Southwold - Walberswick - Westwood - Southwold

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Southwold, with its picturesque lighthouse and long-standing marine connections, is a town you must visit. The church is well worth seeing; there's a sailors' reading room, a renowned brewery in the old style and a multiplicity of buildings whose architecture is a delight to behold.

Down at the harbour (which you visit) the River Blythe makes its forceful way to the sea. There are large numbers of small craft to be seen at any time of the year and fresh-caught fish can be purchased from the many fishermen's huts along the waterside. You can also eat freshly cooked fish and chips there.

Once across the Blythe you are in Walberswick, a village with another kind of charm, which has encouraged some to use it as a second or favourite home (thus greatly increasing the value of property in the area; Clement Freud, for example, made it his home and he is not the only MP to have done so).

Out of the village you approach and then enter the grandeur of the marshland, which is home to an incredible variety of birdlife and a favourite haunt of 'twitchers' from all around the country. You are almost certain to see a species of bird you have never seen before every time you go (on the day we prepared this walk we were fortunate enough to come across an egret, for example).

Having crossed the vast expanse of reeds, passing a delapidated windmill on the way, you may well find men harvesting the reeds for thatch. Back on the seashore for the return leg along the shingle sea wall, you may happen across hag stones (large pebbles with holes drilled completely through by the action of the sea, when smaller pebbles are made to ream their way through).

The waterfront on both sides of the Blythe is the ideal spot for those who have an interest in boats. In summer you can cross on a one-man ferry rather than use the bridge on your return leg. Southwold is a town not of this age! Its connections with the Victorian era make much of its essential charms. Like Walberswick it has become a fashionable place to set up home - and it is the home of Adnams' Ales which should ensure you get back there after your circuit!

Please note: (22/8/08) Work is currently being carried out on the path from waymark 4 into Walberswick. During the closure turn left after the bridge and walk along the estuary, turn right along the road and follow the road to wm 5 (via wm 15). It's very clear from the map. Also please take care along the coast paths in case of flooding and high tides.

England - East England - Suffolk - Coast

Features

Birds, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Museum, Play Area, Pub, River, Sea, Toilets
19/09/2012 - Shirley Wild

We did this walk on 10/09/2012, all paths in good order - fantastic walk and excellent directions. Shirley and Derek Wild

10/08/2010 - Barry Rossiter

My wife and I walked this route on Friday 6th August 2010. Excellent instructions and well worth doing! Barry Rossiter 8th Aug 2010

30/03/2009 - Mark Everson

A good walk with a variety of views, especially along the beach. Very much enjoyed walking along part of the route of the old Southwold Railway (points 3 -4)due to my interest in rail history. The path through the reed beds at point 9 was only just passable via the wooden boards on 27 March 2009 due to flooding. The Kings Head Inn is definately worth a visit for the food.