A short walk around Thorpeness

An easy walk from the car park, along the shingle beach, and onto the clifftop paths.
This walk was designed to aid an accompanied site visit by the Planning Inspectorate examining proposals for an offshore windfarm infrastructure of sub-surface drilling and cable route onshore.

Technical sheet
No. 4153623
A Aldringham cum Thorpe walk posted on 07/10/20 by Save Our Sandlings. Update : 14/01/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h45[?]
Distance Distance : 3.71mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 33ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 33ft
Highest point Highest point : 46ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 13ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Aldringham cum Thorpe
Starting point Starting point : N 52.17849° / E 1.614283°
Download : -

Description

Starting from the public car park in the centre of the village walk towards the beach. There are several access points either directly from the car park or the nearby tracks adjacent to the car parking area.

(D/A) Once on the beach, turn north and proceed along the beach. You will notice there are many types of vegetation habitats on the beach.

(1) After approx. 700 m you will reach a point on the beach where evidence of recent cliff falls can be noticed and structural reinforcement introduced to aid cliff stability. The cliffs are primarily composed of Coralline Crag.

Crag is a Suffolk word meaning 'shelly sand'. Coralline Crag is only found on the east coast of Suffolk, predominantly near Aldeburgh and Orford and comprises a series of marine deposits and characterised by bryozoan and mollusc debris.

(2) At this point on the walk you will notice a sandy path leading up to the clifftop. Dependant upon the weather, the track may be slippery or loose underfoot. Once on the cliff top there any number of walks to be taken. In summer many birds nest and forage in the trees and shrubs along the northern and western boundaries. This a very popular area for families to picnic, play games etc. This area is also very popular at Christmas time with many family groups meeting year after year.

(3) Pass through the kissing gate onto the track and turn right. Follow the track for about 80 m until you reach a stile on your right. Cross the stile and follow the track for approximately 75m to where the track forks. Take the left fork through the trees until you reach the farm track. This shortcut allows the walker to avoid the parts of the farm track that become flooded in wetter or following heavy rains. in an anti-clockwise direction until you reach a gateway. Turn right onto the farm track and continue towards the horse paddocks at waypoint 4

(4) From the paddocks continue along the track in a northwards direction towards the junction of FP23, 24 & 25. Turn Left and follow FP24 400 m to FP20 on your left. Take FP20 and carry on towards Thorpeness. After approx. 200 m the path passes through a tunnel of trees, a "Holloway". Depending on the season and weather, sunlight passing through the trees offers a spectacular sight. Stop and listen. You are very unlikely to hear any man-made sounds, only the wind sighing through the branches, and birds singing. At the end of the Holloway the path returns to Thorpeness Common. Turn right towards Thorpeness.

Note: Many times along this walk it is possible to glimpse the world famous House in the Clouds and the Westgate tower. The House in the Clouds was originally built as a water tower, it has now been converted to a holiday let. A unique building in a unique setting.

(5) Turn left to join Beacon Hill Lane. This is optional : Turn right onto the track and walk along for 500 - 600 m. The track continues all the way to the B1353 Aldringham - Thorpeness Road and is planned to become an access road to an offshore wind farm development construction compound, restricting access to any non-project personnel. I include this section to allow users to gauge the sense of loss to community and wildlife.

(6) Proceed to the start of North End Avenue and then proceed along Old Home Road to The Sanctuary Take this vehicular track and and pass the Westgate tower on your right continuing onwards to the Meare. At the end of the track it is a short walk back towards the car park, perhaps stopping at one of the two outlets for a well earned cup of tea and a bun. (Covid-19 restrictions(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 13ft - Thorpeness Public Car Park
1 : mi 0.34 - alt. 16ft - Evidence of cliff instability
2 : mi 0.84 - alt. 16ft - Sandy access point to the cliff top area walks
3 : mi 1.19 - alt. 36ft - Kissing Gate
4 : mi 1.58 - alt. 39ft
5 : mi 2.78 - alt. 33ft - Optional extra
6 : mi 3.35 - alt. 26ft - North End Avenue
D/A : mi 3.71 - alt. 13ft - Thorpeness Public Car Park

Useful Information

This is a relatively easy walk. Stout walking shoes may be preferred, especially on the beach pebbles.

The sandy soil on the clifftop area is particularly light, but after a period of heavy or persistent rain, some parts of the tracks may become waterlogged, though passable.

Please take care when walking on the beach. Do not walk close to the cliff for the reasons because it's unstable, liable to sudden collapse and during summer nesting sand martins can be disturbed by human and dog activity.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

I would recommend stopping and listening often. The area is particularly quiet, with very little man-made noise once away from the main village area. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets are common in the location, as well as relatively dark skies at night. Many walkers you may meet return here year on year to escape the bustle of their daily lives, and re-connect with nature and quiet spaces.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.