A Walk in Middleton & Lunch at The Bell
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This beautiful walk, which passes through countryside within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Natural Beauty, has been recommended by Leah Aldridge, our Homeowner Liaison Assistant.
On a lovely sunny Sunday in March, I decided to get out and explore the beautiful Suffolk countryside with my Mum, my niece Jasmine and Obie – our lively black Labrador and four-legged friend.
We decided on a walk around Middleton – mainly because our real agenda included lunch at the Middleton Bell – a beautiful Grade II listed, thatched building that was awarded "Value Pub of Year 2011" by The Good Pub Guide.
We set off early, travelling through a number of traditional Suffolk villages enroute including Blythburgh and Westleton. We then parked up at The Bell in Middleton; our starting and end point of our walk.
From The Bell car park, we turned right and walked towards the crossroad, before turning right onto The Causeway. After passing the village Montessori, we reached the footpath sign that we were looking out for, situated to our right.
Upon reaching the first stile, we turned right until we reached a second stile. After crossing the stile we turned right and was delighted to meet a horse called Sparky. My niece Jasmine couldn’t wait to go over and greet him but I kept Obie back at this point, as he really wanted to go over too!
After crossing a third stile and turning right, we kept to the right hand side of the field before reaching a fourth stile.
We then turned immediately left and kept along the hedge line before Watermill Farm came into view.
After a gentle meander, admiring all of the flowering spring bulbs along the way, we shortly arrived at a metal gate with a stile. Passing over the stile, we walked through the field, keeping to the left hand side, before exiting at the other end.
We then followed the lane, which soon turned into a track which passed through a farm. Mum and I both noticed at the same time that Obie pricked up his ears so upon investigation, we saw that he’d already spotted some chickens which were pecking around freely. We therefore quickly made sure that he was kept on a short, firm lead – much to his disappointment!
Keeping Obie in check, we passed the farm and continued on until we reached the road. We turned right and at reaching the Middleton Moor sign, turned left.
We then spotted the dog waste bin (very convenient!) and took the footbath to our right. We then continued on and crossed a small wooden bridge before reaching a kissing gate.
We passed through the gate and then kept to the left hand side of the field. Eventually we left the field through another gate which led us back onto the road. We turned left here and then enthusiastically picked up speed, knowing that lunch was calling us. We arrived back at The Bell approximately 8 minutes later.
Obie was very thirsty dog after his adventures and luckily for all of us, The Bell is a very pet-friendly pub and a bowl of cool water alongside a few doggie treats were on hand to greet him. Obie was most impressed and wagged his tail enthusiastically!
Once inside The Bell, we both commented on the cosy and welcoming atmosphere, and admired the characteristic timber beams open fireplaces. We then enjoyed a hearty lunch from the excellent lunch menu. A happy morning and lunch was had by all!
- Starting/end point: The Bell, Middleton, The Street, Middleton, Suffolk, IP17 3NN (Closed Monday lunch time)
- Walking trail length: approximately 2.5 – 3 miles.
- Level: easy with mainly flat areas – however, please be warned that there are a number of stiles to cross.
- Preparation: please take waterproofs, footwear to suit conditions, water and a map with you (Leah referred to the OS Explorer map number 231 and 212).
- Dog owners: if you are bringing your dog, please bring dog waste bags with you and keep your four-legged friend on a short lead when passing through farms and open areas with animals/poultry. A dog-waste bin may be found towards the end of the walk.
- Accommodation: a range of VisitEngland inspected self-catering cottages may be found in Middleton, Theberton and Westleton.
- Refreshments and food: The Bell Inn.