Kyson Hill, Kyson Point, Marshes, Mudflats and Woodbridge walk, Suffolk
This circular walk takes you along the River Deben, among boats, marshes and mudflats, visiting Kyson Hill and Woodbridge on the way. See the Woodland Trust's Porter's Wood; make time to visit the Town centre with it's collection of eclectic shops, and of course the restored (2004) Tide Mill, the last working tide mill in the UK. Kyson Hill, although only 4 acres (1.6ha), is a special corner of coastal Suffolk, where the typical upper estuarine landscape is found within a very small area.
Escape to a tranquil countryside haven
Woodbridge owes much to Thomas Seckford, a courtier to Elizabeth I, whose bequest funded hospitals, schools and playing fields. Grassy Kyson hill, surrounded by wooded belts, sloping down to the saltings and mudflats of the tidal Deben, has been a favourite destination for a sunny day walk for generations of Woodbridge folk. Fine for active families.
Woodbridge train station Car Park Grid. Ref. TM273487
Facing the railway station, at the left-hand end, cross over the footbridge to the quay, going straight ahead, passing the Woodbridge plaque and café to your left.
Both at the quay and along the route, a wide variety of yachts and other vessels may be seen either in the water or laid up, either for repair in the boatyards or for storage.
Follow the promenade to your right with the River Deben on your left. Carry on passing the 'Woodbridge Cruising Club' and 'Deben Rowing Club' on your right.
Woodbridge Cruising Club
The Club was founded in 1965 to encourage local sailors to explore the numerous estuaries on the East Coast and beyond: to the Thames, the South Coast, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The club's members organise cruises throughout the Summer and early Autumn, including an introductory cruise of the season to check out the changing bar at the entrance to the River Deben. The club is open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from 1200 – 1430.
Keep straight along the promenade passing toilets on your right that are down a slipway, and carry along past the Tea Hut café in the small park with the Deben Yacht Club on your left beside the river.
Leave clubhouses, boatyards and cafes behind you and stride out in the countryside along the tarmac footpath high up on the bank.
Out in the country, away from the bustle of the cafés, people, yacht clubs, etc, total silence reigns supreme perhaps only broken by the cries of the birds - enjoy.
At the end of the tarmac path, just as you enter the wood-line, follow the path to the left coming across a public footpath sign. Take the left path down an incline (passing the Kyson House driveway on your right). At high tide, this route might be inaccessible - see small green metal sign on the left at ground level for the alternative route.
Turn right and look out for a triple footpath sign. Keep to the left up the hill until reaching the National Trust sign and bench on your right, which is effectively the top of Kyson Hill. Mr R.C. Notcutt gave Kyson Hill to the National Trust in 1934; its first Suffolk property comprising 1.6 hectares (4 acres). Enter Kyson Hill and admire the views over the river estuary. After looking round the site retrace your steps back to the triple footpath sign; head down to the beach and turn right.
Stand or sit here for a while and take in the view...As you progress on this walk, the beautiful estuary is laid out before you with views across to gentle hills and woods off to the East and the river Deben winding its way out towards the sea. This view is from the top of Kyson Hill
Walk along the estuary shore which may be wet and a bit muddy until you come to the Kyson Point sign by a big fallen log. Kyson Point is private property but you can see the brown shed and small yachts out of the water. Keep right at wooden railings and follow path to Martlesham Creek and then riverside path.
A huge variety of birds may be found along the route. During winter months, wigeons and dunlins may be seen and during the summer, sedge and reed warblers as well as common terns may be seen. Other birds along the estuary include oyster catchers, plovers, teals, little grebes, redshanks, little egrets (in this picture), black tailed godwits, and curlews.
Turn right at end of creek and walk around sewage works to Sandy Lane. Turn right beneath railway bridge and climb steadily for about 700 yds. At top of rise, turn right onto Broom Heath.
When the road bends round to the right, turn left past gate leading to the Woodland Trust’s Porter’s Wood. Stay on path on outside of woods to return to Sandy Lane. Turn right and right again. When reaching the main road cross over and after 50 yds climb steps on far side to a footpath. Keep straight ahead to end of footpath and cross road to Portland Crescent.
This wood is very popular with, and well used by local people. It has a large range of broadleaf trees.
Keep straight ahead, dropping down the hill and climbing up the other side. Continue along Fen walk with graveyards either side. Fork left at a junction of paths down a grassy slope with views of church tower ahead. Keep straight ahead, and climb steps to Seckford Street.
Now turn right to reach Market Hill. An alley-way on right-hand side leads you to churchyard and the church of St. Mary the Virgin. Turn left through the churchyard onto Church Street, emerging at a school (site of the old abbey). Walk down Church Street and cross over ‘The Thoroughfare’ (a pedestrian street on left-hand side). Continue along Quay Street and cross back to station yard and car park (and Whistlestop Café), or turn left to visit the Tide Mill if you have the time.
Woodbridge Tide Mill
The Tide Mill was the last working tide mill in the UK. The wheel last turned in 1957, when the 22 inch square oak main shaft broke. It was descending into a perilous state of decay but with the help of a lottery grant was fully refurbished in 2004 and now welcomes visitors.
Woodbridge train station Car Park Grid. Ref. TM273487
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