Text and pics contributed by Anni
Snape Maltings was the start for our walk on Monday 10th of August just before 10am. Organised by Simon and Sarah, Bob and I made up the final four. I was keen to stretch my legs beyond my regular 10-12 mile solitary weekend walks on well trusted paths, to a more convivial and longer tramp with other humans.
It was easy to observe the social distancing rules with only four of us, and with temperatures ranging from 27°C at the outset to 32°C over the course of the walk, a little distance was welcome.
Providing “music, nature, art, shops”, Snape Maltings is always a joy to visit. I love the sense of space about it.
Simon and Sarah navigated us through newly harvested fields of various cereals, grains and a short meander through a field of smiling pigs.
Following heathland and forest paths, the Sandlings Walk element of the landscape was more interesting than I anticipated, taking us via Leiston to Thorpeness (past the windmill and the House in the Sky) where we we stopped for lunch.
Parting company for an hour, my fellow-walkers opted for a post-lunch drink at The Dolphin pub watering hole, whereas with the temperatures at 32°C, I opted for a different kind of watering hole and had a swim in the sea, devouring my lunch afterwards. Average sea temperature was hovering around 19.5°C, so a perfect day for a swim. There was a grand swell too, so lots of waves to bob about in. Given the number of people holidaying at home due to Covid, the beach was quite busy – but social distancing seemed to be priority for most, and a small reminder of what a great county Suffolk is in many ways.
So, refreshed and nourished, we walked along the beach from Thorpeness towards Aldeburgh and turned inland after a short time to meet the Sailor’s Path (part of the Suffolk Coast Path) to return to Snape for a pint of soda at the Plough and Sail.
The final distance as per OS maps totalled 14.2 miles. A great day out, at a fairly brisk pace (despite the heat), and a recommended route for interesting land and seascapes. If you’re walking it before the end of summer, do throw your swimming togs in – just in case.