Monday, 25 December 2006
Distance: 2.69 miles
Ascent: 106 metres
Duration: 59 minutes
Walking off lunch
I've lost count of how many times I've completed this walk. It's my favourite way to spend an afternoon in Woodbridge. Here are the instructions.
- Start at the Market Hill in the old part of town. Look at the old cells below the Shire Hall steps. Inside the nearby museum you can see photographs of the townspeople gathered here for important announcements proclaimed from the platform above. These gatherings still continue today.
- Find the Violin shop and turn left. You're now walking up Theatre Street. The old theatre is now an auction house, reached through a narrow sloping building on the right just after the Angel Inn.
- Take the next left - Queen's Head Lane. At the bottom, cross Seckford Street and walk straight ahead following the left-hand edge of the park.
- At the end of the field (by the huge fallen tree), continue ahead and uphill, again following the left-hand boundary.
- The path becomes a gravel track between two cemeteries and then a residential street. Follow it ahead.
- At the end of the road, look for a path between the houses across the road. Follow this path along the backs of the houses and down some steps to the main Ipswich Road.
- Turn right, then left into Sandy Lane just before a garage.
- Look to the left for some steps down onto Woodland Trust land a little way before a footpath sign. Follow the path through the woods and up to the gate at the top.
- Turn left to follow the wide, leafy avenue of Broomheath to cross the railway where it eventually becomes a gravel track and meets the river.
- There's a beach to the right here, but the walk follows the embankment to the left, upstream towards town.
- The body of a local shipbuilder was found in the river at Eversons' slipway two days ago. Doff your hat as you pass.
- Keep to the quayside as it passes the railway station and Riverside Theatre before finally coming to the Tide Mill.
- Have a look at the mill - said to be the only one of its kind in the country still working - before turning back along Tide Mill Road to cross the railway and reach Quayside.
- Turn right along Quayside and take the second left - Brook Street. Keep an eye on the garden walls on the right-hand side; about two thirds of the way along you'll see the "Charles and Di" brick.
- Keep ahead between the car parks and across Thoroughfare where Brook Street becomes New Street.
- Enjoy looking at the Woodbridge Fine Food shop, but I wouldn't recommend shopping here - it all seems rather overpriced.
- New Street has some of Woodbridge's oldest buildings on it, each with uncountable stories to tell: Bridewell, The Case is Altered house and the Bell and Steelyard Inn.
- When you reach the top you're back on the Market Square. Reward yourself with a pint of Broadside at the King's Head.
One final bit of advice: try to start the walk in good time. There's a lot less to see in the dark.