Monday 20 April 2015
Blaxhall to Dunwich
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.