excellent cover for any invading army attacking the castle. We also learnt that there were 8 medieval churches in Colchester which were now mainly being used for non-religious purposes. St Peter Church continuous to be a very active place of worship. Our group visited St Helen’s Orthodox Church which is Britain’s earliest known Christian Church. We got the opportunity to visit the stony remains of a Roman theatre inside a house whose upper floors are still inhabited. According to Jim, it was not an amphitheatre, but a theatre where music, dancing and religious events were held.  2000 years of history were brought to life so expertly by him through his vivid account of the Romans, the Saxons, the Elizabethans – and of course Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe. The famous warrior queen led an uprising against the Romans in AD 60 or 61. She died shortly after its failure and was said to have poisoned herself.

We learnt that Colchester was a large and important town by Roman standards. It is the earliest recorded town in England, gaining further importance from its weavers,  who were highly skilled Flemish Protestants that had been encouraged by Queen Elizabeth I to settle in England. They lived in the so-called Dutch quarter and largely contributed to making Colchester a rich town. We stood inside the still awe-inspiring ruins of St Botolph’s Priory and got an opportunity to visit the Dutch quarter that day to admire its well-maintained Elizabethan houses. Some fine examples of Tudor houses can be seen by the River Colne, by the bridge leading to the station and the Victoria Inn, Jim’s and Paul’s local pub. Some of us joined Jim, Gery and Paul there afterwards for a drink. Speaking on behalf of all who did the tour: it was a truly enjoyable and interesting experience. Jim, thank you so much for freely giving your time to show us a different, unknown side of your town, away from its busy High Street and hectic modern life.


Christina’s Scenic Winter’s Amble – Saturday 4th January

Text and pics contributed by Christina

To kick off our new decade, 35 IOGers joined me on a circular walk in the Martlesham area along Butlers Brook and Martlesham Creek, where many of the pictures were taken.

We met at the entrance of Blacktiles Lane at 12.45, then headed inland, across some rather boggy fields and through Walk Farm Wood, before returning to our starting point.

Vicky and Justin live nearby and they had very kindly invited us to visit their home after the walk, where their new alpacas are settling into the sloping fields behind the house. There was a warming fire in front of their old stables where we enjoyed some mince pies and refreshments, while some of our group got hands-on with the cuddly creatures and even bottle-fed the baby. Thank you both for your great hospitality.

On another note, we had some stragglers at the back and one well-known person, a notorious roamer, led some innocent youngsters astray [now who might that be? – ed.], and they almost got lost, unaware that I was about to take a left turn – probably best to take him on a leash next time. [a short leash – ed.]


Lou’s Hadleigh Stroll – Saturday 14th December

Text contributed by Angela, pics by Raj.

Fourteen of us braved the wet weather to join this 5 mile circular walk starting from Hadleigh Leisure Centre, led by Lou with additional map reading input from Bruce.

Fortified by regular supplies of chocolate orange we ignored the drizzle and mud, passing Hadleigh almshouses and chapel on the way out of town before skirting fields, then joining the Hadleigh Railway walk along the tracks of the disused railway line for the final mile.

We finished up at the George in Hadleigh High Street for a well-earned drink followed by lunch.


A Bridge on the River Kwai [Deben] – Sunday 8th December

Text and map contributed by Raj; pics by Raj, Ana Luisa & Simon

Track of Melton Circular Walk 9.23 miles / 14.97 km

A good turnout for Sarah’s walk with 28 people arriving at the Melton car park as directed. Not bad for this time of the year. Naina and I decided to use our gaiters as we live nearby and it had rained for over 5 hours overnight, so we were expecting some soggy paths. Little did we know that would be an understatement.

The route from Melton took us past Wilford Bridge towards Ufford Bridge via footpaths and quiet roads. A lovely day for a walk. The sun was out, and we were making good time over firm ground. This changed, however, as we left East Lane to walk along the River Deben. The first field was a bit waterlogged, but everyone managed to navigate their way past this.

It looked like we had gone through the worst of it. The water level had risen quite a bit as we walked along the Deben, so it was no surprise when we encountered a couple of places where the river was flowing into the flood plain. Again, with a bit of effort and support from everyone, the group managed to get past two small flowing rivers to continue on our intended path, that is until we arrived at a field that was well and truly filling up. Sarah asked the group to wait in a safe place whilst Simon and a few others looked at whether it was possible to navigate across the field as the small footbridge was already surrounded by a stream. The photographs don’t quite show you how wet it was in the flood plain.

The bulldog spirit is alive and well and it lives in the IOG!  After several attempts to build some supporting structures around the flooded bridge an excellent decision was made by Sarah to return to the White Lion to have lunch, recover, dry out and reroute the walk. I have not been back to the White Lion for 20 years, so this was a welcome return for me. A few walkers decided to call it a day at the pub stop. I got 9.23 miles / 14.97 km for the complete walk.

Well done all. Thanks to Sarah for organising such an adventurous and exciting walk.


Winning Pics from 2019 for 2020 Calendar

In what has become an annual event, the selection of the best pics shared of the past year’s activities were voted on at the AGM and the twelve most popular will feature in our 2020 calendar, with the runners up on the front cover.  Get in quick to order your discounted copy from Rachael!

