Beccles Walks - Shadingfield Fox - 10 Miles

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This is an easy walk although in the remoter areas, some of the paths are not well used and not always too obvious. I missed the path at one point because it was dark and I was not carrying a paper map. Many paths were well signposted and easy to follow but not this one. The best even had reflective arrows pointing the way. Most of the farmers had maintained their paths but after ploughing and seeding, a few paths were obviously not visible. The Shadingfield Fox at Willingham St Mary is a restaurant pub with a nice outside garden seating area. Adnam's bitter and Woodfordes Wherry were on draught. 25% of the walk was on quiet tarmac roads. The rest was path or farm track.

    Distance Minutes Total
A)   Walk away from Beccles town centre heading south on the London Road with the cemetery on your right. 260 Yds 3 3
B) At the Butchers Arms, go left off London road and head south along Kemp's Lane. 480 Yds 5 8
C) Go left over the railway bridge. 130 Yds 2 10
D) Turn right into Darby Road and head south. 400 Yds 4 14
E) At the end of the tarmac, bear slightly left and head a little east of south along a signposted leafy lane which soon turns into a wooded path. Don't go down Wash Lane by mistake. 550 Yds 7 21
F) The path goes left. Ignore the small railway sleeper bridge to the right. 40 Yds 1 22
G) Turn right over a bigger railway sleeper bridge. Head away from Beccles a little east of south and go parallel with the industrial estate fence. 250 Yds 5 27
H) Just before the right turn in the fence, turn left across another small railway sleeper bridge. Cross the ditch and immediately turn right onto the path lined on both sides by hedgerow bushes. 370 Yds 5 32
I) At the tee junction, turn left and proceed for about 1 minute. 70 Yds 1 33
J) Turn right over another bridge and then head south east across the field. If the path is not visible, after ploughing for example, you can just see the chimneys of a farm. Head to the left/east of these. As the land curves down hill, you will see the farm clearly. Aim for the left/east corner of the hedgerow. 460 Yds 8 41
K) Follow the hedge and field edge. 160 Yds 3 44
L) At the farm gate to your right, turn left and head east leaving the farm buildings behind you. There is a small waymark on a post here. 460 Yds 6 50
M) When you reach the tarmac road tee junction, turn right and head south. 80 Yds 1 51
N) At the next tee junction turn left and head south east. 350 Yds 4 55
O) Just before the road crosses the stream, turn right into the field. Immediately turn left and head southeast roughly parallel with the stream and the road. Beware of the electric fences. Here you are NOT following the more obvious signposted path which heads south west. Both paths are waymarked. 220 Yds 5 1:00
P) Cross the foot bridge and head southeast diagonally across the field. The field exit is near its southeast corner. The church is a good landmark. Aim for the big tree near the field corner a little left of the church. If this field has just been ploughed, you will need the landmarks, otherwise the path should be visible. 250 Yds 7 1:07
Q) At the tarmac road, turn right and head south past the church. 280 Yds 5 1:12
R) In the valley bottom, cross the stream and immediately turn right, off the tarmac. Head roughly west following the signed path. This path is little used and faint but it follows stream in the valley bottom. Cross the field. 360 Yds 10 1:22
S) At the end of the field, go through the gap in the hedge and continue as before, following the stream and valley bottom. 315 Yds 7 1:29
T) When the hedge on your left ends, cross the stream and continue as before, following the stream and valley bottom. The path is now heading nearly south. 440 Yds 7 1:36
U) The path joins the Sotterley horse trail. Go straight on heading south. 360 Yds 7 1:43
V) After about five minutes, the hedgerow and trees end. A couple of minutes later you reach a concrete bridge and the hedge re-starts. Turn left over the bridge and immediately right leaving the Sotterley horse trail. Head south west with the hedge and trees on your right. 470 Yds 7 1:51
W) At the main road, if you need refreshments, head for the pub / restaurant which has a nice outside seating area. Otherwise turn right along the main road for 50 yards. 50 Yds 1 1:52
X) Turn left onto the signed path heading north west. Follow the field edge. 520 Yds 9 2:01
Y) Go through the gap in the hedge and then head west. The official path cuts diagonally across the field but it may be easier to go round the edge (left and then right). 150 Yds 3 2:04
Z) Turn left and head southwest entering a tree lined path. 230 Yds 3 2:07
A) Turn right when you come to the tarmac tee junction. Head north west. You soon pass some council cluelessness. The footpath signpost which should be at the tee junction has been placed where it is neither use nor ornament. As you reach the farm after about four minutes, keep right. 330 Yds 5 2:11
B) Turn right off the farm access road and go through the gate onto the signed path heading north west. At the end of the field, go through a similar gate and, as before, head north west. Go left and right across a bridge stepping over low chains. 550 Yds 15 2:26
C) BEWARE. You can get lost here. The field bends about 30 degrees left / west. In this corner, there is another gate but it is well hidden in the bushes. You need to go through this gate. If you miss this turning, you will get to a ditch without a bridge and there will be woodland ahead of you. There is a second way to get lost. In this case, the path bends round to the right until you are going in completely the wrong direction (north east). Go through the gate and head north west across the field aiming for the gap between two large oak trees. 120 Yds 2 2:32
D) After the gap, head north west for another galvanised metal gate. We took a slightly longer route round the field to avoid disturbing some cows. 180 Yds 3 2:39
E) Go through the gate and head north west past some farm buildings. 390 Yds 7 2:46
F) The farm track bends to the right but the right-of-way goes straight ahead across the middle of a field. Head across the field on a course of about 340o. Aim for the narrow gap in the hedge with a pair of cottages behind. 230 Yds 5 2:51
G) Head north on the obvious exit road. 70 Yds 1 2:52
H) Turn left when you reach the road and head west on the tarmac, soon crossing the railway. 530 Yds 7 2:59
I) The road swings right and joins a more major road. Turn right onto this and head north. 0.66 Miles 15 3:14
J) Turn left at the Ringsfield village centre crossroads and head west along School Road. 430 Yds 5 3:19
K) Near the end of the village, turn right and head north on the signed path. 0.5 Miles 11 3:30
L) At the first copse, bear left and follow the signpost, heading roughly west. 300 Yds 4 3:34
M) At the second copse, bear right and follow the signpost, heading north. 380 Yds 5 3:39
N) At the valley bottom, cross the stream and turn right to go north east. 450 Yds 5 3:44
O) The tarmac begins. Go straight ahead / north east. 120 Yds 2 3:46
P) Bear left as you join a slightly bigger tarmac road. Head north east. Ignore the signed path to the left. 150 Yds 3 3:49
Q) Turn right off the tarmac and follow the signed path heading north east. 720 Yds 10 3:59
R) Turn right and head east at the farm buildings. 180 Yds 3 4:03
S) After 180 yards, the path kinks to the right of the hedgerow. Continue east. 910 Yds 11 4:14
T) When the tarmac begins, go straight ahead onto the tarmac. 200 Yds 2 4:16
U) Turn right into South road and go past the water tower. 700 Yds 9 4:25
  At the northeast end of South road, the logged route ends. Return to your starting point.