Category Archives: Past Doings

Here you will find stories and descriptions of many past events put on by the IOG: from concerts and trampolining to trips across Britain and further afield, with a solid foundation of reports of walks undertaken – usually with route maps and pictures.

Phil’s Boyton Walk – 25th March 2017

Map of route

Contributed by Phil Wilmot

Seven brave souls from the IOG ventured even further east than usual on Saturday 25th March in order to join Phil, his brother and three friends for a walk around the hamlet of Boyton. The weather was far better than it might have been: bright sunshine and clear blue skies, though with a stiff breeze particularly near the river.

We walked from the crossroads on the western edge of Boyton along the road to the village, and past the Mary Warner Homes. These almshouses were built in 1736 with funds bequeathed by the eponymous heiress Mistress Mary Warner, in order to house “six poor men and six poor women”. We then used a footpath that gave a good view of St. Andrew’s Church in order to reach Laurel Farm, before walking a short distance along roads through Capel St. Andrew in order to reach the footpath that follows the driveway to Butleyferry Farm.

Before we reached the small shed on the bank of the Butley River that is used as the terminus for the ferry, we turned to walk parallel to, but some distance from the river, along the Suffolk Coast Path over Burrow Hill, from the approximately 15 metre summit of which there was an excellent view of both the river and beyond to Orford and Havergate Island. We then continued to Butley Low Corner and thence to Five Cross Ways. Jayne, who knows the area, had hoped that we would find the grounds of Butley Priory open, as they occasionally are so that visitors could enjoy the expanse of daffodils, but sadly we had to make do with glimpses from the lane.

After walking along paths through fields we arrived at Butley where, to our surprise, we were able to obtain sustenance from the Oyster Inn which had reopened after a break of several years on the previous Sunday. Then, after a very short distance along the B1084 we turned roughly eastwards along Mill Lane, in Butley, from which, with the help of Phil’s secateurs, we again accessed the Suffolk Coast Path in order to reach Butley Low Corner. We thought that we might as well ‘do’ both the ‘Corners’ while in the vicinity, so this time we returned to Burrow Hill via Butley High Corner.

Having approached the foot of the hill from the west on the outward journey, on our return we turned east in order to reach the west bank of the Butley River, and then walked southwards along the river to Banters Barn Farm. As we turned away from the river bank in order to reach the Farm we could see Boyton Dock, from where several thousand tonnes of fossilised bones, mistakenly referred to as coprolites, were exported as fertiliser during in the 19th century.

We then joined The Street that leads through Boyton and back to the crossroads, passing en route the junction of with Mill Lane, in Boyton. This leads to Boyton Hall Farm, which was the northernmost point of Sarah’s Shingle Street walk on 18th February.

The walk was a little longer than anticipated. Dave Ohlson’s app gave a distance of 19.4 km, which equates to about 12 miles in proper units of distance, but Phil’s rather more low-tech methods suggested more like 10½ miles.

Catrin’s Daffodil Jaunt -18th March

On Saturday Catrin escorted a group of walkers on what has become an annual circular 5.5 mile walk in Bury St Edmunds to view the fabulous display of daffodils on offer this time of year.

Beginning from Wyevale Gardens car park the route went north to the Abbey Gardens and St Edmundsbury Cathedral and then onto Hardwick Heath returning via Nowton Park.

The lime avenue in Nowton Park, planted around 1880, provides a marvelous skeletal frame in spring for the 100,000 daffodils blooming beneath the trees. Planted in 1989, the two species of daff – for those interested in such things – are King Alfred and Magnificent.

The rain held off, and the daffs were indeed both regal and magnificent. A lovely day out.

Thanks Catrin for organising the walk once again.

Lee Valley Weekend – 10th-12th March

Contributed by Sarah Sheppard

Five of us arrived at the Lee Valley Youth Hostel in Cheshunt on Friday afternoon, joined by two others on Saturday. Lee Valley Hostel is split between the main building and five accommodation lodges, each of which has a self-catering kitchen on the ground floor, where Glenys cooked us a lovely meal on Friday evening. Kate, Glenys and I had an eight-bed dorm to ourselves on the first floor, with a balcony that looked over the park. Dave and Andy were in a six-bed dorm opposite, sharing with an Australian guy also called David.

On Saturday, while Dave and Glenys went off towards London on their bikes, Kate, Andy and I started a 14-mile walk by following the River Lee navigation north. It was warm, and a great day to be out exploring the Lee Valley. We stopped for lunch in the lovely yard of Nazing Church then headed back across Nazing Golf Course and skirted through the northerly part of Epping Forest. Finally we headed back to the hostel through Lee Valley Park, passing through the wetlands.

We woke on Sunday morning to a cloudy day, but thankfully without the rain that was forecast. After breakfast and checking out, we all drove to Epping Forest. Stopping by the visitors’ centre, where we picked up a leaflet for a six-mile route to Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, we started our walk through the forest. We passed by the lovely Connaught Water before stopping close to the Hunting Lodge to eat our lunch. We then followed the route back towards the visitors’ centre and to our cars in order to head home.

It was a lovely weekend away; thanks to Robin for booking us in even though he was unable to make it in the end. There are lots of water activities near by, including the Lee Valley White Water Centre that was used for the Olympics. It might be nice for the group to return to this hostel in the future, perhaps in the summer, in order to make use of some of these facilities.

