Beccles Walks - Geldeston and Barsham - 9.1 Miles

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This is a pleasant walk beside the River Waveney and along quiet lanes. Outside Beccles and ignoring the main road crossings, only three cars went by. This was on a moon lit October Thursday evening. The short section along the A143 was noisy with traffic but you can keep off the road by following the parallel horse trail and farm track. The water meadow south of the Locks Inn was slightly flooded so some paddling was required. There are several stiles on the route which might defeat the less agile. The Wherry in Geldeston served a nice pint of Adnam's bitter and the food looked good too. I really fancied the Steak and Kidney Suet Pudding.

     Distance   Minutes  Total
A)  Start at the Beccles town sign, at the junction with St. Mary's Road and Ballygate. Head north east along Ballygate towards the town centre. 560 Yds 7 7
B) Go north past the church into Saltgate and then Northgate. Continue north. 670 Yds 8 15
C) Turn left into Bridge Street and head west across the river. After the bridge, continue along the main road until you are past the boatyards and caravan site. 380 Yds 4 19
D) Turn right off the main road and head north east, over the stile on the signposted footpath. Make you way round the back of the caravan site and boat yards until you reach the main river. 250 Yds 3 22
E) Follow the river path north east and cross under the main Beccles bypass. Continue on the river path until it comes to an end. 0.75 Miles 17 39
F) Cross the stile into the field and keep right following the field edge. You soon reach a second style. 60 Yds 1 40
G) Cross the stile and turn left, uphill, heading north. Follow this lane as it bends round to the left at the tee junction. 150 Yds 2 42
H) The lane soon bends right and passes through some farm buildings. I was able to confirm, with a pleasant horse woman, that this was the correct right of way . 150 Yds 2 44
I) When you leave the farmyard, go straight ahead over the crossroads and head north towards the main road. 330 Yds 4 48
J) Cross the main road and turn left, heading west. Take the horse trail and farm track that runs parallel with the main road. Later there is a field-edge path and horse trail, still parallel with the road. 600 Yds 7 55
K) When the horse trail ends, turn right into Dog's Lane. If you take the earlier gap in the hedge, you will need to go 30 yards along the main road to reach the junction. Follow this quiet country road heading west. After 700 yards, go straight ahead at the cross roads into Rectory Road. Ignore the first conspicuous signed footpath to the left. 1 Mile 22 1:17
L) Soon after a cluster of farm buildings, look out for Gillingham House on your right. Opposite this impressive structure, turn left and head south west. The path is waymarked but not obvious. You need to cross a drainage ditch using a single narrow railway sleeper bridge. This path crosses a field and heads towards the main Beccles to Norwich road. The field had been ploughed but the track of the path had been re-marked quite clearly. 300 Yds 6 1:23
M) Cross the main road and go straight ahead (south west) on the waymarked path through a narrow belt of woodland. Continue straight on, heading south west across a triangular field heading for the tip of the triangle. You may need to divert around temporary horse enclosures. 380 Yds 6 1:29
N) At the wooden fence and two mature oak trees, head south. The right of way crosses the field, under power lines, and converges with a tarmac drive which will be on your left. The drive leads to a gate opposite the cemetery of the church on the old Yarmouth road. The church is a good landmark. You may need to divert around more temporary horse enclosures. 350 Yds 5 1:34
O) Cross the old narrow Yarmouth road and enter the church cemetery. Go straight ahead (south) through four sets of gates. 220 Yds 4 1:38
P) The path widens and becomes gravel. Ignore the grassy route to the right and continue south on the narrow un-made road until you reach tarmac again. 160 Yds 3 1:41
Q) At the tee junction with the tarmac road, turn right and head west along "The Street" until you reach the Wherry. From a distance, this pub looked closed but closer inspection revealed a lively village local. 670 Yds 8 1:49
R) After the pub, continue straight on (west) along "The Street". 160 Yds 3 1:52
S) At the cross roads, turn left into Station Road. 400 Yds 5 1:52
T) Turn left off the tarmac onto a lane signposted to the Locks Inn, Geldeston. Head south. The road bends left for a while and then right again. You soon reach the Locks Inn which has no mains electricity. Real ale by candle light is nice. By the pub, you can keep right on a small path that bypasses the car park. 0.6 Miles 12 2:04
U) Head south from the pub across the river. After the bridges, head south across the field keeping close to the drainage ditch on your right. Turn left at the wide field gate and follow the narrow path through a smaller gate into the wood. This short woodland path can be muddy. Leave the wood through another small gate and go left, heading south east along the field edge. 0.5 Miles 14 2:18
V) At the field boundary, turn left at the gate and head east towards a tall stile. Cross this and continue east. 310 Yds 4 2:22
W) After crossing only one field, turn right and head south west along a narrow grassy un-made road. You will leave the woodland behind you. 460 Yds 6 2:28
X) Turn left along a waymarked but inconspicuous path between two fields and head a little south of east. You will go parallel with some smaller power lines to your left and you will cross under some larger power lines. If you miss this turn, you will arrive at the main road in about 200 yards. As you enter Barsham, go straight on at the small road crossing. Soon the path passes the church which will be on your right. 0.5 Miles 14 2:42
Y) After the church and some other buildings, the trees to your left end. Go straight on. Then all the trees end. Head straight on across the open field on a waymarked but barely visible path. Your track will converge with the main road. The path reaches the main road at an opening wide enough for farm vehicle access. Two footpath signs are visible at the field exit. 500 Yds 8 2:50
Z) Cross the main road and head left towards Beccles for a few yards. Then take the signed path to the right. This was overgrown with brambles. Force your way through and at the tall garden fence, go left. Work your way round this property bearing right. Leave the garden through the gate and turn right onto the tarmac lane for about 30 yards. 100 Yds 3 2:53
1) Almost immediately, turn left onto the concrete farm access road. This leads south to Lodge Farm. 470 Yds 6 2:59
2) At the farm buildings, bear left off the concrete road on a very obvious path. After about 30 yards, bear left again at the Y junction and cross the stream. Head east uphill. 200 Yds 2 3:01
3) The path kinks to the right and continues east up hill with the hedge to your left. There is a waymark here. 0.5 Miles 12 3:13
4) Just as you reach the tarmac, turn left into Hangman's Lane and head north, down hill along this slightly overgrown signposted footpath. 480 Yds 6 3:19
5) The path bears right. Look for a right turn into the Dell. 130 2 3:21
6) Turn right and avoid the main road by following the path through the Dell. 400 6 3:27
7) Cross the main road and turn right to return to your starting point. 80 1 3:38