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 28 - Hawkedon Circular Walk

MAP » you might find it useful to view the map using this link »larger version« where you can also change the view from Streep Map to Satellite Map to view the route across fields, etc.

The Hawkedon website states 'Hawkedon is one of the strangest places in Suffolk. There's nowhere else quite like it. Here, in the rolling landscape between Haverhill and Bury, is where the Chiltern Hills come to die. On their journey through Bedfordshire and Essex they become lower and softer, with the occasional last stabs of glory before sinking beneath the Suffolk heathlands. Rede, the next parish, is the highest point in East Anglia . True or not this five mile circuit is quite hilly and this adds to its attraction.

ROUTE »Take a copy of the Ordnance Survey 210 Explorer map as your companion but be aware that the line of the footpath in the Purton Green area is not quite as shown.

Park on the green below the village church (again referring to the website, this is supposed to be the only church in Suffolk that is surrounded by village green on all four sides). Walk uphill passing the Queens Head and take the minor road (Cresslands Lane) on the opposite side of the road. This soon becomes a vehicle track which twists and turns for some way. Ignore a waymark on the right. Eventually you will go through a gate beside a cattle grid and come to a dip and another cattle grid, this time forming part of the track. Do not cross this but veer left and obey the waymark by the five bar gate. Walk across this meadow heading in much the same direction (there is a reservoir on the right) to a narrow metal gate in the far fence. Use this and stay with the left hand ditch, and hedge in places, as it climbs gently uphill. Just past a small copse on the left you will find a culvert, and post and waymark, indicating a path heading diagonally across a small field. In the far corner follow an obvious path ahead through a wooded patch to find another cross field path, half left, and passing close to a solitary electricity pole, leading to a gap in the far hedge. On reaching a concrete road turn left, almost back on yourself. This road soon turns left towards buildings but you must go straight ahead following a vehicle track to skirt two sides of a small wood on the left. The track veers right (waymark) and soon leaves the wood edge to head gently downhill between two arable fields. On reaching a gate and stile in a hedge, climb the latter to find a series of lakes. Follow the waymarks to the left to pass down the eastern side of the water. You will see a memorial to Jo and Joan Slater who 'built these lakes for the enjoyment of family and friends'.

At the last (lowest) of these lakes, climb the retaining bank (waymarks) and skirt to the right (west) around the south side of the last of these lakes to reach a corner where you must turn left through a short clearing between two blocks of trees. You quickly reach a track junction where you must turn left again. Enter a rough meadow and stick to the right hand edge and climb until you reach the top to find a narrow gap in the hedge which you pass through to reach a vehicle track. Do not be enticed by other obvious gaps in the hedge which lead back into the wood. Turn left to follow this track until you pass a fuel tank on the right. Then take the next entrance on the left, to Cordell Hall. Having passed in front of the imposing building turn right just before the stream (waymark) to pass through a five bar gate and enter parkland. Veer diagonally partially right leaving the avenue of ancient oak trees on your left-hand heading for the opposite west-side hedge where about three-quarters of the way down the meadow you will find a footbridge and more waymarks. Follow these through a short scrubby patch, across a track and through a wide hedge to reach an arable field. The official right of way continues ahead through the growing crop cutting across the field corner. This will lead you through an old gateway on the right to join another footpath continuing gently downhill.

At the bottom of the valley veer left behind the hedge to find a footbridge crossing the water. Continue along this sheltered track to reach the road. Turn left to reach the next road junction. Here you should fork left to find a footpath sign on the right pointing along what looks to be a private drive. The remains of an old windmill will be obvious. Go along the drive and just when you think you are about to enter private land take the footpath on the left of the main gate and follow this through scrub and out into a field. Stay with the left hand hedge into a second field. On reaching a corner go through the hedge and cross a narrow cultivated strip. Hawkedon comes into view through the gap in the hedge. Stay with the edge of the wood on the right and when that ends continue in the same direction for a short distance through the crop to reach a road. Turn left and follow the road down a dip, across a brook, and climb up the other side to return to the village green and church.

The Queen’s Head is open from midday to 10.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, and from 5.00pm to 11.00pm weekdays but does change hours throughout the season and so it is best to check on their website first.

Roger Medley Last walked 1st February 2010

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