Shingle Street - Bawdsey Quay - Shingle Street

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All along the way you will see relics of former wars. Shingle Street has been described as 'one of the most desolate, but interesting tracts of coast'. It is an SSSI. In 1812 several martello towers were built as a defence against Napoleon. In WW2 the area was evacuated for use by the armed forces and a major disaster occurred, in which dozens of British soldiers were burnt to death when an experimental weapon went off in the face of a mock allied assault. In addition a prototype Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb (used by the Dam Busters) blew up the Lifeboat Inn in the village. At Bawdsey Manor, Watson Watt developed the world's first airborne radar and throughout the Cold War there was a 'Rotor Site' as well as a Nuclear Missile Site, complete with underground bunkers and Bawdsey RAF Station.
Towards Bawdsey Quay there open up superb views towards Felixstowe and of the estuary of the River Deben. Towards the end the path becomes slightly more adventurous for a short stretch. But if you've had enough you can turn back at any stage. The views back are just as good and you can always drive round to Bawdsey Quay by car!

England - East England - Suffolk - Coast

Features

Birds, Castle, Flowers, Great Views, Sea
20/03/2006 - Ruth Bolger

We attempted this walk on Sunday 19th March 2006 and found that the steps mentioned in point 2/waymark 4 are no longer in existence, and the path has now been closed just after point 7 due to coastal errosion. What we did manage to walk was very nice if a little bracing for March!!

24/08/2003 - Brian and Anne Sandland

We have repeated this walk today (24/08/03). The cliff path has been eroded at a number of points and we make the following recommendations as a result: Suffolk County Council has redirected the path at one point. This means you need to turn inland at GR 358 401 (from the car park follow the track to a road). Bear left at the school and left again past High House farm then take a wide track on the left just after Bawdsey Hall (R) to return to the sea shore at GR 346 393. Once you reach the sea shore, if you intend continuing all the way to Bawdsey Quay we recommend using the sea shore to get there. Even at high tide you should have no difficulty, but this will mean you have to walk on loose shingle. If the tide is lower you can use the firmer ground near the water's edge. If you are intent on seeing the views from higher up the cliff (and they are well worth it), we recommend you make this a "there-and-back" route. The erosion of the cliff and the intrusion of more brambles etc have made any attempt to reach Bawdsey via the cliff top a more hazardous undertaking than previously. Anne and Brian Sandland.