OS Explorer Map 197 coordinates 285 445 for the Maybush pub and waterfront.

This is my  regular ride to Waldringfield, blogged not because its new but to record how bright and blue the River Deben was in December.

For the record, the ride goes from Kesgrave to Adastral Park then alongside the A14 past what was the Brightwell Bus Cafe but is now the Holeshot Cafe, its still in a bus.  Turn left towards Waldringfield and keep going until you get to the Maybush pub and the River Deben. The water was well in today, no walking on the beach or sitting on the bench which you can see mainly submerged in one of the photos.

I came back via Hemley, Newbourne and Adastral Park.

12 miles, not far, but I’m very happy to have got out in the winter sunshine, its been a couple of weeks and I have missed riding my bike.

Posted in River Deben, Woodbridge | Tagged ,

Butley River, Burrow Hill

OS Explorer Map 212 coordinates 392 482 for Butley ferry crossing.

I’ve had a great ride today getting to and from the Butley river and now I’m home looking at the map I’ve realised I wasn’t exactly where I thought I was, so I’m going to have to go back another day. Can’t wait, the view of Butley river from Burrow Hill was stunning, one of those rare moments when I’m cycling and wish there was someone else to share the ‘wow look at that’ moment. I even took the shiny new bike down a muddy farm track, but now I’m getting ahead of myself.

I set off looking for Butley Priory and Abbey, not realising that the first is a private residence and the second is part of a farm, so they’re not really visitor attractions. I know where the road to Butley Priory is so I rode through Woodbridge and over Wilford Bridge turning left at the roundabout onto the B1084. I went through Rendlesham forest (on the road) with some bright winter sunlight breaking through the trees which only made my eyes water a little bit.

Just past the right turn into Rendlesham forest visitors’ centre is another right turn signposted Butley Priory, so that’s where I went. There’s a pig farm on the left with lots of corrugated iron huts that were glowing in the sunshine. I soon got to the priory and as the sign said something like “private, residents and by invitation only” I shot past wondering if the abbey would be more welcoming.  I soon got a glimpse of the abbey which seems to be part of a farm.

So now I’d been over the stone bridge and through Capel St Andrew and taken a left by Home Farm. I was  a little undecided on where to go next. Then I saw a sign on the left that said ‘Butley Ferry” and something like “walkers and pedal cycles only”. I’ve heard of the Butley ferry, and that it only runs at weekends and bank holidays during the summer, so I followed the track just hoping to get a look at the Butley river. I was not disappointed.

I didn’t get right down to the river but followed the track up and over Burrow Hill. From the top there was a gorgeous view of the river meandering down to the North Sea which was glowing brightly in the distance. It was so bright I couldn’t see anything in the camera viewfinder but I took a few shots anyway.


I followed the track northish to Butley Low Corner/Coulton Farm where it rejoined the tarmac so I rode back the way I’d come past the abbey the priory and the pigs. Then it was back through Rendlesham forest, Woodbridge and home. 29 miles in all.



Brilliant ride, very happy. Love my new bike.

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Kesgrave fog

OS Explorer map 197 coordinates 231 453 for the Kesgrave computing monument.

I live in Kesgrave and this post is the result of an abandoned ride to Butley, abandoned due to thick fog and very poor visibility. I went out 7.30am hoping that the fog would clear but after an hour pootling around Martlesham and Little Bealings I was soaked and jittery so headed for home. The fog was low and thick and scary because although I could see far enough ahead for the speed I was doing I’m pretty sure car drivers weren’t seeing me until it was almost too late.

So, a little about cycling in Kesgrave’s Grange Farm area. Lots of cycle paths, several kiddies’ playparks, the Farmhouse Pub and an odd grey monument to computing. Its a good route to take between Martlesham and Ipswich because you’ll be off the road for long stretches. If you’ve got a Sustrans map follow NCR 1.

Hmmm, here’s hoping the weather’s better next weekend, I need to fit in a 30 miler minimum.

Posted in Ipswich, Woodbridge | Tagged

Falkenham winter wanderings

OS Explorer Map 197 coordinates for Falkenham Back Lane 295 382

My motivation this morning was to cover 25 miles on my new bike (oh yes, shiny new toy) as this was my first opportunity to have a proper ride on it. The weather was gloomy, autumn colours were fading into winter sludge and it was drizzly but I didn’t care. I had my lights on the whole while and I still had a lovely time, isn’t that amazing.

From Kesgrave the route to Falkenham is through Martlesham Heath to Adastral Park, ride alongside the A14 then past what was the Brightwell Bus Cafe but is currently having a makeover. Turn right then immediately left towards Brightwell and Felixstowe. After a longish straight bit turn left into Croft Lane and left again towards Kirton at the t-junction, otherwise you’ll end up on the A14. Then after another couple of miles just past Innocence House is a crossroads. Left is Kirton, right is Trimley. It jinks a bit but you want to go straight over onto Back Lane which leads to Falkenham.

Falkenham is lovely, its just soooooo quiet with hardly any traffic. Sunday mornings I usually see other cyclists and horse riders but today (Friday) I saw two people with dogs and that was that. I did a couple of laps then headed off to Kirton and came home via Waldringfield, Newbourne pigs, Hemley and Martlesham Heath. Not a very direct route obviously but today I was riding my bike just for the sake of riding my bike and there’s nothing wrong with that.

25 miles done and dusted.

Posted in Felixstowe | Tagged , , , , ,

Framlingham Castle

OS Explorer Map 212 coordinates 285 635 for the castle.

