Saturday, 10 July 2004


Felixstowe Ferry → Woodbridge

[Water Skiing on the Deben near Falkenham]

Distance: 14.1 miles
Ascent: 208 metres
Duration: 4 hours 32 minutes

Walking back home
« Orwell Country Park | Bawdsey Quay »

I've discovered the coastline on my doorstep.

Woodbridge sits on a tidal river; the first bridge across the Deben is two or three miles upstream. Previously on my coastwalk I've crossed the river mouth by ferry. I've decided to change that and walk both sides of the river.

Today I walked home from the sea.


At Hemley the church is sandwiched between a wheat-field on one side and barley on another. The golden fields blend into the churchyard and for once it's easy to imagine a fully integrated harvest festival. All summer the congregation would have a growing feeling for the quality of the crop, inherently setting the tone for harvest day. (The barley knows this, the head of each stem bowed in reverence.)

A little further is the village of Waldringfield. We're three or four miles downstream of Woodbridge here, and it feels like a compact copy of my town. There's a sailing club, a small beach, boat trips and the same view to open fields across the river. The only things missing are a tide mill and a cinema.

Two miles more and I'm on familiar territory. Throughout the day my office has loomed on the horizon and at Martlesham Creek I join the path I take when I walk to work. I know this section so well; I feel just a little at-odds wearing hiking boots and carrying a rucksack.

[Woodbridge Quay]

Then finally, Woodbridge. All present and correct: the swans, the tide mill, the rowing, yacht and cruising clubs.

I cross the railway by the cinema and within ten minutes I'm home.

Posted by pab at 15:07 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!