Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Walked on Southwold Common

yesterday. This time, we went the long way 'round.

Our route in red, full walk in green

 Instead of driving to the Water Tower on the Common and walking from there, we parked the car in front of the Pier and walked along Buss Creek to the marshes beyond the common.

We were going to continue all the way to the Harbour but, we'd been walking for an hour and fifteen mins and felt in need of a rest and a cuppa. (I'd breakfasted at 6am and was more than a little peckish.)

We diverted to the Pit Stop Cafe (behind the 1st/10th Tee on the Golf Course). We had a mug of tea each, and shared a toasted tea cake. We then cut across the Common, past the water tower and back to the car via the back-streets of Southwold.

MWNN in shirt-sleeves amid the gorse.
We'd set off from the cottage  in mild weather. As we walked the stretch by Buss Creek, between the Pier and the road crossing at Mights Bridge, we both grew increasingly warm. By the time we were trecking the gorse paths towards the Marshes, we'd stripped to shirt sleeves.

This particular walk is not brilliant for Ron. He has to stay on lead because the temptation of the marshes is too great for a Patterdale.

Walberswick Windmill from Southwold Common

Views from this side of Southwold Common are stunning - across the Marshes towards the old Windmill on the Walberswick side of the Blyth Estuary.

We think we spotted a Marsh Harrier at one point, as well as many small marshland birds, gulls, magpies, and the odd dragonfly or two.

Southwold Lighthouse &  Sacred Heart Church from the Common

Many times on our trips across Southwold Common and in the town itself, MWWN has remarked on the number of different 'sightings' of the Lighthouse. Two Magpies Bakery uploaded a picture to Instagram taken in the wee small hours of yesterday morning. I can't claim to have seen the Lighthouse at such an ungodly hour, but I have noticed the edifice peeping through the most unlikely gap in the town's architecture.

MWNN caused a bit of mayhem as we crossed the Common towards the town. He'd carried a plastic bag full of stale bread for the seagulls, all the way from the car. The first opportunity for feeding the gulls was now - and they came mob-handed


Surprised by a wave

We were nearing our starting point and looking forward to lunch on the Pier. As we made our way through the town, the sky darkened and the wind started gusting. Once on the Promenade, the full force of the change of weather hit us. Huge waves were crashing onto the beach and spraying up the sea wall. A hardy group of children was playing on the sand, oblivious to the walls of water crashing towards them.

Big waves

By now, it had begun to drizzle. We zipped up our North Face Waterproofs and hurried towards the car. The rain was driving at our backs, blown on the strengthening wind. We'd gone from  balmy Autumn weather to a downpour in less than a few minutes.

Animated metal sign on the Pier

Ron was packed into the car, wrapped in his fleece blanket, and settled down for a sleep while we browsed the gift shops on the Pier and then had lunch at The Boardwalk Restaurant. Cullen Skink has been replaced by Fish Cakes  -a disappointment for MWNN who was not impressed by the change of menu. Apart from the fact that he doesn't like dill, the fish cakes came with very little accompaniment - a thin pea coulis and a few watercress leaves. I shared my delicious Adnams' beer-battered haddock with him to help fill the gap.

Dressing room into bathroom

Our walk doesn't look very far on the route map. On paper, it's barely half the full 4.2 miles. But we had to back-track through the gorse a number of times to find our way to The Pit Stop. The majority of the trails are not marked. Those that are, usually have a simple Public Footpath sign in  place. A very few show destinations. Otherwise it's very much follow your instinct and use the Water Tower as a marker.

By now, we were both very tired so we returned to the cottage for an afternoon nap and, for me, a hot soak in the very generously-proportioned bath in the master bedroom's ensuite.

Whatever the weather, there's always plenty to do and plenty to see in Soutwold. There's never an excuse to be bored as the environs are full of variety and interest.