Day 15 The Sailor’s Path Beside the Beach

Monday 20 April 2015

Blaxhall to Dunwich
15 miles
Cliff House Campsite

It didn’t take long this morning to get to Snape Maltings, which is the start of the Sailor’s Path that runs beside the River Alde to Aldeburgh. It’s a varied 6 miles through heathland, farmland, marshland and seaside, and follows a route once taken by many smugglers.  

Looking down the River Alde from Snape with Aldeburgh in the distance
I met a man wheeling a barrow full of shed roofing material and he explained he was putting squares of it on the sides of the banks to attract the adders and the slow worms. Apparently they like to curl up in the warm under this material and he can then catch them and re-home them before the diggers come in to strengthen the earth bank as part of flood prevention. [note: again, despite glorious weather and other sightings I was not lucky enough to see an adder today. I kept my eyes peeled and met some lads who had seen one but not me unfortunately.]

I reached Aldeburgh by 11.30 am and was once more on the seashore. In fact the rest of the day was spent walking right next to the sea and it made a lovely sound. I walked through Thorpeness; once a purpose built holiday village and supposedly where J.M. Barrie wrote most of Peter Pan. It’s a very picturesque place with some nice houses backing onto the shingle beach anyone day I’m going to stay in the House in the Clouds.  

Approaching Thorpeness (can you see the House in the Clouds on the left?)
It was such a hot and sunny day that I decided to stop on the deserted beach and go for a paddle. It won’t be long before it’s a swim! 

Drying my feet naturally, blissful
After Thorpeness came Sizewell and a brief stop for a cream tea in the afternoon sunshine. It was one of those days when it was great not to be at work. I passed the campsite where I’ve previously spent a holiday and was disappointed to see the best pitches right by the beach now taken by fake log cabins. I walked past the nuclear power station, where the water’s warmer and the fish glow in the dark, and on to Minsmere RSPB Reserve. I stopped next to a couple with enormous cameras trained on a bush and saw a whitethroat. There were lots of people walking around from hide to hide; the most I’d seen all day outside of Aldeburgh. After Minsmere comes Dunwich Heath, yet another nature area and my last chance to see an adder. The climb up the cliff here does allow for a stunning view back along the coast to Sizewell.   

View from the top of Dunwich Heath back to Sizewell Power Station with Minsmere in the foreground
All in all a spectacular day. A pity it didn’t finish so well as the campsite tried to charge me £19 for the night (I managed to get it down to £15) because of all their great facilities that I don’t need, and then to top it all off their restaurant is closed on a Monday. I was forced to cook my last portion of cous cous brought from home, which was not delicious but had to do for tonight. Pudding was a chocolate bar. 

6 thoughts on “Day 15 The Sailor’s Path Beside the Beach

  1. Jane April 21, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    Good luck today Lucy, George and I have walked Dunwich to Southwold it’s beautiful through the reed beds, tough on the stoney beach but worth it…..


    • Lucy April 21, 2015 / 8:09 pm

      Agreed, well worth it today


  2. Chris Frazer April 21, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Juice feet look ok no plasters or zinc oxide tape……well done.

    Was the person who wanted £19 for you to pitch your tent wearing a mask? Next time camp on the beach and use the facilities when it’s dark.

    Looked up light weight camping kit……..It’s chuffing expensive… will need to be selective

    Be safe…on on Melchete….mind the adders Baldrick!!


    • Lucy April 21, 2015 / 8:09 pm

      It fell off! Did think this morning I should have just pitched after 5.30 when the office staff left as I was up and gone before they started work this morning. I don’t like being dishonest though. Tonight’s camp is a bargain at £3


  3. jstumm April 21, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    Minsmere, isn’t that were you and Mom saw a Hobbit?! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see another, maybe you could even tempt one to join you on your adventure, they are pretty strong (i think), though your food requirements would increase…
    Glad you are having a good time, the water looks lovely, get in there soon


    • Lucy April 21, 2015 / 8:07 pm

      No Hobbits…or hobbies!! Too cold in the sea. I would go in if I could afford the extra time to sort myself out afterwards but would have to re-tape my feet as well as get dry. Will get in later when sea is more inviting (less brown)


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