CAUTION: The eastern marshy meadows might be seasonally flooded and blocked. If this is likely, follow the route clockwise to avoid a very long bactrack.
CAUTION: The marshy meadow route does not closely match the OS map. New drains have been cut.
CAUTION: There are semi-derelict drain crossings, only one sleeper wide, with no handrail.
This walk can be done as two 6.6 mile circulars or a single 9.3 mile route. The western walk is popular, well trodden and free from difficulties. The eastern walk crosses marshy meadows and is much more tricky.
From Sudbourne all Saints, head south uphill, hedge left. Cross a tarmac lane and continue south, reservoir left. At the B1084, cross over and head SW on a wide sandy farm track for nearly a mile. Bear left, a little east of south and continue to Gedgrave Road. Turn right, SW, along the tarmac for 350 metres.
Turn left, SE, onto a footpath. Head to the River Ore.
Turn left and head initially east, following the meandering flood wall.
At Orford, after optional diversions to see the sights, continue east along the flood wall.
300 metres after the last house on the left, there are steps down.
To follow the 6.6 mile short route, head home, NW, down the steps.
The long route continues east along the flood wall for 2.3 miles.
There are several accordion gates.
Follow the wall east, NE, north and NE again before turning off.
Look for an earlier gate labelled "Private" - so not that one.
There is no obvious landmark but there is a sharp kink in the flood wall.
Head north down the flood wall, cross a bridge and go north through a gate.
Immediately turn left and cross another bridge, SW.
Immediately turn right and head NW, drain right. Stay close to the drain.
Turn right and after 40 metres, turn left, NW, drain left, for 440 metres.
On this leg, the OS map differs from the useable route.
This is where an electronic tracklog App and GPS receiver become really useful.
I clocked 1.4 extra miles trying to find the closest match to the OS map.
At multiple gated field entrances, turn sharp left, south.
Head a little east of south, drain right for 500 metres.
Cross a wide bridge and head south for 70 metres.
Cross a metal sleeper bridge. This is narrow, very corroded, and there's no handrail.
Continue south for 150 metres and cross a wide bridge.
Bear left, SW, passing close to a drain right.
Continue SW, diverging from the drain.
Cross another single sleeper bridge near a T junction in the drains.
Head south, converging with a drain right.
Kink right and left over the drain using a wide bridge, seriously eroded at both ends.
Head SW across this field to the diagonally opposite corner, deviating to avoid flooded areas.
Bear right, west, drain left. Follow the drain, left for 350 metres.
Turn right, west, now on a better track for 500 metres.
Turn right, through a gap and head NW across open fields.
Cross Ferry Road and head west towards All Saints church.
Cut diagonally, NW, through the graveyard to return to the parking area.