Froggatt Edge, Derbyshire (Rachael)
Fairfield, Cumbria (Andy)
Squirrel, Cumbria (Francis)
Frog, Northumberland (Rachael)
Grasmere, Cumbria (Andy)
Sycamore Gap, Northumbria (Pete)
Barley Field, nr. Nayland, Suffolk (Rachael)
Grisedale Tarn, Cumbria (Ian H.)
River Stour, Suffolk (Andy)
River Stour, Sudbury (Mike E.)
Danbury Country Park, Essex (Christina)
Rydal Water, Cumbria (Francis)
Front cover


Angela’s Osmotherly Long Weekend: 21st-25th November

Text contributed by Christina and Angela; pics various

Around 30 IOGers enjoyed this long weekend of walking in the Osmotherly area on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors – another trip admirably organised by Angela. We stayed in the YHA hostel which is situated about a mile from the village in a wooded area with an untamed brook filled with fast running water. The hostel sleeps 71 guests but Angela managed to rent it solely for our group.

On Friday, Glen led an eight-mile walk consisting of a large group of around 28. The weather was better than expected with some glimpses of blue sky and mostly dry. The route included a 1.25 double-run spur to take in the National Trust property of Mount Grace Priory, once inhabited by Carthusian monks. Apart from the spur, it’s an oval shaped walk following the Cleveland Way path north out of Osmotherley through South Wood and onto Scarth Wood Moor, which provided excellent views and thus ample opportunity for picture taking, before leaving that path and skirting the edge of Cod Beck Reservoir. It returned to Osmotherley via High Lane trackway, rejoining Cleveland Way and offering views of moorland.

Friday night’s entertainment involved a pub meal at the Three Tuns in Osmotherley.

On Saturday bad weather had been forecast and nobody fancied braving the elements and hiking. Most people went to York by train and enjoyed a guided tour, the railway museum, a walk around the walls, a visit to York Minster and a detour to York’s attractive Christmas Market. Others went further afield by car to Whitby.  A cold day cheered up by some mulled wine.

Steve decided to go for a solitary ride on his trusted mountain bike that day. He managed to do 15 miles or so before succumbing to the lure of a warm place and a cup of tea back at the hostel.

On Sunday there was a mix of walks with 17 of us joining Sarah on a scenic amble. We walked around 11 miles across fields with grazing sheep and across the high moors which offered breath-taking views even though there was a slight mist everywhere. The route headed south from Osmotherly towards Thimbleby, Over Silton and Nether Silton. We took the tracks through Nether Silton / Over Silton Moor to the steepest section of the day, where we climbed around 100m over a roughly 1km section. We then joined the Cleveland Way for a short section to return to Osmotherly.

Matthew Thomas led 17 mile walk for a few brave people. The rest opted for short walk around Cod Beck reservoir and nearby woodland.

Thanks to those who led walks, to Glen for his evening of stand-up entertainment and Paul Jordan for the quiz on the last night.

And many thanks to Angela for organising this fantastic trip and for choosing such a great venue!

Glen’s stand-up routine – truncated to spare the blushes of the targets of his sharpest wit.

Flat-capped Oswald explained at the outset that he had been suffering from a recent erectile dysfunction problem, and thought it best to try some stand-up while he still could!!

’Ow do All, I’m reet chuffed to meet the Ipswich masses
A fine body of men and good lookin’ lasses
I’m Osmotherley Oswald, local personality
Stubborn, plain-speaking, full of Yorkshire traditionality

Up here we’re known as quite dour but we do like a titter
Especially after six pints of Best Yorkshire Bitter
Known as God’s Own County, we proudly wear t’white rose
So much better than t’red of Lancashire, everyone knows

We’re the county that gave you t’original Full Monty
Quite a lot’s changed since days o’ sisters called Bronte
In Judi Dench and Diana Rigg, we’ve got famous mothers
We even brought you the Chuckle Brothers

Stars like Sean Bean and Geoffrey Boycott, no wonder we’re chipper
Just don’t breathe a word about t’ Yorkshire Ripper!
So pleased to see y’all here, the more the merrier
Well fed and watered like a happy Yorkshire Terrier….


So that’s it, folks
I know I’ve been a cheeky tyke
But now it’s time I’m on me bike
Some of me jokes they had their merits
But gotta go now – must feed me ferrets.


Sarah’s Great Finborough Walk – Saturday 9th November

Text and map contributed by Sarah, pics by Raj.

Sixteen people set out on the first six miles of this walk from Great Finborough on a crisp but sunny morning. We headed past the church with its magnificent spire, which we could see from several points during the day. After passing through the Golf course, we followed the Rattlesden river before heading towards Onehouse. We had a brief stop in Northfield Wood before heading towards Onehouse Church, with its round tower. After a brief photo stop here, we headed back towards Great Finborough for our lunch and pub stop. In the pub, we meet a large Great Dane called Trigger.

A few people left us during the lunch period, leaving eleven walkers for the afternoon’s four-mile loop. This loop took us south through farm land and fields. We spotted a couple of deer during this part of the walk as well as other wildlife. When we eventually returned to Great Finborough, a few of us retired to the pub for another quick drink before heading home.