Ipswich - Bramford - Needham Market - Stowmarket

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The Gipping Valley Footpath follows the river and man-made 'cuts' which were once a vital route for river traffic (now defunct) between Ipswich and Stowmarket. The paths are a variety of firm, purpose-built tracks and meadowland paths. The banks of the river are often tree-lined and there are areas of woodland (supporting a host of wildlife) to explore if time permits. Heron are frequently seen, especially between Sproughton and the outskirts of Stowmarket. Waterfowl and woodpeckers are numerous.

The path is (on the whole) easy to follow, but bear in mind that the condition of the path will vary with the weather. The fields crossed frequently contain livestock (principally cattle) which for some reason seem to prefer standing on (or very near to) the footpath. Treated with respect, the animals are unlikely to do you any harm. Stiles, kissing-gates, bridges and footbridges (some with livestock barriers) are frequent. There are also sets of steps. There are numerous picnic benches, backless benches and public toilets (some seasonal) along the route and there are also villages with shops, pubs and public transport links within a few hundred metres of the route.

It is difficult to conceive of a more appropriate walk for recreational walkers who wish to test their endurance or stamina levels, as there are numerous points at which the walk can be halted and public transport is conveniently at hand. It is also a good sectional walk that could be used to introduce children to the pleasures of countryside walking.

Toilets at Bramford Meadows are open daily April to October and weekends only, November to March.

Barham Visitor Centre (toilets available) is open until 8pm April to October and until 4.30, November to March.

Needham Lakes Visitor Centre (toilets available) is open until 8pm April to October and until 4.30pm, November to March.

There is a Rare Breeds Farm at Baylham and the grounds of Shrubland Park are worth a visit.

England - East England - Suffolk - River Walk


Birds, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Play Area, Public Transport, River, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
21/09/2019 - Sid Marks

Re-walked after 9 years,and still thoroughly enjoyed it.Excellent walk instructions too.Just a couple of updates.At waymark 5,the toilet block is now closed.At the start of waymark 12,the posts have been replaced with a kissing gate then a stile.Cross these to continue the walk.At waymark 17 after climbing the steps to the pavement,you need to turn right,go over the bridge,cross the road,and take the 1st left,which is signed to the Station.

14/09/2010 - Sid Marks

A very easy walk to follow, plenty of benches on way to sit and enjoy a break. Took me around 7 hours to complete. Look out for a couple of overgrown paths at waymarks 14 & 17 which shouldn't cause a problem if you carry a stick. Parking is available in the multi-story car park next door to the station, £4.30 all day. Standing with your back to the station, cross the road, go over the road bridge opposite, and the walk starts immediately on the left desending from the pavement. Enjoy the walk; I did.