Wickhambrook Walking Group

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Wickhambrook Walks

This series of walks have been put together by Roger Medley.

If any of the walking notes are confusing or inaccurate or the information is wrong, please contact Roger. If they are helpful, or if you have any other comments, likewise.

The Wickhambrook W.I. Walking Group meets every Wednesday morning at 10am starting from the MSC car park for walks in the village or slightly further afield. We walk for about two hours and cover about five miles, depending on how much chatting is taking place and there are usually six of us, although we have had a dozen occasionally, and dogs are welcome too.

Walk 1 - walk around Wickhambrook

This walk was first published in April 2005 and was the first of, what eventually became, many circular walks in the village and surrounding area. Others can be found on the village website (wickhambrook.org) under Wickhambrook Walks. At reasonable pace this one takes around 3 hours and covers about 5 miles.

ROUTE » From the Car Park at the village hall turn right and take the footpath that runs between the cemetery and the W.I Hall. Step across a ditch and continue in the same direction with the ditch on the right. At the footpath junction turn left and follow the edge of the field to the road. Turn right and after passing the entrance to Coltsfoot Close take the footpath on the right (in front of a large willow tree). This track runs straight ahead (more or less), swapping sides of the hedge (do not take the left fork here) skirting the Waste Water Treatment Works, and continuing until you reach Cloak Lane. Here you turn right. Cloak House on the left used to be the Cloak Public House until it closed in 1989. It was the only pub in the country with this name and it is supposed to be haunted by 'a little old lady in white.' At the junction cross the main road and climb the stile beside the 5 bar gate and follow the footpath as indicated by the fingerpost. Halfway across the paddock turn around and take a look at Commerce House - the large pale pink building. This is the tallest thatched house in Suffolk and used to be a coffee house and grocery shop. The shop windows are just visible from Cloak Lane. Having negotiated the second stile follow the path beside the ditch on the left until you reach the end of the paddock on the right. The right of way now continues diagonally right, using the first of two step-over stiles, crosses the paddock and goes through a gap in the hedge. Turn left on the road. Go ahead beside the grass triangle, pass a pond, a seat and Attleton Green on the right, and after 70 paces turn left at a footpath sign. Attleton Green is one of the ten greens of Wickhambrook but only four now have green areas attached. Follow this path through a narrow wooded ribbon, crossing two footbridges, into a field with a hedge on the left. Cross a collapsing culvert and you now have the hedge on your right. Continue until you can turn left at the end of the post and rail fencing (another footpath junction) and this short stretch will bring you to the road. Turn left (there are good views looking back to the village) then right at the T junction. Shortly, as the road bends 90 degrees left, go straight ahead over a stile and follow a narrow footpath. A gate opens into a small field where you continue to follow the hedge on the right. At the field corner turn left, still with the hedge on the right, duck under a drunken tree and follow the way marks into the next two fields. These are fields as fields used to be. The hedge continues on your right. Enter a copse and follow a narrow winding path, more or less, straight ahead. Walk some duck boards, go through a gate, climb a stile and reach the road.

Danger! Turn right and walk as fast as you like to the footpath sign on the left. Take the broad, green track which curves round to the left, keeping the ditch on the left. At a collection of way marks, three in quick succession, turn right uphill accompanying a row of trees on the left. The building on the left at the top of the hill was the village bake house until 1996 when Ron Penhaligan, the baker, and his wife Edna, the deliverer, retired. Turn right and take the track until the first hedge on the left (and way mark). Follow this downhill, appreciating the views of the church, and round to the left. This will bring you to Wash Lane. Turn right and cross the ford (there is a footbridge). Right again at the grass triangle and reach the almshouses and the church. The latter is usually open during the day and you may wish to pop in. It is believed that regular worship has taken place on this site for more than a thousand years. Upon leaving turn right and continue until the first footpath on the left. Follow a smart gravel track with a hedge to left. At the corner leave the track and continue ahead along the valley now with a ditch on the left hand side. Go through a kissing gate and ignore a fingerpost pointing right. Continue until you can cross the ditch at a tractor access bridge. The ditch will now be on your right. Enter another field, with a spasmodic hedge on the right, continuing gradually uphill. Eventually you will cross a footbridge and stile and enter a small paddock. Head for another stile at the far side. Stout boots are needed for the approach. Having climbed this one, turn left along the road and shortly take the bridleway on the right. Downhill now but it can be somewhat soggy so don't discard those stout boots. On emerging from the green lane continue with a ditch on the left. Follow the field perimeter round to the right, turn left across a concrete bridge and follow the track up between two cultivated fields. Pass Australia Farm on the right, take a little dog leg, right then left, and continue in the original direction. Turn left at the end and follow the road downhill, passing the chapel on the right at the crossroads. When Dissenters broke away from the Church of England around 1670, services were held in a barn at Badmondisfield Hall. Money was raised to build a new chapel nearer to the centre of the village and this was opened in 1734 giving the name to Meeting House green. Thomas Priest (!), a successful pastor, was the instigator. Continue uphill to the car park.

If these notes are confusing or inaccurate or the information is wrong, please let me. If they are helpful, or if you have any other comments, likewise.

Roger Medley 01440 820551

First published in April 2005
Re-walked September 2014

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