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The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary

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The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary
Author: Adnams, Published: 05 Apr 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walkstar1 The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walkstar1 The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walkstar1 The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walkstar1 The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walk
Suffolk, Waldringfield
Walk Type: River or lakeside
The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walk boot The Maybush Inn and Deben Estuary Pub Walk
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A 3.5 mile pub walk from the Maybush Inn in Waldringfield, Suffolk. The Maybush was originally a 14th century farmhouse, and today is a great Adnams pub with panoramic views across the river and beyond. The walking route combines two elements, meaning the walk can be shortened if you wish to complete just one of these elements. The first part is a ‘there and back’ walk down through the salt marshes to reach Early Creek, whilst the second part follows a circular route through the village and surrounding arable land. There are great views throughout and plenty of opportunity to enjoy the birds within the estuary.

The walk follows unmade paths, all of which can be fairly muddy. The first section follows an embankment path out through the salt marshes at the edge of the river estuary. It is best to walk around low tide and, as the path is subject to erosion/flooding, only walk as far as it is safe to do so. Be careful as the path is uneven and take care with children and dogs to ensure they don’t wander onto the dangerous mud flats. The second part includes one section of roadside walking along a quiet lane so take care of any traffic at this point. There are no gates or stiles on route, and the gradients are all very steady. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

Waldringfield is situated on the banks of the River Deben, about 4 miles south of Woodbridge in Suffolk. The walk starts and finishes from The Maybush Inn on Cliff Road, right on the water’s edge. The pub has its own car park at the rear and, if this is full, there is also a large pay and display car park alongside. The charges are £1 for 3 hours or £5 for all day (correct Spring 2014), £1 of which can be reclaimed from your bar bill within the pub. Approximate post code IP12 4QL.

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Walk Sections

Start to Early Creek
Start to Early Creek

Start point: 52.0527 lat, 1.3315 long
End point: 52.0395 lat, 1.3417 long

Standing on Cliff Road with your back to the porch entrance of the Maybush Inn, turn right for a few paces towards the river. At the junction of paths, turn right again on the footpath to Early Creek. Keep ahead along this footpath which follows the back of a stretch of sandy beach, with the Deben Estuary to the left.

You’ll pass a small Harbourmaster hut on the right and, soon afterwards, fork right to join the raised sandy path which passes directly in front of Waldringfield Sailing Club. After passing a few beach houses on the right, turn right to join the fenced footpath which then swings left behind the small yard of dinghies. Keep right again and then, before you draw level with the last row of beach houses you’ll see a footpath sign on the left marking a junction of paths.

Here you have two choices. For the full walk, turn left. (However, if you wish to exclude the stretch though the marshes to Early Creek – shortening the walk to 1.5 miles – keep straight ahead at this junction and you will reach a tunnel of trees – now jump to the directions in the section ‘Tree Tunnel to White Hall’).

On the full walk, you will pass between hedgerows and then emerge to follow the grass path along the top of an embankment, with open salt marshes each side. Keep ahead over Church Farm Sluice and then follow the path as it winds to the edge of the crop field. Turn left to follow the left-hand field edge path and follow this path for some distance. A little way in, the path dog-legs left and then right and you will climb once again to join a path along the top of a raised embankment.

Follow this path for some distance, taking time to enjoy the views and keeping your eyes peeled for all the birds which come to the estuary to feed. Note: the path is subject to erosion from the water so take care and ensure children and dogs don’t stray onto the dangerous mud flats. Only continue as far as it is safe to do so – in Spring 2014 it was possible to walk for almost a mile to Early Creek.

Early Creek to Tree Tunnel
Early Creek to Tree Tunnel

Start point: 52.0395 lat, 1.3417 long
End point: 52.0495 lat, 1.3328 long

Once you’ve reached the end of the walkable embankment, turn around and retrace your steps back through the salt marsh, now with the River Deben across to the right.

The River Deben rises in Debenham, passes through Woodbridge and then becomes a tidal estuary for this stretch and out to the North Sea at Felixstowe Ferry. The river is a Special Protection Area, its significance arising from its over-wintering population of avocets. These striking black and white waders use their long beaks to extract crustaceans and insects from the mud flats. The avocet became extinct in Great Britain in 1840. Its successful re-colonisation at nearby Minsmere in 1947, led to its adoption as the logo of the RSPB.

At the end of the embankment, continue a little further and then dog-leg left and then right to re-join the right-hand field edge path. As the field edge begins to swing left, fork right through the gap in the hedgerow to join the path back through the marshes. You will emerge back to the T-junction of paths within the collection of beach houses.

For the full walk, turn left here and keep ahead to enter a small tunnel of trees. (However, if you wish to shorten the walk – to 2 miles, turn right and follow the footpath alongside the beach straight back to the pub.)

Tree Tunnel to White Hall
Tree Tunnel to White Hall

Start point: 52.0495 lat, 1.3328 long
End point: 52.0454 lat, 1.3322 long

Beyond the tunnel of trees, keep ahead over the sleeper bridge and then continue past the large lake on the left. The path swings left around the top of the lake and then climbs to become a wider track straight across the centre of a crop field.

As the path climbs you’ll have great views across the estuary to the left once again. Continue ahead through the centre of the next field and, just beyond this, you’ll come to the property called White Hall on the right – which, confusingly, isn’t white!

White Hall to All Saints Church
White Hall to All Saints Church

Start point: 52.0454 lat, 1.3322 long
End point: 52.0494 lat, 1.3264 long

At the corner of the hedgeline, turn right along the bridleway, with White Hall still to the right. Keep ahead as the path becomes a wider stone track and follow this out, past Plum Tree Cottage, and to the junction with the road.

Turn right along the road edge. Note: take particular care of any traffic as there are no verges or pavements. Continue over the brow of the hill and down into a dip where you’ll pass Church Farm on the left. The road climbs again and you’ll pass All Saints Church on the right. Waldringfield as a settlement is thought to have been in existence since the Iron Age. The Church dates from the 14th century and is Grade II listed.

All Saints Church to End
All Saints Church to End

Start point: 52.0494 lat, 1.3264 long
End point: 52.0527 lat, 1.3312 long

Immediately after passing the church and its small black-boarded hall, turn right to follow the signed footpath with the hedge to the right. Follow this wide track ahead, leading you between crop fields and with views across the estuary opening up ahead.

At the field corner, keep ahead on the narrower path with a hedge running to the right. At the next field corner you’ll see a three-way signpost marking a junction of paths. Turn left here to follow the path along the bottom edge of the field. The path leads you between garden fences and out to a T-junction with the village road. Turn right along the road and after a short distance you’ll come to The Maybush Inn on the right for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author adnams 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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