Woodbridge To Felixstowe Suffolk
Thursday, February 20, 2020
It's Thursday February 20th 2020 and after a great nights rest and a superb breakfast at the Cherry Tree Inn Woodbridge, myself and Dave Evans are ready for another days walking to Felixstowe. Today's walk is similar to yesterday's with the weather starting out dry, wet underfoot, but again heavy rain is forecast in the afternoon. So we need to make as much progress as possible, but with question marks looming over areas of the foreshore closed due to natural erosion, our route could be different from the coastal route I have plotted on my ordnance survey app. I like Woodbridge and it feels homely, it's a clean tidy town situated on the River Deben. The people are nice and welcoming and I will return again in the future. The town's 1100 years of recorded history have bequeathed a variety of historical architecture covering the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian era's. It was here that Sir Francis Drake had his fighting ships built and the 7th Century Sutton Hoo boat burial was discovered just across the river, thought to be the final resting place of King Raedwald the most powerful King of England at the time. The so-called Rendlesham Forest incident took place nearby in 1980. Unexplained lights were seen in the sky close to RAF Woodbridge, a United States Air Force airfield, and there were claims that a UFO had landed in the forest. The incident continues to interest ufologists and there is debate between those who believe an alien spacecraft landed there and those who offer alternative explanations. Following the river and passing the early morning dog walkers and joggers we soon turn into Martlesham Creek where the walk starts in earnest. Rounding the creek and nearing the River Deben we soon discover that the coastal path is closed and we must navigate a path further inland to Waldringfield. There was a bit of time pressure at this point because we learned yesterday in the Ramsholt Arms that there will be a flypast at 11:30am, commemorating 75 years since the B-17 Deben River air crash and we want to see it from the Deben foreshore. This crash claimed the lives of eight young American aircrew at the closing of the second world war and it fills me with pride that these incredibly brave men, defending our country, are still remembered within the communities around the river Deben.
After the flypast and further along the path we pass All Saints Church Hemley where there is a sign claiming the foreshore path to be closed for repair, but later, after talking to a lovely couple, to our frustration we learnt that the path was in fact open. I just wish that, after works have been completed, these signs could be removed earlier by the local owning authority. Eventually we get back onto the foreshore path just in time for the heavy rain to start, with no shelter, it's going to be a wet and windy walk to Felixstowe Ferry and into Felixstowe! The only highlight along this stretch was to spot a seal on a jetty between rain showers and the cafe at Felixstowe Ferry where we enjoyed a brief cup of tea. After leaving the cafe the rain started to ease and it was a pleasant walk into Felixstowe, which again was dominated by more Martello towers built to defend Britain from Napoleon in the 19th century. 16.46 miles.
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