A guide to the rural Rights of Way network within the parish of Great Bradley, Suffolk. See the sketch map below. Let's hope it is not raining for you.
Kirtling Brook looking to Kirtling
From the START POINT (Village Hall), turn right and follow the road, crossing over to the left side before the bend. The Millennium Oak, Seat and Village Sign are on your left as you continue up the road until turning LEFT down Hall Road and past Hall Cottages. On your right is an area of parkland, the dip in the land said to be from the excavation of clay in Tudor times to make bricks used in St Mary's Church. With a peal of three ancient bells, St Mary's is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Just before the bridge over the river, take the footpath LEFT - the flow of the River Stour here is augmented by water pumped from the Ely Ouse at Denver to supply Essex Water's reservoir near Chelmsford, and kingfishers, herons and ducks are frequently seen. After a while, the path turns sharp left-right before you continue with a hedge on your right until arriving at a metallic road (Water Lane). Turn LEFT (don't get confused by the Stour Valley Path signs or you will end up in Newmarket) and continue up the hill to the main B1061 road. Take care in crossing this road, turning LEFT and continuing past Evergreen Lane until you come to the Village Hall once again, on your right past a column of Leylandii trees.
View to Great Widgham Wood form Kirtling Brook
Follow the directions for the SHORT WALK (Green Border discs) until after the Church. Continue on the road, over the bridge, and then turn LEFT up a concrete track. (Brown bordered discs start) Stay on this track when it bends to the right, the surface changes to gravel and rises towards Bradley Park Wood (the grass track to the left is NOT a public path). Upon reaching the wood, the path kinks left-right, and continues with the wood on the right of you. About halfway along the side of Bradley Park Wood is a good point at which to look back for a panoramic view of our village. Where the wood ends, the path continues straight ahead, dropping down with a ditch and hedge on the right. At the bottom of the field, turn sharp LEFT, then RIGHT over a plank bridge and walk down past the site of Horse Posture Farm to the bottom, where you turn LEFT in front of a large hedge. After 50 metres, turn RIGHT-LEFT onto a wide grassy track. Stay on this track until a small spinney appears in front of you. Where the track turns right in front of the wood, go through the 'kissing gate' and continue straight through the spinney until you come to the junction with the sunken road part of Water Lane. Turn RIGHT up the grassy lane, passing a footpath Finger Post and a copse on your left. After the copse, the track surface changes to gravel, and bends right (past the remains of Longacre Green Farm to your left) and then left down to where the track becomes tarmac. Turn LEFT immediately PRIOR to the bridge over the water channel, and continue walking on the raised bank with the water to your right (keep children and dogs out of the channel). Where the raised bank ends, descend to the track, along Water Lane (the water channel leaves to your left), cross the Stour at the ford and continue up the tarmac road to the B1061. Follow the Green bordered discs to the Village Hall.
Looking at the church from Bradley Park Wood
Beat the Bounds 1
NOTE - This walk requires the negotiation of stiles, narrow footbridges and (normally) dry ditches.
Follow the MEDIUM WALK directions (Brown bordered discs) until you come to the wide grassy track after Horse Pasture Farm, where the RED Bordered discs start. Turn RIGHT along the grassy track until Bridleway 8 joins from the right. The track continues round the edge of the field, even when the Bridleway goes right over a ditch. We carry on up a gradient with a high hedge on the right. (About half-way up, a footpath dives through the hedge, across a footbridge to Kirtling where there is a Pub), but we remain on track to the corner of the field, where footpath 5 goes through a gap in the hedge, across a dry ditch and continues down the side of a cultivated field with a ditch and hedge on the right. Turn LEFT at the waterway and continue down the field side, crossing the channel at the first footbridge, then LEFT along the high bank with the water on your left. Turn LEFT at the tarmac road, then RIGHT to continue on the banking, (water now on your right). Stay on the banking until it ends, then turn RIGHT (look for the RED disc on the finger post). Follow the field edge path all the way ROUND Plunder Wood to a stile in a hedge. Over the stile, turn LEFT and stay close to the hedge on your left, which you follow until another stile takes you through the hedge in a corner. Over a footbridge, turn RIGHT and keep the hedge and ditch on your right, crossing another dry ditch before crossing a stile then a footbridge over the Stour River. After 20 metres, cross a stile on your LEFT and join a grass field with hedge on the right. At the field end, cross a stile and turn RIGHT onto a tarmac road, following this up to the B1061, then the GREEN bordered discs back to the Village Hall.
FOLLOW THE COUNTRY CODE
Footpath sign installed by Hall Lane Bridge in 2005, with Stetchworth misspelled
Produced by Great Bradley Parish Council
Financial assistance from Suffolk County Council, and the Countryside Agency through the Parish Paths Partnership is gratefully acknowledged.
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