Every now and then we venture into our neighbouring county -Suffolk. Southwold, Walberswick, Aldeburgh, Thorpeness – we love to go back to them time and again. There’s just something about these coastal places – with their relaxed holiday feel and plenty of history.
Last weekend we went to Dunwich, also in Suffolk, a very small village that we take in as part of a walk (but sometimes a cycle route). We stop there, have lunch or tea or ice cream (or all of those things!) then head back to wherever we started from. It’s a turning point.
From a small car park at a junction called ‘five fingers’, a quiet in the middle of nowhere place, we set off – immediately onto a footpath heading out towards the sea, through the marsh at Walberswick. Unbelievable muddy in places, we tried avoiding it by skirting the edge of the path but in the end it got the better of us.
Eventually the path has more height giving you a view of the reed and shingle bank just in from the sea. We spotted Bearded Tit – a beautiful little bird, very secretive that actually has a moustache not a beard! Google it.
We turned right at Dingle Hill which is just a small rise just above sea level! Eventually on to a stony track, the sun started to break through and we were starting to pass a few other walkers.
At Dunwich we found the popular Beach Tea Room and Fish & Chip Shop next to the large car park closed (til end March). We sat and ate our packed lunch and watched disappointed occupants of cars coming and going. We couldn’t help but feel a bit smug.
A little bit of history….
The fact is that Dunwich used to be one of the largest towns in England. Boasting nine churches, two monasteries and a population of several thousand back in medieval days. Then, after a series of storms between 1286 and 1347, almost the entire place disappeared into the sea, including the harbour which is what made it prosper. That’s the trouble with sandy shorelines.
Back to our walk – we headed inland and through Dunwich Forest. All heathland, coniferous trees and sandy tracks. It’s quite beautiful.
Almost back to the parked car there is a notice board that I had to photograph. For all those members of my family named after my Oma – look at the Trail name – this one is for you.
It’s a lovely part of the world.