Sutton Hoo woodland walk, near Woodbridge, Suffolk
This walking route combines elements of both our Valley (red) walk and Pinewood (blue) walk. Follow in the footsteps of Anglo-Saxon ancestors at the Royal Burial Ground and take in the different areas of woodland across the Sutton Hoo landscape.
Suitable for active families. Due to hills, steps etc. not suitable for buggies and/or wheelchairs.
Sutton Hoo car park, grid ref: TM288487
After arranging your admission, walk through the courtyard and turn left, heading into the woods, through the gate and pass the Gar Seat on your right.
The Gar Seat
The Gar Seat is cleverly crafted to link in with the Great Ship Burial. The carvings on the seat echo the beautiful Anglo-Saxon designs on the artefacts founds in Mound 1.
Pause at the circular benches and admire the view over Rabbit Field and the Deben River valley on your right.
Deben Valley and Rabbit Field
The old river valley is known as Rabbit Field as it’s been home to rabbits for many years. They ransacked many of the burial mounds before Basil Brown (at that time employed at Ipswich Museum) arrived in 1938, at the request of Mrs Edith Pretty, to excavate the mounds on her property at Sutton Hoo. Mrs Pretty agreed to pay him at his usual weekly rate at the museum of £1.12.6d.
Continue through the woods until you reach a gate. Go through the gate and cross the sandy track to the opposite side (beware of any passing farm vehicles), and through another gate. Please ensure you close the gate behind you.
You are now in the Royal Burial Ground. The burial mounds themselves are currently roped off to allow them to rest and recover from many footsteps passing over them last year. You can walk around the roped off perimeter to your left, but as Top Hat Wood is currently closed you will need to retrace your route back.
Anglo-Saxon Burial Mounds
Mound 1 was excavated in the early summer of 1939, initially by Basil Brown from the Ipswich Museum. He uncovered the remains of a 27 metre-long, clinker-built wooden ship of the seventh century, outlined by its iron rivets in the sand. Further excavations in the following years up to 1971 led the excavators to believe that this was the burial site of Raedwald, leader of the Wuffing dynasty of the East Angles, dating to c.625 AD. To find out more, why not join one of our guided tours while you’re here at Sutton Hoo.
At the far end of the Royal Burial Ground you will be able to see our new 17 metre viewing tower, which is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Head back around the edge of the roped perimeter, pausing to look at the view towards Tranmer House before reaching the gate. Please remember to close the gate behind you.
Turn left on to the sandy track and follow the track downhill, taking the right-hand fork at the bottom.
After passing the house called Little Sutton Hoo, which is privately owned, follow the made-up road for about 300 metres, then bear left uphill passing Home Wood on your right.
Take the time to look over to the River Deben on your left as you make your way up the road. Lots of wildlife can be seen on the river from here, as well as in the fields and surrounding woods.
Continue along the road to where there is a right-hand bend and here, use the marked footpath instead of the road as this can be a dangerous bend.
Re-join the road with Brown’s Planting on your right, and after about 500 metres look out for a sign-posted footpath on the right.
The path goes up quite a steep hill with steps in places, but eventually flattens out. Watch out for the fire-breathing dragon on the left! Follow the path left where signposted then, after about 100 metres, turn left and out into Garden Field.
Walk along the left-hand field edge until you reach a gate through the fence behind the Visitor Centre, and then back to the courtyard.
Sutton Hoo car park, grid ref: TM288487
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