Valley Farm Vineyards Walk
Starting from the town of Halesworth this is a fine circular walk via the Vineyard in Wissett, giving impressive views across open countryside.
Walk 7.5 miles, 12 km. 3.5 hours | OS Explorer 231 Southwold & Bungay GR 386 776
Car parking in the centre of the town.
Train station in Halesworth with hourly trains from Ipswich and Lowestoft (every two hours on Sundays).
1. Start by the Town Plan board opposite the County Library at the junction of Rectory Street and Bridge Street. Walk along Rectory Street and continue into School Lane, past the old school now used as a Day Nursery. At the end of the private lane cross over the footbridge into an open field. Keep straight ahead until reaching a gate leading to a crossroads of footpaths.
2. After the crossroads go ahead on the track for 400 metres, then turn right on to a public footpath. Continue for 500 metres and then turn left towards woodland and follow a clear wide grass field edge. There is no way-marker at the point of turning but if you miss the turn there is a way-marker 25 metres further on where you need to retrace your steps.
3. Continue past the woods on your left. Chediston Hall is just behind the woods. The grass field verge changes into a gravel track which leads to a solar panel development. The path keeps straight on with the solar panels to your right. When reaching the minor road continue over on the footpath.
4. The next 2km stretch is a straight walk through fields alongside hedges, passing a small pond on the left. Keep on over the plank bridge, ignoring the footbridge off to the left. Keep to the left of Leggetts Farm following the way-marked path but be aware that some of the way-marks may be obscured by vegetation. The path returns you to a good farm track which leads to a quiet road.
5. Turn right and walk along the road for 1km, passing a Byway to your left. After passing Hill Farm you reach two footpaths crossing the road. Take the right hand path which follows the field edge. You should keep to the left of Valley Farm and cross a field with signs saying ‘Cattle grazing’, keeping to the field edge. Continue along through Valley Farm Vineyard, keeping to the left of a line of trees. When the vineyard is open you may wish to sample some of the wines. At the eastern end of the vineyard you should cross the Valley Farm access track and look for the continuation of the path which is a little unclear. Keep to the left of the stream then cross a field to reach the footpath signpost on the road to Wissett. Turn right on to the road and walk towards Wissett.
6. The village of Wissett’s church is one with a round tower, a special local feature of East Anglia. Just before the church turn right off the main road past the car park and continue to the church gate. You may wish to visit the church. Then take the short footpath opposite the church gate keeping to the right hand side of the hedge. When you reach Lodge Lane turn right and follow it for 500 metres. Just before Wissett Lodge (which has a good pond) take the footpath to your left.
7. The path is easy to follow and we meet the solar panels again, this time affording a back view of the panels. Keep the hedge on your right and cross over the five plank bridge. Before long you will see the new hedging in front of the solar panels. At this point cross the two plank bridge and follow the rising ground. Care is needed to find the path branching off across the field to the left. Keep to the left of Bonners Farm. Turn left at the farm track when reached and go down to Mill Road. There is a house at the junction.
8. Turn right and walk for about 1 km along Mill Road which is a quiet lane. You will pass a house with the name Camelot. Ignore the footpath to the right just after Camelot and continue until Mill Road turns left. Take the footpath to the right at the lane corner.
9. Continue along the footpath for 500m until you reach the footpath crossroads we first met just after the start of the walk. This time turn left and retrace your steps back into Halesworth.
10. The Cut, amongst many Halesworth cafes and pubs, offer the choice of well earned refreshments.