Contributed by Glenys Johnson

Lee Valley was a revelation – acres of lakes with bird hides and fishing so near to London. Dave and I cycled along the towpath on Saturday, past houseboats and pubs on the waterfront and the Olympic Park to Victoria Park in Hackney. Had to cycle back fast as it was getting dark and we didn’t want to fall in.

Jayne and Jen’s Cattawade walk – 5th March 2017

Contributed by Glenys Johnson

Only six intrepid walkers met up at Cattawade car park by the river on Sunday for a walk organised by Jayne and Jen. It was raining at the start, which is discouraging, but it soon dried out for a bright if cloudy afternoon. The walk route (see the OS app. map above) went via East End and Bentley Wood to East Bergholt, returning via Flatford and along the river back to Cattawade. It was about 7/8 miles long – perhaps a little more (note the detour when we took a wrong turn!).

We stopped for a welcome tea break at Old Hall, the rambling, well-run commune in East Bergholt where Miriam lives – always a great experience – and saw the newborn lambs, the most recent born the night before. (Apologies for slightly incomplete map – my phone battery ran out; the route took us east along the river back to the car park.)

Spring plowing at Old Hall


Julian’s Newbourne Walk – 5th March 2017

Contributed by Julian Parker; pics Sarah Hollingham

A select group defied a gloomy forecast and were rewarded by watery sun and 4 birds of prey (kestrel, marsh harrier, sparrow hawk and a red kite). Some navigational uncertainty led to a thrilling river crossing, the team pulling together in stirring fashion. With muntjac, snowdrops and primroses (not yet in flower) we all went home happy.

Join us on the next one in three weeks.


David Bird’s soup kitchen – Sunday 26th February 2017

Contributed by Christine Bail

On 26th February, 21 IOGers and 4 well-behaved dogs joined David on a local walk, starting from his cottage in Stonham. It felt great to be outside, breathing in the fresh unpolluted mid-Suffolk air and seeing signs of spring everywhere: numerous hares on a distant field, snowdrops, crocuses, wild primroses and, most surprisingly, daffodils blossoming in sheltered spots. It was a pleasantly mud-free stroll through woodland, along grassy paths and across gently undulating fields.

Towards the end, we crossed a large open field holding hundreds of sheep and their lambs. I never had this before: the whole flock started running towards us, and soon some of us at the back were rounded up by the sheep and their offspring, all of them bleating in chorus. It certainly felt strange to be in such close proximity to such a large flock of very noisy sheep. Afterwards, everyone met in David’s big but very cosy kitchen, eating Marie-Louise’s chicken soup and a spicy veggie option, and lots of yummy cake made by Ginette.

A big thank you to our walk leaders, David and Glenys, for this most delightful walk and the great hospitality.


Brewery Tap Pub Quiz – 16th February 2017

The Tap doesn’t hold this as often as it used to – which is a shame because it is always a lot of laughs. Perhaps we could find a  back-up venue that is as much fun?

As usual, Sarah S. organised this and about a dozen met for a meal first. (I say ‘about’, but I know it was exactly 12 because I arrived after dinner and made it 13. Just saying.) Then our three IOG teams vied enthusiastically for the ‘wooden spoon’ and, despite getting valiantly close in terms of points, we were gazumped by another team of equal skill and general knowledge.

Undaunted, we will, no doubt, re-assemble at the next opportunity and do it all again.

Thanks, Sarah.

Shingle Street Walk – Saturday 18th February

Contributed by Sarah Sheppard; thanks to Nazmin for the pics.

Twenty of us set out on this cloudy but dry Saturday for an 8-mile walk from Shingle Street on the Suffolk Coast, led by myself (see route plotted out on OS Maps above).  We headed north along the Suffolk Coast Path, seeing the wonders of the Suffolk Coast and across the water to Orford Ness. After a short stop at a World War II pillbox, which has recently been opened up for the public to take a look inside, we carried on up the coast path. Shortly before we headed inland, we came across an inquisitive flock of sheep blocking our way, although they cleared the path as we got nearer. I think they were more scared of us!

After heading inland we stopped at the Café ‘Coffee Republic’ at the Warren Hill Youth Custody Centre. Although it was odd to stop for lunch at a prison, it meant we could get into the warm for a bit and also use the facilities. Some of us ate our packed lunches on the benches outside while others had lunch in the café.

After lunch, we carried on walking towards Hollesley Bay Prison, where we spotted the first daffodils of the year in full bloom, a very pretty sight. We carried on past the prison and headed back towards Shingle Street. After crossing the bridge over the river, we followed the river path, a very tranquil spot, down towards the Martello Tower. We then came out onto the beach and walked past the back of coastguard cottages before getting back to our cars.

Thanks to everyone that came along and made it such an enjoyable day.


A Circular Walk around Martlesham – Sunday 12th February 2017

Map of route


Twenty walkers gathered at Martlesham Church car park at 1.30 pm – a pretty good turnout considering the lowering skies and nippy wind – and Jacqui Taylor, who had organised the event, began by diverting us through the churchyard where there was a lovely early display of snow drops. This was not weather for hanging around, however, and we moved swiftly (well, fairly) on along a route that offered a surprising amount of variation in the course of its 5.8 mile length (see Glenys’ map, courtesy the OS application on her phone): woodland and a babbling brook, heath, fields and manors, breezy contact with the River Deben and a bit of close up and personal with some birdlife. Lots more too, no doubt, but the conversations were, as usual, distracting. Hungry and ready for the 2-for-1 offer on the Sunday roast half of us wound up at The Fox at Newbourne – always a warming and jolly way to end a winter walk.

A great day out Jacqui – many thanks.