THE WALK

EADT Suffolk - - SUFFOLK WALK -

1

Start at Stoke by Clare church (CO10 8JE). With the church be­hind you (dove­cote and Stoke Col­lege drive on your left) walk straight ahead, past a row of cot­tages (right) to meet the A1092. Turn right through the vil­lage to the green (left). 2

Op­po­site the green, take the foot­path on your right to fol­low the dis­man­tled rail­way line down­hill.

3

Be­fore reach­ing a drive­way, just un­der an old rail­way bridge, turn right (signed Stour Val­ley Path) to­wards the river. Cross the river and weir via the foot­bridge. Turn left, keep­ing on the Stour Val­ley Path briefly to an­other smaller foot­bridge.

4

Over the bridge, turn right. The path zig-zags along field edges to meet a small road op­po­site ‘Stours’, a farm­house. Turn left along the road, gen­tly up­hill to a T-junc­tion with Hol­low Road.

5

Cross the road and con­tinue along the foot­path op­po­site. Take the foot­path to the left of a small stream, then over a foot­bridge (right) and along a field-edge path on the right of a long meadow un­til you reach a cross roads of paths.

6

Turn left, fol­low­ing a farm track. This bears slightly to the left of a gated field en­trance. The track leads to a field with a post (right) and cross-field path (left). Take this cross-field path to the left, head­ing for a gap in the trees with a foot­bridge to en­ter the next field. Fol­low the field-edge path right around this arable land, go­ing along the hedge par­al­lel to the road.

7

At the en­trance drive­way to Claret Hall on Bradley Hill, choose to re­turn to Stoke by Clare along the Stour Val­ley Path (signed – see be­low), or con­tinue into Clare along the Stour Val­ley Path by go­ing down Bradley Hill.

8

On meet­ing Ashen Road, turn right, then take the foot­path (left) past the back of gar­dens. It then turns right along the Stour, over a bridge into the left-hand side of a field. Walk along to meet the road. 9-12

Turn left onto the road. Look for the foot­path (right) just be­fore Ashen Bridge, cross over and fol­low the path along wa­ter­side to Clare Pri­ory (10 – en­ter by a wooden gate in the wall),

Clare Cas­tle and Coun­try Park (11) and the town (12). Re­trace your steps up­hill to the en­trance to Claret Hall on Bradley Hill (7). Turn into the drive­way to pass the hall (right), plus farm build­ings and pad­dock (left), af­ter a small wooded area. Con­tinue along the ridge with stun­ning views back to­wards Clare and across the Stour Val­ley be­low.

13

The path turns right, down­hill to Ashen Road.

14

Turn left along the road to pick up the foot­path (right) signed Stour Val­ley Path. This goes down­hill along a hedge (right), across two open fields to the val­ley floor where the water-mead­ows lead back to the small foot­bridge crossed ear­lier (4). Re­trace your orig­i­nal steps, cross­ing the foot­bridge, the Stour, go­ing along the foot­path and right up the old rail­way track to the A1092 and the green, fi­nally turn­ing left to get back to the church.

The water mead­ows at Stoke by Clare

John ‘Scrooge’ El­wes walk­ing. Well, it was one way to avoid pay­ing for a coach.

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