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Cyril Francis offers up a rambling route around the charming village of Chelsworth
With a wealth of thatched and half-timbered properties, attractive gardens and an idyllic setting in the Brett Valley, its little wonder that the picture postcard village of Chelsworth regularly attracts visitors from far and near, including the likes of artists and walkers.
This months walk starts from the village focal point and later enters a bucolic landscape, complete with high ground that allows scenic views over rolling countryside and beyond. After a brief excursion in Chelsworth Park, the route returns through the village, passing the village sign containing a potted history of Chelsworth and the entrance leading to All Saints church.
At the time of walking there was a Bull In Field notice and the presence of cattle. However, given a wide berth, the cattle posed no threat.
Take the road opposite the pub and cross over a bridge. Follow the road as it curves right and left and in about another 50 yards turn left as signposted at Bridge House.
A narrow path now runs initially beside a boundary brick wall and leads to a kissing gate. Enter a long stretch of pasture; later veer left towards the River Brett and aim for a metal gate to enter more pasture. Keep to the right edge and eventually locate a kissing gate in the far right corner.
Turn right here and gently climb up a headland path that later enters a belt of woodland. Follow the undulating path through the wood and afterwards pass between two large gates. Ahead is a partially sunken lane running between hedgerows.
Follow the green lane and emerge beside a minor road. Turn right here, proceed to the next road junction and turn left. Follow the road to where it bends left and there carry straight on to enter a cultivated field.
With hedge on the right, stay beside the field edge to reach the far boundary. Pass through a hedge gap, turn right to join the A1141 and walk down Clay Hill. At the bottom, enter a lay-by and quickly turn right as signposted to pass through a hedge gap.
A kissing gate now gives access to Chelsworth Park. Immediately turn left and follow the edge of an equestrian area. Continue through the park and shortly cross a ridge planted with the odd tree. Afterwards, walk towards a large ash tree in the boundary fence.
Pass through a kissing gate, quickly cross a bridge and follow the narrow path out to the B1115. Turn right and take the footway through the village. Pass the village sign and afterwards an entrance leading to the parish church.
Your departure point is further ahead on the right.
GET READY TO RAMBLE
How to get there: From Bildeston take the B1115 and follow the road signs to Chelsworth.
Start & park: A few spaces available next to telephone box opposite pub. Park with due care and consideration for others.
Distance: 2.5 miles
Refreshments: The Peacock Inn, Chelsworth
Terrain: Some road walking but mostly green paths some overgrown at time of walking. Stout footwear recommended.
Map: OS Explorer 196
Public transport: Call 0871 200 2233 for details