Date: Tuesday 6th January, 2015
Meet at: Beccles, Quay, Pay and Display, Fen Lane, NR34 9BB
Map Ref: TM 42371 91170 Maps: Maps: OS on Bing Google OpenStreetMap
OS Map: X 231, OL 40
Picnic: Bring your own picnic lunch
Dogs: Registered assistance dogs only. More
Guide Book: Waveney Way
Walk Number: 6
Start from the car park near Beccles quay.
Walk south, then west towards the town and along the cut where small boats are moored. Cross the footbridge and turn right along Fen Lane which bends left to main road. At the Quay there is a cafe and toilets. At the main road, cross over and head south along Northgate to St. Michael with its detached tower. For a quieter road, head west, down the steps into Puddingmoor (1). Then head SW to the B1062. For fine views over the Waveney valley, continue south along Saltgate. Turn left and right at the New Market and continue west along Ballygate. The best views are before Beccles Museum, the old Sir John Leman school. Join the B1062 at the town sign.
Head west along the B1062 past the Elizabethan Roos Hall or divert via The Dell on a parallel path through woodland. This undulating path avoids a stretch of main road. At the end, turn right, north to re-join the B1062. Head west to a Y-junction where, at houses, a farm track veers off, right, NW. Follow this NW, then west for over a mile. The track briefly bends north. At two houses, cross an intersecting track and continue west, hedge right. Cross the tallest stile in Suffolk and head a few more paces west. Turn right, NW, through a gate, woodland right. Kink right and left, through a gate, and head NW along the woodland path. There are fine views over the Waveney flood plain.
At the gate, turn right, north, leaving the Waveney Way and head towards the Locks Inn, visible in the distance. Cross the Waveney over two bridges and visit the pub if you'd like refreshments. From the pub, continue north, then west, then north again. At Station Road, turn right. At The Street, turn right past the Wherry, more refreshments!
Here the route divides.
In fine weather, opposite the pub, head SE towards the boatyard. Head to the cut and follow the riverside path, water right. Cross the dismantled railway and continue SE. The cut joins the main river. Follow the riverside path NE, east, and soon SE. This leg floods and can be muddy so avoid it if it's been wet.
The drier alternative follows The Street east from the pub. After half a mile, take the right branch towards Dunburgh. In the village, look for the gap and the path down to the river.
Here the two routes rejoin. At the junction head SE back towards the river. Follow the riverside path all the way to Beccles about two miles away. At Bridge Street, cross the Waveney, east, and turn left, north, into Fen Lane. Pause for the cafe and toilets or continue along Fen Lane to the footbridge. Cross over and turn right, east, and head back to the car park.
(1) Half way along Puddingmoor, the "meadow" has parking and there is access to the river. There are seats with a river view.