Contributed by Christina Bail
It felt like a well-deserved ending to yet another full-on work week serving the public in Ipswich and nearby villages. I arrived in Claydon early enough to enjoy a, mhmm, mediocre beef roast dinner at The Crown, part of the Hungry Horse chain. The roast beef slices reminded me of a microwave beef dinner I had some time ago, not proper meat, really. Yet I like the pub; it’s cheap and cheerful and has a large beer garden. It is always busy with families feeding their noisy and at times messy offspring with chips and burgers. Some food always seems to end up on the floor, I noticed, picking up another large chip.
Then it was time to meet my fellow walkers at the designated spot on Old Ipswich Rd. I was pleased to find that ten IOGers were joining my amble of around two hours. The path led us up a hill and past what was an old sand and chalk quarry, according to David. We walked past several farms, taking in Akenham Church, as well as fields with horses and corn fields where several tractors were still busy harvesting. We were lucky, after a cloudy beginning, that the evening sun came out during a big part of the walk. To me the area is a fine example of rural Suffolk with well: marked footpaths and very popular with dog walkers given the unwelcome evidence left on the paths we used.
Most people were happy to join me for a drink in the beer garden of The Crown afterwards. We had a great time, chatting and enjoying sitting without our coats well into the evening. It did rain in the end, but by then people were ready to leave. I very much enjoyed the good company and walking in this lovely area on a Friday evening.