Walk 12 – Barrow
Walk by Roger Medley
Sweeping views in all directions and a choice of distances between 4.5 miles and 7 miles.
Park in the free car park in the centre of the village – next to Rumbles Fish Bar. Note that the ‘P’ sign has a habit of pointing in exactly the wrong direction.
Return to the road and turn right. Cross the crossroads and walk past the Green Wellie day nursery and Barrow surgery. On the left, just before a conifer hedge, you will find a footpath sign. Take that path.
You will soon reach open fields and the field edge footpath continues ahead, round a larger and a smaller dogleg (ignore waymark on right) and takes you into the woods. You follow and criss-cross a meagre stream going gently downhill. Emerge into the open again and veer right to continue on the field edge in much the same overall direction.
Cross a bridge at the bottom of the dip and follow newly installed waymarks pointing left. Go down the farm drive for a short way to find more new signs pointing right. This bridleway will take you uphill skirting the building complex. Turn right at the corner and when you reach a crosstrack turn left to head towards the woods of Saxham Hall. Pick your way carefully through this brief section which can be very sticky after wet weather.
There is often a lone muntjac in this area. Turn left on reaching the road and wander downhill through the village of Great Saxham. On reaching the main road (Twite’s Corner) go straight across and climb the hill the other side. At the top, opposite the ‘Beeches’, you will find an enclosed green lane going left. Follow this through a small wood, along the edge of the wood (rewarding views across the valley to the left) and back into the wood (all the time guided by waymarks). Oxlips, Wood Anemones, Violets and Stitchwort were all on display in mid April.
Eventually you emerge at the far end to follow another field edge path (2 fields and another short enclosed section) which leads to the outskirts of Burthorpe Green. You now have to make a choice. If you choose the longer option (more views and a chance to sit in the sun in the churchyard) follow this next set of instructions. If you have already used most of your energy skip the next paragraph.
At a path junction ignore the left option and take the one to the right (restricted byway) which heads along the back of gardens and into the country again. Pass a plantation of young trees on the right and continue until you reach the road. Turn right and head downhill.
At New Barns Farm take the bridleway in front of the red brick cottages and head left along the farm track. On reaching the road turn left again and begin a gradual ascent. Pass an impressive barn conversion surrounded by less than impressive rusting machinery. At the top of the hill you go through an attractive group of houses. Follow the road round to the left (Church Lane sign) and at the next junction (The Academy Fitness Gym is on the right) turn left again. Barrow church is on the left.
I was puzzled to note high fencing round the graveyard but on closer examination found several black sheep, donkeys and alpaca grazing among the headstones. The local vicar has a reputation as a keen animal supporter. The church was locked but there are seats by the entrance.
Continue along the road to a pond with a prominent ‘Private No Fishing’ sign and take the next footpath on the right beside a cemetery. Continue along this path (new waymarks) resisting the temptation to turn left or right. Pass a footbridge into the playing field and continue beside a hedge to reach a built up area. Continue to follow the footpath (sort of straight on) crossing roads but now on an asphalt surface. You soon reach the green at Barrow where you turn right to see the car park.
At the path junction ignore the right option and veer left to drop down the slope. Turn right at the road and walk a short distance through houses. Keep to the right of the green of Burthorpe Green, cross a road, and find the footpath sign leading to Barrow Church and Green (next to a seat and signpost).
Take this through an enclosed section and then along a field edge. Go through another small group of houses (ignore the restricted byway sign pointing left) and follow another field edge footpath. Reach a T junction and turn left.
Pass the footbridge entrance to the playing field and swing left to continue with the hedge on the right. You will soon reach more houses and you should continue to follow the footpath signs (sort of straight on) crossing roads but now on an asphalt surface. Reach the green at Barrow and turn right to return to the car park.
If these notes are confusing or inaccurate or the information is wrong, please let me know. 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. There are usually six of us, although we have had a dozen occasionally, dogs are welcome too.