• Start: Coddenham Community & Sports Centre.
  • End: Coddenham Community & Sports Centre.
  • Country: England
  • County: Suffolk
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Dukes Head pub
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer No 211
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Enjoy the delights of the pretty village of Coddenham with Cyril Francis

Enjoy the delights of the pretty village of Coddenham with Cyril Francis

Walk this attractive route say between mid April and early May, depending on time of flowering, and you may be rewarded with a brilliant display of bluebells set amongst an embankment at the start of the walk and also at Broom Hill. Here too is a delightful valley setting with the impressive building of Hemingstone Hall just around the corner. Elsewhere, public paths take you over part of the Shrubland Estate, where the high ground offers spectacular views of Coddenham and the surrounding countryside.
With the community centre on the left, walk up a surfaced incline and head into a woodland area. Veer right along an embankment on a narrow permissive path to reach a waymarked footpath sign at right angles. Bear left here, climb a few steps and afterwards cross a broad grassy area known as Mill Hill.
At the far end turn right and descend a short thoroughfare to meet the B1078. Turn left, pass the Dukes Head pub and turn right in a few yards almost opposite Oak Row Cottage. The narrow path, initially surfaced, leads to a natural area at Broom Hill, an idyllic spot overlooking a valley. When you reach a post numbered 4 turn left and follow a well-defined path that gradually descends a steep-ish embankment to meet the main path at the bottom.
Turn left and follow the path to reach the Hemingstone Road. On the left is Hemingstone Hall, a red-brick mansion dating from the early 17th century. Cross the road and climb a stile to enter some pasture. Carry on up the rising path, climb another stile and continue on the right edge of a cultivated field. Across the fields away to the left is St Gregorys church at Hemingstone, seemingly with only a lone farm for company.
Turn right at the field boundary and walk parallel with power lines, alongside a ditch on the left. Curve right at the next corner and shortly turn left over a footbridge. Continue with a hedge on the right, cross another bridge over a water course and carry on straight ahead to reach the road in front.
Cross a stile opposite and take a rising cross field path that heads towards a belt of trees. Enter the lush green pasture of the Shrubland Estate and after about another 250 yards bear right as indicated to follow the boundary fence. Pass Home Farm buildings on the left and shortly pass through two kissing gates in quick succession. Turn right afterwards and follow the grassy path to another kissing gate.
After about another 60 yards turn sharp left and follow a line of trees to meet an access track where you turn right. Turn right again in front of a sand quarry and enjoy the stunning countryside views as you follow the descending track to meet Needham Road at the bottom.
Cross the road with care, climb a double stile and shortly negotiate a bridge ahead. Follow a field edge path to another stile and afterwards pass over the driveway leading to Coddenham House. Continue straight ahead through pasture and exit same by a stile beside a gate. Bear left on to Valley Lane and take the second bridge over a brook on the right. The path takes you towards a minor road with your departure point the other side.

How to get there: Coddenham lies 5 miles north of Ipswich and 2 miles east of the A140. From the Ipswich direction take the A14 to the A140 turn off and follow the B1078 signposted to Coddenham. Pass the church, turn left at the road junction and in about another 400 yards reach the community centre on the right.
Start and park: Coddenham Community & Sports Centre.
Distance: About 3.5 miles
Refreshments: Dukes Head pub and general stores
Terrain: One steep-ish descending path but otherwise mostly easy field edges and tracks with some up and down stretches. 7 stiles.
Best map: OS Explorer No 211
Public toilets: None on route
Public transport: Call 0871 200 2233 for details

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