An Autumnal Family Walk around Walberswick
Autumn is my favourite time of year for walking in Suffolk. Those days that are crisp and bright, when the sun is still strong when you’re out of the breeze, yet there’s a gentle nip in the air. Well, yesterday was one such day and as I awoke to the sun creeping in through a gap in the curtains I decided that it was a good day to go for an invigorating walk around Walberswick marshes. So, together with my husband, young son and crazy dog Harry, we got in the car and set off.
Of course, before tackling a bracing family walk, you need fuel and what better place than the Harbour Café at Southwold – the start of our route. We enjoyed a delicious full English breakfast and a mug of tea (Harry the dog enjoyed a sausage too – The Harbour Café is very dog-friendly), admiring the views over Blackshore before setting off towards the bailey bridge footbridge to Walberswick.
Once over the water, we followed the footpath alongside the River Blyth, admiring the many boats moored up along the way until we reached the car park at Walberswick, close to the river mouth. Now, whatever time of year you visit Walberswick there will always be families doing a spot of crabbing off ‘Wallys’ Bridge and we stopped here for a few minutes to check catch in the buckets of the day’s young crabbers before following the path to the beach.
Once on the sand, we headed south with the view of Sizewell powerstation in the distance. We didn’t walk for too long, taking a right at the black beach huts and heading back inland towards Walberswick campsite. We followed the footpath, taking us down the side of a farmer’s field before ducking through the hedgerow onto a boardwalk leading to the marshes. (We may have meandered rather unnecessarily at this point, but it’s been a while since we were here!)
From here our target was the Westwood Marshes Mill. Originally built in the late 18th century and later used for target practice in World War II and now derelict, this mill is a landmark on the marshes and can been seen for some distance. Once on the boardwalk there no getting off it, so it’s very difficult to get lost.
Once at the Mill, we took a right, following the board walk to the woods then taking the path through the woodland, back to the farmers field we bordered earlier in the walk. Carrying on straight ahead, past some rather beautiful houses, our next landmark was the church in Walberswick – St Andrews.
On the homeward straight back towards Walberswick village, we ignored the signs to Southwold to take a little detour to the village shop for refreshments. Once refreshed, we backtracked to follow the signposted route to Southwold along the bridleway. If you’d prefer to see Walberswick village you could continue past the shop to the village green where there are tea shops and pubs to satisfy your appetite, and then follow the riverside path back to Southwold.
We thoroughly enjoyed our walk so though we’d share it with you. You can view our route and the photos we took on Strava. Alternatively, Suffolk Coast and Heaths have produced a great leaflet about Walberswick, which you can view here.