Distance: approx 4 miles
Time: 1 ½ to 2 hours depending on your pace
Terrain: moderate; farm tracks and sandy paths, quiet road and woodland paths
Stops: National Trust Tea Rooms and The Ship at Dunwich
Ordinance Survey Map: 212 & 231
Start point OS reference: 478 706
This circular walk offers a spectacular range of Suffolk landscapes from shady woodland paths, stretches of purple-carpeted heather heaths and the signature big open East Anglia skies that are so easy to take for granted. If you’re lucky you’ll also see some rather handsome sheep grazing in St James’ Church yard in the final stretch.
1. Park at the beach car park in Dunwich and walk back towards the village centre. Keeping The Ship at Dunwich to your right, at the bend in the road take the public footpath signposted to your left.
2. After a short climb you’re at the 13th century ruins of the Greyfriars Friary. Follow the perimeter to where the path re-enters woodland and keep straight ahead until you reach a T-junction. Turn right and follow the track until it meets Westleton Road. Turn left walking on the roadside for 100 yds or so, re-joining the public footpath with a left turn at The Dairy House.
3. Continue straight ahead through the woods until you reach the road. Turn left on to Minsmere Road and continue past two caravan sites on your left hand side.
4. As you enter the National Trust land turn immediately left following the cliff top path to the tea rooms.
5. Head across the heath to the right of the Field Study Centre. As the path forks take the right hand route.
6. After 10 to 15 minutes along this path (at our moderate pace) you’ll approach a small wooded area. Take the third right hand turn marked as the Suffolk Coast Path (yellow arrow in blue circle) and continue to the crossroads at Mount Pleasant Farm. Walk straight ahead along a farm track, eventually passing the farm buildings. At Westleton Road cross over and continue ahead taking the well marked gravel farm track to the cattle grid.
7. Turn right long the tree lined path and follow this until you meet St James’ Street. Turn right, and passing the church you’ll reach The Ship at Dunwich on the right-hand side. A left turn at the top of the road takes you back to the car park.
Walk by Places&Faces