Bradfield Beckoning – Sunday 30th July

Words contributed by Lou
Photos by Lou and Christina

With a less than ideal weather forecast, ten hardy IOGers met at Cockfield village hall for Glen’s walk of “about 14 miles”.

Subsequent research has found that “There is no village of Cockfield but a number of delightful hamlets, each round its little patch of green …” – a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson (yes, he of Treasure Island fame), who stayed a while in Cockfield in 1870. He enjoyed walking in the countryside, and wrote an essay about it entitled “Roads”, which contains the observation that “The mere winding of the path is enough to enliven a long day’s walk in even a commonplace or dreary country-side.” He also got lost frequently and fell into ditches.

Thus it was that we walked in RLS’s footsteps, winding our way through wheat fields, climbing in and out of ditches, and visiting some of the many hamlets that make up the not-village of Cockfield.

The Bradfields duly beckoned – first St Mary, then Combust and finally St George. We all listened carefully as Glen recounted the various Combust theories, with the conclusion that something probably got burned at some time but no-one is quite sure. A Roman road and part of an old railway line were also covered in a very varied walk.

With the mileage registering the advertised “about 14”, we made it back to the car park just before the rain got heavier. Cockfield once boasted six pubs, and we found our way to the Horseshoes Inn for a post-walk drink. A Grade 2 listed building built in 1350, it was very welcoming and indeed a good old traditional pub.