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|The Clare and Cavendish Trail|
|Author: Claire, Published: 11 Apr 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 7.5 mile circular trail from Clare, Suffolk. There’s plenty of interest along the way taking in the two historic settlements with lots of pretty cottages, churches, museums, antiques centres, shops, cafes, pubs, a castle and a dismantled railway – more than enough to make a full day out. The paths between the towns follow long stretches through peaceful arable farmland with fabulous views. |
The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout. The paths follow field edges and farm tracks and can be very muddy in winter and after periods of rain. You will need to negotiate a number of kissing gates plus four stiles. The first stile has a squeeze gap alongside (suitable for all dogs and slim humans!), the middle two have dog flaps within (plenty big enough for a labrador or equivalent) and the final one is only about 30cm high (so most dogs should be able to hop over just fine). Whilst the vast majority of the route follows arable field paths, one field is likely to be holding sheep and one field is likely to be holding a small herd of beef cattle (including a bull in April and May). This field is very large and the path across it is short and the farmer describes the cows and bull as docile but, as always, take particular care if you have dogs with you. There are a couple of short sections along quiet country lanes so take care of any traffic at these points. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours.
Clare is located close to the Suffolk/Essex border, about 9 miles from Sudbury. The walk starts and finishes from the Clare Castle Country Park pay and display car park on Malting Lane. The fee is £2 for the whole day (correct Spring 2017). Approximate post code CO10 8NW.
|Start to Hermitage Farm|
Start point: 52.0764 lat, 0.5821 long
Leave the Clare Castle Country Park car park via the vehicle entrance and follow Malting Lane as it swings right to reach a T-junction with the A1092. Cross over with care, turn right along the pavement and then take the first turning on the left, the High Street.
|Hermitage Farm to Country Lane|
Start point: 52.0868 lat, 0.5876 long
Follow the track in front of the farmhouse and then swinging left around the barns. At the track fork, keep right onto a track which passes to the left of a storage tank. Keep ahead onto the narrow path through the hedge passing under a pylon to reach the corner of a crop field.
|Country Lane to Primary School|
Start point: 52.0907 lat, 0.6204 long
Turn right along the lane, passing in front of Mumford Cottages, taking care of any occasional traffic. Follow the lane as it bends left, then right, then left now heading for the houses visible in the valley. About a third of the way down the hill, turn right off the road onto the signed footpath which follows the left-hand edge of a crop field.
|Primary School to Pentlow Mill|
Start point: 52.0873 lat, 0.6315 long
Keep straight ahead passing the school to the left and the large village green to the right. You’ll come to the road within Cavendish, Peacocks Road, with St Mary’s Church opposite. Cross over, turn right along the pavement and follow the road swinging left passing a pretty collection of pink thatched cottages.
|Pentlow Mill to Bower Hall|
Start point: 52.0866 lat, 0.639 long
Cross the stile (the mesh panel is a dog flap), into the field which is likely to be holding sheep (the small brown ancient breed with horns, British Soay, when we crossed). Take a moment to appreciate the setting here, with the weir within the river ahead and a beautiful line of plane trees running to the left. Walk at about 10 o’clock and follow the line of the River Stour on the right. When you reach the brick river bridge ahead (dating from 1886), cross the stile (with identical dog flap) to reach the road.
|Bower Hall to Hickford Hill|
Start point: 52.079 lat, 0.6253 long
Beyond the barns keep straight ahead on the quiet tarmac lane. Follow the lane as it swings left, ignoring the concrete bridge into the field on the right. A few yards later turn right onto the track between trees, signed as a bridleway.
|Hickford Hill to End|
Start point: 52.0726 lat, 0.592 long
Do NOT take the path opposite, instead turn right along the road taking care of any traffic. As the road begins to swing left, turn right onto the signed footpath across the centre of the crop field. At the far side of this field keep ahead across the river footbridge and cross the low stile into the field (which is likely to be holding cattle).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
great walk! glad it was a sunny day
|By West on 18 Feb 2015|
great walk. lovely cup of tea at the end!
|By Fionajos on 01 May 2017|
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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My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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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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