Date: Thursday 3rd September, 2020
Meet at: Holbrook, Alton Wharf, Harkstead Road, IP9 2RJ
Map Ref: TM 17699 35082 Maps: Maps: OS on Bing Google OpenStreetMap
OS Map: X 197
Contact the leader: Neil 01986 893023 07411 811093
Guide Book: Suffolk Creeks South
Walk Number: 3
CAUTION: The beach leg might be blocked during storm surge or unusually high tides.
CAUTION: The official right of way is blocked at a salt marsh. There is an alternative of unknown legality.
From the car park, head SW towards the estuary. At the flood wall, keep left and continue SW, water right.
Follow the footpath left, eventually east, river right. Beach walking is possible but not during high tides or storm surges.
Follow the coastal path mainly east. After a patch of woodland, you are forced onto the beach. Head SE.
Cross a stream using a sleeper bridge. The water looked polluted. Follow the beach with low cliffs, left.
After the cliffs, the right of way continues along the beach but I could not find a way across the salt marsh without getting very wet and muddy. An alternative route goes north on a farm track, then right and right again through a hedge gap. Head SE parallel with the river, hedge right. The legality of this detour is unknown given that the official path seems to be blocked. Eventually there are steps up from the beach. I checked these and still could not find a viable route across the salt marsh.
From the top of the steps, head east, hedge right.
At a hedge, turn left, NW, hedge right and head inland.
Turn left, west, onto a farm track which soon bends right, NW, then north.
Turn left, NW, onto tarmac towards Holbrook. Turn left off the tarmac and head west across open fields.
Cross a tarmac lane and head NW across more open fields. Turn right, east, and head past the Baker's Arms.
Turn first left, north, towards Chelmondeston, children's play area right.
At a right bend in the tarmac, turn off, north, hedge left on a footpath.
Kink left and right and continue north, hedge right. Continue north across open fields towards barns.
Turn left, west, along the tarmac farm access road, hedges both sides.
Turn right, north, onto tarmac for 120 metres. Turn left, NW, across open fields.
At the NW corner of the field cross a farm track and continue NW across another field.
Turn left, roughly west, onto tarmac for 80 metres.
Turn right and head west across the open field. Aim for the stile into woodland, houses left.
Head west through the woods and continue west on tarmac after the wood.
Cross the B1080 and head west, stream left, poplars ahead.
The path skirts a large waterworks east of Alton Water, NW, west and finally SW.
At Alton Water head south across the overflow channel and the dam.
Turn right, west, near the pay and display car park.
Continue west after the access road bends left, camping site left.
Turn left, south, at the end of the camping site. The path soon bends right, roughly west towards power lines.
Ignore a footpath left and follow the power lines west.
Turn left, south, onto tarmac, then first right, west, houses left.
Turn left to join the Cattsfield residential access road. Turn right, west, along the main road for 350 metres.
Opposite the war memorial, turn left, SE, towards Manor Farm. At the first house, turn left, NE, hedge right.
Continue east along Lower Street towards the church. At the church, follow the lane left.
Then pond left, follow the footpath north and soon right, east. Continue east and later NE close to the school perimeter boundary.
The footpath eventually merges with a private road from the school grounds. Follow this NE, fence both sides.
At the estuary inlet, turn right, SE.
Turn left, NE, returning to the car park along the same track as the outward walk.