Riverside Rove – Saturday 23rd April

Text and pics contributed by Christina

On a Saturday in late April a group of walking enthusiasts met at Ipswich station to board the 9.38am train to Stowmarket, situated close to the start of the River Gipping path leading to Ipswich. I bought a group ticket for nine adults which reduced a single ticket to a very affordable £4 each; two more ‘rovers’ then joined us. It only took ten minutes to reach Stowmarket – hard to believe since we were going to embark on an 18-mile trek to Ipswich Waterfront, and it would take us all day to get there!

Two locally-based members joined the throng at Stowmarket station. We proceeded to amble along the Gipping for just under 5 miles before stopping at Needham Lake for some refreshments. Here we met five more IOGers who intended to walk the remaining 13.5 miles to Ipswich with us, via Great Blakenham and Sproughton Bridge. We paused at Bramford picnic site at around 3pm for a late lunch stop, sitting comfortably on picnic benches and enjoying the sunshine. Then it was only five miles to our final destination.

Some people went to Briarbank to sample their dark ale and other home brews while a small group preferred a civilised cuppa and cake at the Cult Cafe. I can’t speak for the Cult-visiting members but those of us at Briarbank certainly enjoyed a pint or two and had a giggle recalling past trips and walks.

Whilst walking up to 18 miles along a river in one day might not be for everyone, all participants seemed pleased with the experience! Thank you fellow walkers for coming along and for making it such an enjoyable event. 🥰