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Details

  • Start: Walk Farm Wood
  • End: Walk Farm Wood
  • Country: England
  • County: Suffolk
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Take your pick from fish and chips, a quick chocolate fix from the post office en-route or a stop at the Red Lion or Black Tiles.
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer No. 212
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Description

David Falk, of Discover Suffolk, adds a twist to this popular walk turning it into a tale of the unexpected with just a bit more family appeal

David Falk, of Discover Suffolk, adds a twist to this popular walk turning it into a tale of the unexpected with just a bit more family appeal




When it comes to the crunch, February is definitely a cool time to chill out in the countryside. With half term looming, wouldnt it be great if the kids saw it that way too?
Heres a magical solution a gentle, varied walk with stunning Deben views, creepy creeks, a scary-looking red lion, perhaps the occasional dinosaur or Rastafarian alpaca and to top it all, a Tardis (well sort of...).
Treat it as a treasure hunt or just a bit of whimsical fun, its a great way to get some exercise and enjoy a cold February day with family and friends of all ages.


The Walk
Get the kids to find the nightjar as you enter the aptly named Walk Farm Wood (opposite Martlesham Common). Enjoy a mixed bag of Scots pine, hawthorn, silver birch, sweet chestnut and the occasional mature oak all the way to Newbourne Road, where a left takes you along the thick plantation before a footpath eastwards brings the River Deben Valley into view.
Count the redbrick chimneys of Martlesham Hall, which snuggles up against St Marys to the north, as the track leads along the greenest meadows, down past poplars and old ploughs, over troll bridges across the marshlands before climbing up the river wall. Here, the panoramic views of creepy creek and outstretched Deben are breathtaking: opposite, theres Kyson Point, and the calm, flat waters reaching upstream to historic Woodbridge; to the right, the long stretch seawards and left, Martlesham Creek itself.
From the river walls lofty heights the haunting shallows seem speckled with distant bobbing boats and determined waders picking their feet up deliberately as they go about their daily Deben business. Edge along Sluice Wood and a leafy moment before the boatyard gives way to the potential sighting of a den of dinosaurs or maybe the occasional hippo. Look but do not touch!
Then its an amble down School Lane before being confronted by the old Norwich to London road and a rather fearsome, if very glossy, red lion the awesome figurehead from some long-lost ship and an iconic symbol for the village of Martlesham itself. Hugging the side of the pub and heading up Bealings Road, go left at the bridge over Butlers Brook, squeeze through the V-gate and be sure to walk down Run Meadow. Chances are at this point an unusual hardy quadruped might peer at you quizzically as you try to extricate yourself from the second V gate; then again, even they might prefer a nice warm stable at this time of year.
As the A12 comes into view, the path lined with primitive horse tail bears left via Bloomfields Farm and up the valley side for a lovely view back down over the brook. Returning here to apparent civilisation, keep an eye out for The Tardis. With a bit of imagination theres plenty of time travelling to be done in these parts flying machines of a different era once ruled the Martlesham skies. At the Black Tiles, Miss Jermyns cups of coffee won the pilots hearts. Across the road, on the sheltered open access land, Martlesham Common, lurks the site of a tumulus or two as you walk back (no horse play, please the signs clearly say no cantering!) between the green gorse bushes towards the wood where you started your adventure.




THE FINER DETAIL



Top tips: Look out for the snowdrops in the deciduous woodland and be sure to bring your binoculars to enjoy views across the creek to Kyson Hill and down the haunting Deben.
For more information: Download a copy of the Martlesham Circular Walk leaflet at www.discoversuffolk.org.uk. Or pick up a paper copy from the leaflet boxes at the entrance to Walk Farm Wood or by Martleshams Red Lion pub.
How to get there: From the A12 roundabout with the B1438, head towards Woodbridge then turn immediately right to drop down into Martlesham. After the Red Lion, turn left by the fish and chip shop into Felixstowe Road. Walk Farm Woods are at the end on the left.
Park up and go: There is a small car park off Felixstowe Road at the entrance to Walk Farm Woods opposite the community hall.
Distance: 5 miles or so
Refreshments: Take your pick from fish and chips, a quick chocolate fix from the post office en-route or a stop at the Red Lion or Black Tiles.
Terrain: A real mix of wide paths, little tracks and a small amount of road walking down quiet lanes. Best to put the little one in the back carrier or ensure an all-terrain buggy to hand. Walking boots or wellies are the best footwear option.
Useful additional map: OS Explorer No. 212
Public transport: Call 0871 1200 2233 or visit www.suffolkonboard.com for details

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