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Southwold to Walberswick via marshes

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Southwold to Walberswick via marshes
Author: Peter Truman, Published: 28 Apr 2010 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Suffolk, Suffolk coast
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Southwold to Walberswick via marshes
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This walk starts anywhere along the sea front in Southwold, up through the harbour and then around the Walberswick village across the nature reserve and through the extensive reedbeds that divide Walberswick village from the sea. The route is more or less flat but has much of interest all the way - the busy harbour, Walberswick nature reserve, woodland, reedbeds, Walberswick village and of course Southwold.
The start and end point for this walk is the corner of East Street in Southwold, which just happens to be adjacent to the Lord Nelson pub. Just the place to finish this walk!

Parts of this route can get quite muddy, particularly around and through the reedbeds although alternative paths do exist if very wet. Whilst heavy walking boots are not always necessary, do ensure you have good grip and something that will cope with puddles.The reedbeds can also be fairly overgrown in part. You may come across grazing sheep in Walberswick nature reserve so please take particular care with dogs.

The walk starts from East Street where is meets the sea front. Approximate post code IP18 6EJ. Parking is available in many parts of Southwold but can get very busy, especially at weekends and holiday periods although between autumn and Easter you can almost see tumbleweed blow down the streets. During the rest of the year and if you are early and lucky you may be able to park along the front (North Parade) but otherwise there are car parks near the pier, in Gardner Road or on the Common.
If travelling by train the nearest stations are Halesworth or Darsham, each about 10 miles away. There are buses operated by Anglian Coaches from Halesworth station to the Market Place in Southwold. The 601 service runs regularly every day of the week (separate Sunday service, but still runs).

Walk Sections

Southwold to Bailey Bridge
Southwold to Bailey Bridge

Start: OS ref TM509760
End: OS ref TM487753

Start point: 52.3247 lat, 1.6805 long
End point: 52.3194 lat, 1.6478 long

The start of the walk is identified as the corner of East Street where it meets the sea front, but wherever you start from simply make your way to the front and walk south along the promenade in the direction of Walberswick (keep sea to your left) and along the sand dunes or sea shore until you reach the harbour entrance. This marks the end point of the River Blyth.
Turn right and walk up Ferry Road until you get to the Harbour Inn. You will pass the ferry (a rowing boat that takes foot passengers between Southwold Harbour and Walberswick), all sorts of fishing boats and stores, pleasure boats and the home of the Coastal Voyager (great fun if you want a short high speed trip around Sole Bay).
Once at the Inn follow the path alongside the river until you reach the metal bridge that crosses the Blyth. This is the old Southwold Railway bridge, a light railway opened in 1879 that ran from Halesworth to Southwold but closed in 1929.

Walberswick Common
Walberswick Common

Start: OS ref TM487753
End: OS ref TM480742

Start point: 52.3194 lat, 1.6478 long
End point: 52.3099 lat, 1.6368 long

Turn left and walk over the bridge, but do pause to look up river. Tinkers Marshes are on the left and Reydon Marshes on the right. Follow the obvious and well worn path which is the old railway track. The path starts to curve away to the left once through the marshes - there's a small car park and seat here. The old railway track-bed continues straight on so turn off the metalled path and take the path over Walberswick Common. Just imagine yourself going straight on rather than curving away to the left to get directly to Walberswick village.
You can either walk through the old railway cutting (which I prefer) or along the common just to the left of the trackbed. Go through the gate adjacent to the sign welcoming you to Walberswick National Nature Reserve and continue straight on until you reach the road and Eastwoodlodge Farm will be just to your right. Walk along the road briefly until you reach the path on the left that crosses the corner of the field opposite the farm. This takes you to another gate and Walberswick National Nature Reserve sign.
Once through this gate go straight on for a short way until you reach the corner of the woodland. The path goes to the left of the wood, down a slight slope keeping the wood on your right and then curves round to the left, slightly uphill and to the Lodge Road gate.

Oldtown Marshes and Walberswick Village
Oldtown Marshes and Walberswick Village

Start: OS ref TM480742
End: OS ref TM498745

Start point: 52.3099 lat, 1.6368 long
End point: 52.3117 lat, 1.6633 long

Cross Lodge Road and follow the track. Do not take the first path to the left that skirts round the field but get to the gate just ahead and go left. If you go through the gate and straight on you will get to the right place a bit later - just turn left when the track meets the marshes.
This will take you out into the marshes along a broad track. Walk along this until you get to the old wind pump base. Take the path to the left (mostly a boardwalk) to walk alongside the Dunwich River. Keep along the path with the river to your immediate right. You will get to a footbridge that would take you over to the sea front. Ignore this unless the ground is very wet (this will be obvious!) and continue with the river to your immediate right. This path can get a bit boggy if very wet - if so take the footbridge and walk along the sea front instead.
You will get to another footbridge, but turn left along the track that brings you out in the village of Walberswick. If you have gone along the sea front this track is immediately before the beach huts and shelters.

Walberswick to Southwold
Walberswick to Southwold

Start: OS ref TM498745
End: OS ref TM509760

Start point: 52.3117 lat, 1.6633 long
End point: 52.3247 lat, 1.6805 long

In the centre of the village there's a selection of small craft shops, cafes, galleries and a visitor centre. Follow the road towards the harbour again turn left and walk up the Blyth (back inland) to Bailey Bridge, back down to the sea front and along the front to Southwold. If the ferry is running you could take this and cut out repeating the harbour walk if you so desire.

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2010 by the author ptruman and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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15 gallery images for "Southwold to Walberswick via marshes"

127_0ptruman1271888472 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Walberswick ferry
127_1ptruman1271888473 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Sole Bay fish company
127_2ptruman1271888473 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
River Blyth and Bailey Bridge
127_3ptruman1271888473 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
From Bailey Bridge
127_4ptruman1271888473 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Looking inland to the marshes from Bailey Bridge
127_0ptruman1271888854 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
The former Southwold Railway trackbed towards Walberswick
127_1ptruman1271888854 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Walberswick Common
127_2ptruman1271888854 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
East Sheep Walk (just beyond Eastwoodlodge Farm)
127_3ptruman1271888854 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
East Sheep Walk
127_4ptruman1271888855 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Wind pump in Oldtown Marshes
127_0ptruman1271889053 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Board walk alongside Dunwich River
127_1ptruman1271889053 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Dunwich River through Oldtown Marshes
127_2ptruman1271889053 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Path alongside Dunwich River
127_3ptruman1271889053 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Near Walberswick Village
127_4ptruman1271889053 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 Apr 2010
Southwold Harbour

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