Sutton Heath Walk: Saturday 16th March

Text contributed by Kate; pics by Simon.

After the unfortunate cancellation of three mid-length walks on this weekend because of road closures, flooding and bad weather, Sarah and Simon stepped in to the breach to offer an 11-mile circular walk from Sutton Heath.

Eleven people and Newbie the dog set out on a beautiful sunny morning. We headed south towards Shottisham, where the campsite for the legendary IOG Birthday Beer Camp was pointed out to newer members. Lou assured us that lashings of his famous homemade ginger beer would be ready for this year’s event.

While walking, we chatted about topics from thatching to etymology (specifically, local use of the word ‘spanking’) to forthcoming trips away to rugby, and everything in between. There were repeated stops for stripping off layers and then putting them back on again – it was one of those variable Spring days. Reaching the River Deben, we took the path north along the river bank.

The breeze was cooler there but the panorama across to Waldringfield, with the sun sparkling on the water as the tide came in and wading birds scoured the water’s edge for food, made the river bank a lovely spot for lunch.

Wooded areas, ploughed fields, cute piglets and more river views brought us to Ferry Cliff, where the remains of the quay for the former ferry across to Woodbridge were identified by several members of the group.

At Sutton Hoo, we passed near the site of the Anglo-Saxon ship burial (although the grassy mounds that are visible from the path don’t give much clue of the history beneath) before heading back to the heathland around the disused Woodbridge airfield for our return to the car park.

The Wilford Bridge pub in Melton provided welcome refreshments and more opportunities to chat after a great day’s walking in good company.