Phil’s Boyton Walk – 25th March 2017

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.