To Coddenham and Beyond: Saturday 6th January

Text contributed by Anneliese, pictures by Simon

Unusually, the report of Lou’s Shrubland Park walk actually starts the day before when the River Gipping burst its banks and the footpath Lou planned on following disappeared under water. The red line in the photo shows where the path should be. Waders are not on the IOG standard kit list and it was definitely scheduled as a walk, not a kayak trip, so at the drop of a woolly hat Lou came up with the “to Coddenham and beyond” walk to keep us walking, not swimming.

28 of us started out with blue sky and sunshine through the undulating Shrubland estate, passing the Georgian, 24-bedroomed Shrubland Hall with its walled gardens and deer park. For info, Shrubland Hall was last advertised on Rightmove in 2015 for £6,500,000.

Lou’s walk then traversed muddy fields (with lots of big ‘oles), muddy paths and muddy woods towards the lovely village of Coddenham, where we had a welcome lunch break at St Mary’s Church.

I have no doubt I could come up with some terribly important historical facts about the church but let’s face it, this is the IOG – the toilet is twinned with a latrine in Malawi and the front door is really difficult to shut – that’s good enough for us!

A meandering stroll through the countryside (ok, I was chatting too much to take note of where we were) brought us back through the Shrubland estate and down to The Sorrell Horse pub for much needed rehydration after a fabulous 10 mile post-Christmas walk. Thanks to Lou for organising and everyone for their great company. A good day.