The route from Kesgrave to Framlingham was to Martlesham then through Woodbridge over the crossroads on the B1438 to Melton, Ufford and Wickham Market. Then the B1438/B1078 through Wickham Market, over Wickham Bridge by Deben Mills and left at the roundabout onto the B1116 towards Hacheston. That road takes you all the way to Framlingham and when you get there the castle is signposted. Its a little bit up and down but the hills look worse in the distance than they really are.

I came back via a different route. It was Sunday and I had lots of time to pootle about and only a target of 32 miles to think about before I got home. I did 35 in all, just under 16 to the castle and the rest wandering back.

Out of Framlingham I got off the main road by turning right towards Kettleburgh. The whole atmosphere of the ride changed. There hadn’t been much traffic on the main road but on the lanes there was none and lovely wide open fields to look at on either side.

I rode through Kettleburgh, Brandesdon, Cretingham, Burgh, Clopton, Otley, Grundisburgh and Great and Little Bealings. I think that’s the right order 🙂

From Brandesdon I followed signs to Woodbridge until I got to the junction by Otley post office when it was a choice of right to Helmingham and Debenham or left to Clopton and Wickham Market. Where did Woodbridge go? I chose left, which was right, if you see what I mean, and was rewarded with a 30 mph zoom down the hill. Next time I’ll include Debach village which looks like a good diversion off the ‘Roman Road’.

Posted in Woodbridge | Tagged ,

Debach, Wickham Market and Ufford

OS Explorer Map 212 Debach Airfield is at coordinates 235 545

I’ve signed up for the Suffolk Sunrise 100 next year so today I decided to go out and find the start point, Debach (that’s ‘Debbidge’ in case you’re wondering) Airfield, and have a bit of a look at that part of the route. (I’ve since looked at the Sunrise 100 website which now says Start/Finish to be confirmed).

From Kesgrave I rode to Grundisburgh and out the other side on the B1079 towards Clopton. I turned right at Drab’s Lane and rode past Grove Farm to the junction with the ‘Roman Road’, aka B1078. I turned right and soon saw signs to Debach Airfield Museum on the right. Soon after you turn right the road forks left to an industrial estate and right towards the airfield. A bumpy potholed boneshaking 5 minutes later I was at a locked gate but I could see the airfield hut in the distance. At least I know where it is now. I also know its 10 miles from home so if this is the start point I think I’ll be driving to and from with my bike on the rack.

I turned around back to the main road and continued right towards Wickham Market. I stopped for a look at Deben Mill from Wickham Bridge then turned around and picked up the B1438 through Wickham Market. Another day I’ll come back and look at Charsfield and Easton which are on the Sunrise route.

Out of Wickham Market I turned left off the B1438 towards Lower Ufford which was leafy, peaceful and muddy due to tractors plodding up and down. I had a look at the stocks outside St Mary’s Church then picked up the road towards Bromeswell. That took me over a little old brick bridge and a bit of the Deben I haven’t seen before. On the map its Bridge Road that goes over the river and the railway line judder judder. I turned right off Bridge Road towards Bromeswell. Straight on was Eyke, I’ll have a look down there another day.

Common Lane through Bromeswell brought me out onto the B1084 and a right turn towards the Wilford Bridge, Woodbridge and home via my usual Sandlings Walk, Broom Heath and Sandy Lane route.

28 miles in the gorgeous autumn sunshine and I’m on track with my training plan.

Posted in River Deben, Woodbridge | Tagged , , , , ,

Orwell Bridge, Ipswich

OS Explorer Map 197 coordinates 170 412 for the layby at Wherstead.

I got enthused at the idea of exploring the Shotley peninsula after looking at some aerial photographs.  I wanted to tick off Pin Mill, Holbrook and Shotley Gate. Getting to Alton Water by bike was looking possible. I was keen to see Felixstowe from the other side of the Orwell and start working out some routes near the River Stour estuary. All that, however, will go on hold due to the horrible experience of cycling on the B1456.

My route from Kesgrave to Shotley Gate was going to be NCR 1 into Ipswich then across Bridge Street and down the west bank of the Orwell along Wherstead Road, past the Shell station and left at the Bourne roundabout/Fox’s marina. Then it looked like a straighforward ride along the B1456 all the way to Shotley Gate. 30 mile round trip or thereabouts, no problem.

By the time I got to Freston I was so frazzled from being overtaken too close at high speed by numerous cars and lorries I decided to pull into a layby and consider my options. Looking back down Freston hill there was a great view of the Orwell bridge. Looking uphill I shuddered as another truck hurtled by. Reluctantly I turned around and rode back down the hill stopping just to take a few pictures.

I rode back the way I had come along NCR 1 feeling a bit disappointed. That’s the first time I’ve abandoned a ride like that. From the safety of my living room I can see a nice diamond marked route on the map that might have got me from Freston all the way to Shotley well away from the main road. I think the answer might be to put the bike on the car rack and drive a bit to see if the road improves past Freston Hill, then I can decide when and how to try again.

There is a campaign to build a cycle route alongside the B1456 which I now completely understand. The views of the Orwell and the bridge are impressive but for a cyclist the road is dangerous. Details of the SPCC (Shotley Peninsula Cycle Campaign) here.

Things didn’t go to plan today but it was still worth the ride out. I clocked up another 22 miles in the amazing October sunshine and had a look under the Orwell bridge, until now I’ve only ever driven over it.

Posted in Ipswich, River Orwell | Tagged , , , , ,