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|Kings and Sailors: The Orford Heritage and Pub Trail|
|Author: Adnams, Published: 15 Apr 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 5.5 mile (can be shortened to 4.5 miles) circular trail from Orford, Suffolk. With opportunity to visit two Adnams pubs along the way, the Jolly Sailor and the King’s Head, there are lots of options for refreshments before or after your walk. The walking route takes in a lovely stretch of the River Alde before turning inland, with an optional arm into the old Sudbourne Estate, and back into Orford with chance to visit the 12th century Orford Castle. |
The walk has just a few gentle slopes and the riverside/farm paths can be a little muddy in winter and after periods of rain. There are no stiles on route, just a few steps and a couple of gates to negotiate. There are a couple of stretches along the village/country lanes so take care of any traffic at these points. Approximate time 2 to 2.5 hours.
Orford is located on the Suffolk coast, about 4 miles south of Aldeburgh. The walk starts from the Jolly Sailor pub on Quay Street. There is a large pay and display car park directly opposite the Jolly Sailor on Quay Street. The charges are (correct Spring 2014) £2.50 for 3 hours or £4.00 for 8 hours. Approximate post code IP12 2NU.
|Start to Chantry Point|
Start point: 52.0918 lat, 1.5377 long
Standing on Quay Street facing the Jolly Sailor, turn left along the lane and keep ahead down to the quay. As you enter the quayside area, swing right in front of the shelter and right again onto the signed footpath, passing Quay House on the right. Follow the path as it swings right, up a few steps and then keep left along the embankment path.
|Chantry Point to Gedgrave Road|
Start point: 52.0811 lat, 1.5377 long
Stay on the embankment path as it continues to swing right around Chantry Point, following the river downstream. On the opposite side of the river now is Havergate Island, a marshy island nature reserve run by the RSPB. The island is an important breeding, roosting and feeding site for many migratory and resident bird species. Birds that can be found on the island include avocets, oystercatchers, redshanks, ringed plovers, golden plover, dunlin and greenshank. It's also home to a population of hares.
|Gedgrave Road to Cottage Row|
Start point: 52.0865 lat, 1.5152 long
Turn right along the road, taking care of any traffic. You’ll pass Richmond Cottages, a set of terraced cottages set back from the road to the right, and soon afterwards you’ll see a pair of sandy tracks off to the left. Take the left-hand of these two, passing to the left of a large metal outbuilding.
|Cottage Row to Sudbourne Hall|
Start point: 52.0989 lat, 1.525 long
Ignore the footpath off to the right immediately after these cottages. Continue on the main track until you pass the next property (Orford Lodge) on the left and you’ll come to a crossroads of paths. Here you have two choices.
|Sudbourne Hall to Orford Castle|
Start point: 52.107 lat, 1.5176 long
When you’ve finished admiring the buildings, turn round and walk back the way you came. Keep ahead at the crossroads, past the cricket pavilion and eventually you’ll emerge past the gates to reach the crossroads alongside Orford Lodge. Keep straight ahead here.
|Orford Castle to End|
Start point: 52.0941 lat, 1.5316 long
Take time to explore the castle and grounds should you wish, which are managed by English Heritage (assistance dogs only I’m afraid). The castle was built from 1165 when Henry II ordered that a new castle should be built overlooking Orford harbour, partly to consolidate his control over the Earl of Suffolk. The Earl of Suffolk, Hugh Bigod, had long been a thorn in Henry's side and Henry had confiscated Bigod's castles. Bigod was the leader in a revolt some years later against Henry. The keep is circular in shape with three square towers surrounding this. The design was better than the earlier simple square keeps as it removed the blind spots that allowed attackers to creep up on the corners. The castle is remarkably intact allowing visitors to explore from the basement, through the lower and upper halls to the roof and today houses a museum.
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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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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