Walks Around Woodbridge

Enjoy some relaxing walks and take in the beautiful scenery

River Walks Start & Finish point: Woodbridge Station

River Walks

river walks1From Woodbridge station there are wonderful walks in either direction. Cross over the iconic Victorian railway bridge and turn right after going over the bridge and along the river wall you will arrive at an area with a model yacht pond adjacent to The Tea Hut. This pond was built as a replacement for the original one which was constructed to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. Originally it was filled naturally by the River Deben but today by mains water.

 

river walks2The pond is the hub for both the Woodbridge Model Boat Club and families enjoying their time together, enjoying a traditional past-time. A range of refreshments can be taken at The Tea Hut. After a lovely cup of tea and cake, the walk continues along the river bank to the National Trust area of natural beauty, Kyson Point. Walking back to Woodbridge there is always a magical view of the Tide Mill as you approach the town.

 

 

The Riverside Walk

riverside walkA real treat for nature-lovers and twitchers! The riverside path has been maintained to allow good walking and access for wheelchairs.

There are seats situated at key viewing points so you can look at the amazing variety of wildlife on the Deben Estuary.

The water meadows are flanked by ancient pollarded willow and carpeted with wild flowers in spring and early summer.

You’ll see: Oyster Catchers, Terns, Shellduck, Redshank, Egrit, Avocet AND… if you are lucky, one of the ‘Deben Seals’.

 

Woodbridge Heritage Walk

heritage1Start from Woodbridge Station car park. Cross the railway line the fine Victorian iron footbridge, and admire the view of Ferry Quay and the Deben.

Follow Ferry Quay around to the left – this is Woodbridge’s hub of maritime heritage, and includes:

Woodbridge Tide Mill: the last working tide mill in the whole North Sea basin. It traded from at least 1170 to 1957. It is now restored and open to visitors.

 

You may find that there is a glass topped wall to your left. This is a retractable flood defence, in place when high tides are expected. This was previously Whisstocks boatyard, which closed in 1990. Its redevelopment includes Woodbridge Museum (left) and The Longshed – and a coffee shop. When the flood defence is closed, these buildings are accessible from the right hand side.

The Longshed is a community boatshed, owned by Woodbridge Town Council, and run by a charitable organisation, the Woodbridge Riverside Trust. The maritime heritage of Woodbridge and the surrounding area is its main interest, visitors are welcome during opening times, and you will be able to find out more about the points of interest on this walk here. In the near future, the construction of a full size replica of the Sutton Hoo Anglo Saxon Sutton burial ship will start in the Longshed.

At the road leading to Tide Mill, take a few steps to your left past a floodgate and pick up the river wall footpath - beside the Art Club.

On your right you will see the Tide Mill Marina, constructed out of the Tide Mill’s previously much larger, mill pond. As then, some of the water that comes in at high tide is trapped, in this case by an underwater barrier or sill at the entrance, sufficient to keep the boats afloat.

heritage walk 2Next comes Robertson’s Boatyard, still very much alive. Founded in 1884 on the empty site of a shipyard that had once built warships at Lime Kiln Quay, its new focus was building yachts. It still has its slipways, and provides skilled services to support workboats and yachts.

The river wall path drops down to an unmade road. Leaving the boatyard to your right, you will see a small bungalow next to it, beyond which was an open air swimming pool in the first part of the 20th Century

For a short walk: head back from here: cross the railway, join the main road and walk back parallel to the river until you see the station and car park, or turn right up the hill to join the end of the Thoroughfare and walk back through the town.)

Or carry on: Just before the road crosses the railway, take the footpath to your left to rejoin the river wall. This will take you up to the Granary Yacht Harbour, in Melton.

On the way, you will see an extensive area on the opposite side of the river, of saltmarsh, and water or mudflats (depending on the tide), behind a river wall.

This more isolated part of the walk gives you some interesting houseboats, wonderful bird life and fabulous views of the Deben. By contrast, the Granary Yacht Harbour (a.k.a. Melton Boatyard) is another busy yard with a range of facilities. A recent arrival is a former Swedish fast missile attack craft HMS Vale, where you can have a coffee...

Walk a little beyond the boatyard for a view across the river to the Sutton Hoo burial mounds, on commandingly high ground, between trees.

Either retrace your steps, for a different view of the river valley, or:

Return to the boatyard, cross the railway, head straight on - up Dock Lane.
Cut through a footpath after the Bowls Club, to the Melton Road. Follow Melton Road back into Woodbridge.