Date: Wednesday 7th January, 2015
Meet at: Shipmeadow, Lay-By, Opposite Church, B1062, NR34 8HJ
Map Ref: TM 38250 90007 Maps: Maps: OS on Bing Google OpenStreetMap
OS Map: X 231
Dogs: Registered assistance dogs only. More
Guide Book: Waveney Way
Walk Number: 7
Park in any of the four indicated roadside lay-bys. Head east along the B1062. Opposite the entrance to the farm shop, turn left, over a stile, into a meadow, and head NE, trees right, fence right. Leave the meadow over a stile. Continue east, following the power lines. If this path is missing, follow the field perimeter SE and head back to the power lines at the end of the field. At the crossing track, head east, hedge left, power lines left, to houses. At the houses, turn left, north, along a wide farm track.
After houses left and right, turn left, west, under power lines, trees right, hedge right. Cross the tallest stile in Suffolk. Continue west for a few paces, then right, NW, through a gate, woodland right. Kink right and left through the kissing gate and follow the tree-lined path NW. The path bends left, west, and there are fine views over the Waveney flood plain. At the footpath to the right, there is an option to divert via the Locks Inn for refreshments. Otherwise continue west. At the pumping station, go through the gate and continue west and soon SW on tarmac. At a pole-top transformer, turn right, west, along a farm track. Go through a gate and continue west. Turn left over a sleeper bridge. Climb the bank and cross the stile. Head SW, diagonally across the field towards another stile. Don't cross the stile. Instead bear left, south, hedge right. Cross a stile and continue south.
At the B1062, turn right, west, church left. Ignore Low Road. Ignore the road to the alms houses. After the last lay-by, turn left, SW and soon south, hedge right, alms houses left. The path kinks four or five times. Follow the perimeter, hedge right, soon heading south again. At the end of the zig-zag leg, turn right, SW, hedge left. The track widens and bends left, south, and then right, west, at trees. Back on tarmac, continue west along the tree-lined road. After a farm house there's a very obvious line of trees heading north. Turn right, north, through this tree-lined path. Back on tarmac, turn right, north, towards Mettingham Village Hall and the Tally Ho tea rooms, refreshments.
At the end of the lane, prune and saw your way through the overgrown hedge gap. Turn right, NE, ditch right, towards the pumping station. Squeeze between tree trunks and continue NW, pumping station left. Cross the stile and turn right, SE, along the tarmac. At the B1062, turn right, west.
Cross over and head SE along the farm track towards the farm buildings. Go through the gate, just left of the entrance to Mettingham Hall. Head roughly SE. Head east across the open field aiming for the hedge where you continue east, hedge left. Drop down to a belt of trees and turn right, south, trees left. The path enters the belt of trees and emerges with a right, left kink. Continue south, hedge left. The hedge ends. Continue south across the open field. Aim for the finger post a few meters right of a solitary bush, left of a larger clump of trees.
At the finger post, turn left, east.
At the first hedgerow, north, decide whether to risk the overgrown and sometimes extremely wet Gull Lane. The safer dry route retraces your earlier route along the zigzag hedge, north, back to the B1062. Then right back to the lay-bys.
For the excitement of Gull Lane, continue NE, hedge right. At the first opportunity, kink right and left and continue NW, hedge left. Eventually the field perimeter paths end and you have to drop into the sunken path. You will need a pruning saw, secateurs and a stave to beat down the nettles. Near the road, it's very slippery with clay slip overlying the smooth concrete gully containing the flowing stream. Today, the author abandoned the path, trespassed over a garden, and followed a field perimeter out to the main road emerging covered in burrs, goose grass knobs, and nettle stings. This route can not really be recommended although the original Waveney Way guide book used it but in the opposite direction.