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October so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1804

14th May 2019
Hiking - Walking: Sutton Hoo
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Weather: sunny and warm
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Distance Covered: 4.16 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Tuesday 14th May – walk ***** Sutton Hoo – sunny and warm:)

Our second good night on the banks of the River Deben at Bawdsey Quay and woke to another warm and sunny day. Exercises on the beach followed by breakfast and with Mag feeling slightly better we went to the National Trust site at Sutton Hoo home of one of greatest archaeological discoveries of all time, an Anglo-Saxon burial chamber in a large wooden ship. We did a small detour first via Hollesley Upper Common but the car park, well known for its crossbills, was already full with birdwatchers so we continued to Sutton Hoo. We were surprised to find the car park really full but found a quiet spot at the end of the overflow car park and had lunch before we set off to explore. We haven’t been here since our boys were small and couldn’t wait to use our NT membership cards for the first time, a gift from our son Rob and his partner Hannah. There was a lot of building work going on including a large metal replica longboat which was impressive. The staff were friendly as they explained that the main exhibition hall containing (replicas mainly I think) of the precious objects discovered under the sandy mounds which rewrote our understanding of the ‘dark ages’ including an ornate Anglo-Saxon helmet, intricate shoulder straps, decorated shield and pattern welded sword, was sadly closed due to the building work! Still we can go again when it reopens and were not too disappointed as this is a beautiful spot for a walk. There are three marked out in different colours. We were tempted by the cake in the nice café but having just had our lunch we found the red Valley walk which took us to the Royal Burial Ground of about 15 mounds. It is lovely here with views down to Woodbridge on the River Deben and everything was in bloom including white Hawthorn, yellow gorse, vibrant green of the different trees but best of all the vivid red tiny flowered grass which was all around:) We had the Burial ground to ourselves apart from a NT photographer taking photos. They are in the process of building a huge viewing tower here which will offer amazing vistas but I think will look sadly out of place here:( Then we head down towards the river and take a left leading through some swanky houses to the Deben and into Ferry Wood which leads us right down to the river opposite Woodbridge Tide Mill. We passed a hut which used to protect the foot ferry (now disused) passengers from the elements and sat on a wooden breakwater to watch the birds in the mud as the tide is out. Then we have to back track as we think this is a dead-end and followed the river for a distance to the blue Pinewood walk. We spot a muntjac with a broken antler and a pretty striped face:) It was a bit of a trek along a narrow lane with the Deben below and woods above, Mag was keeping up well considering how poorly she was yesterday. we headed up into the pine woods and found a nice section with bluebells guarded by a dragon made from a fallen tree! We were soon back at the van having been out 2 hrs 25 mins. covering over 4 miles! Then we decided to stay out another night and drove the few miles to the spot by Ramsholt Church we had discovered on Sunday’s bike ride. We even spotted a couple of hares in a field of peas including one really close to the road! It was a nice spot to park but we think we prefer Bawdsey Quay and East Lane but good none the less especially when the deer appeared and there were partridges everywhere!

NT Sutton Hoo here

Wednesday 15th May –early morning small walk **** Ramsholt Church circuit – sunny and warm:)

Nice night in our quiet spot by Ramsholt Church but were woken by the farm mini bus dropping off workers so got up and went for a walk at six in the morning. We did an hour on bridleway/farm tracks following the river to start with to the farm which also housed a shell fish/asparagus business. The workers were already out in the fields, knives in hand, doing the backbreaking work of cutting the asparagus. They were all hardworking Eastern Europeans probably here away from their families on minimum wages. We just have to admire their work ethic can’t imagine getting soft UK workers to do it! Let’s hope that Brexit can be kicked into touch soon as a lot of businesses will be in trouble without help from overseas!
What a top three nights away in the van costing nothing, stunning weather and scenery enjoying, The Best of Suffolk’ and fingers crossed its looking good for a windsurfed tomorrow!

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