283. Felixstowe to Freston

I left the Airbnb early and popped into a nearby MacDonald’s for a breakfast roll and coffee, not my usual fare but it filled a gap. I had the short drive then to a layby near to the village of Freston, close to the Boot Inn. I caught the 07:41 #92 bus to Ipswich railway station and then got the Felixstowe train.

By 9’oclock I was walking down Felixstowe high street with the sun out and blue skies all around. It was already quite hot. I linked up with the route from yesterday and headed through the suburbia of Felixstowe. I was heading towards the docks using back lanes and paths. I emerged close to a roundabout that marked the start of the A14, which I would not be walking along, but instead chose the A154. This led me to another road, solely for Industrial use. There were warning signs about trespass, but my maps indicated that the Stour and Orwell Walk, that I would be on for most of the day, used this road. My next objective was to cross a set of railway tracks at junction that served the adjacent container port. The gate across the tracks was locked. However, I did see a yellow phone box with a number to call. I picked up the handset and immediately a voice said “hello”. I said I needed to cross the tracks and the chap just said “right the gates are now unlocked”. I had to cross about 6 sets of tracks separated by a further 3 gates. I was dreading that the other gates would not open because there was no phone at the middle gate. I was soon across the tracks, which probably saved about a mile of having to walk inland.

I set off down a road which skirted the container port, hidden by a raised wooded bank. At Fagbury Point I emerged onto the sea bank of The River Orwell and continued along the edge of Trimley Marshes. I had brought my sunscreen umbrella along with its silver top to direct UV rays and black underside to absorb the indirect ones. However, the stiff and erratic breeze on top of the sea bank caused the brolly turn inside out on a couple of occasions – but I still got the benefits of the shade.

I passed the freshwater Loompit Lake, separated from the river, just by the sea bank and then onto the marina at Stratton. The footpath went right through boatyard, but I got my navigation spot on in picking up the footpath signs at its far side. At Nacton, the Stour and Orwell walk set off inland along a road. Here I made an error in not re-reading fellow coastal walker Jon Combe’s account who 11 years previously had successfully and ‘legally’ walked along the shoreline at low tide all the way from The Orwell Bridge.

https://britishcoast.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/194-ipswich-to-trimley-st-mary/

Port entrace near to the start of A14
Railway crossing point
At Fagbury Point
Heading up the River Orwell
Looking towards Stratton Marina
Stratton Marina
Volunteers from Suffolk Wildlife Trust cutting back vegetation at Levington Creek
Impressive wrought iron gates Orwell Park School

I continued along the Ipswich Road, which was not as bad as I thought, emerging at an underpass of the very busy and noisy A14. I continued over a roundabout and along a short distance before turning off down a road signposted for the Orwell Country Park.

I had been rather apprehensive about crossing the Orwell Bridge on foot, even though you can walk across it on either side, I had read reports that  drivers sometimes report sightings of walkers on the bridge, thinking they are doing a good thing in preveting a potential suicide. However, the good thing about walking across the bridge is that you can actually see something, because when you drive over the bridge in a car all you can see is bridge barrier wall, which I suspect is intentional. The bridge was very noisy and very busy and  I was glad to be off it.

I followed the Stour and Orwell path off the bridge and across some fields that had recently been harvested. I walked the short distance along the B1080 towards Freston and to the layby where I had parked earlier that morning.

The Orwell Bridge
Looking back down river towards Felixstowe from the Orwell Bridge
The Orwell Bridge
Heading towards Freston

Distance today = 16 miles

Total distance = 5,131 miles

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “283. Felixstowe to Freston”

  1. Interesting to see that school from the front too, there front entrance is very grand. Sticking to the road as you did was probably a lot easier than the route I took along the rivers edge. I rather enjoyed crossing the Orwell bridge, as you say you get far better views on foot than in a car!

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  2. Hi Jon, guess who spelt your name wrong…….again?! Corrected now. I think my favourite bridge crossing was the invited one for the new Queensferry Crossing a few years ago. Of course that is off my coastal route as when I get down there I will be using the Forth Road Bridge, that and the Kessock Bridge are, I think, the only remaining River Crossings, as I will be using the Woolwich Foot Tunnel for the Thames.
    In regard to your next Scottish trip …have you recently been or plan another trip this year?

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    1. Don’t worry about the spelling, it doesn’t bother me!

      Yes you were quite lucky I think with the new Queensferry crossing. I actually heard that the new bridge would not be open to pedestrians and with uncertainty over how long the existing road bridge would remain open I opted to do a short walk just to cross the bridge, in case it closed before I got to do the rest of the coast around Edinburgh (though I believe it is still open). When I walked here the new bridge was still incomplete. I actually travelled over the new bridge by car on my last trip to Scotland when I ended up in a taxi to Edinburgh (because of my flight being cancelled from Inverness) and the driver used the new bridge. I was quite impressed with it. Though I noticed it is now classified as a motorway (M90 I think) which I presume is why there is no pedestrian path (having said that, the Severn Bridge is the M48 and that has a pedestrian path so who knows).

      My main memory from crossing the Kessock bridge is it was *really* windy!

      Yes I have another trip to the north of Scotland planned for mid September.

      I’m also going to make a start on some of the west coast of Scotland further south with a couple of weekend trips to the Glasgow area later in the year to begin walking some of the coast there as that is close enough I can just about do it for a weekend.

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