Ian’s Dunwich Health Walk – Sunday 26th January

Text and pics contributed by Christina.

Ian’s 12-mile trek around Dunwich Heath and Dingle Marshes had all the necessary components to please the 22 IOGers who drove the 50 mins or so to meet him at the spacious Dunwich Beach car park with café facility. From there Ian pointed out the Dingle Hill Team Rooms where he intended to stop for lunch. A few new people joined us, including Malcolm, who lives nearby and had made a last minute decision to come along.

It was a varied walk, offering great views onto heath land, reeds and marshes. Ian expertly led the group along the Dunwich cliffs, then to the old lifeguard station which is now run by the National Trust. We stood in front of the only gravestone left in All Saints Church Yard; sadly, the remains of the church finally disappeared over the cliff in November 2019. According to legend its tower bells can still be heard ringing on a very calm night.

At around 12.30 we arrived at Dingle Hill Tea Rooms. Some of us secured a table whilst several people sat outside enjoying a coffee and cake or their sandwiches. It is a lovely place and it can be expected to attract many visitors in the warmer months.

After a good break we followed a bridleway for few miles before turning east through Dingle Marshes to the shingle beach. The final mile and a half proved a challenge.

No matter where we walked, whether alongside the angry waves, which leapt at our feet, or higher up the beach, there was no escape from the shingles; my boots sank deep into the ground and each step felt a little bit harder. It was probably felt a great relief for most when the car park appeared in the distance, shrouded in mist. As we approached our destination, Kate and I spotted four deer grazing in a nearby field.

Many thanks to Ian for leading this very interesting and varied coastal walk.