A lovely circular route around the village of Flixton in Suffolk.
Start your route from Old Rectory Cottages (grid reference TM 3128 8670) and from The Old Rectory, walk through the churchyard and down the steps into Abbey Road. TURN RIGHT to the T-junction with Church Road, then TURN RIGHT again towards Flixton. Follow the pavement on the right hand side (RHS) of the road and cross St Mary’s Close. Immediately after the small bridge by St Mary’s Close TURN LEFT, crossing the road, to join a footpath marked by a green and white finger post.
Follow the path ahead between fences then through a metal kissing gate. Keep ahead with woods on your left hand side (LHS) and a field on you right. Before the end of the trees TURN LEFT on a footpath marked by a yellow arrow marker. Go through a metal gate and ribbon of trees to reach a wooden finger post. Cross the field in the direction indicated – well to the right of a building on the far side. Pass a marker post with a yellow arrow marker, then enter trees a short way further on beside a brick ruin (air raid shelter?) and a pair of marker posts with yellow taped tops.
Follow a fairly well defined path through the trees (this may be less easy to follow when the undergrowth deepens in summer months). Note a marker post part way across the wood, then a large pond on your LHS. When I walked the gamekeeper had made a clear quad bike track leading away from the pond to the right – it would have been easy to follow this to a dead end – be sure to stay closer to the pond and follow a similar sized path as you first used when entering the wood. Just after you pass the pond you should see a brick building through the trees to your left. Keep ahead to reach a gap in the fence over a small wooden bridge marked with a yellow footpath arrow marker. Go through a collapsible gate into a field.
TURN DIAGONALLY LEFT across the field aiming to the right of a bungalow and left of barns (the field looked like bovine territory but there were none when I walked). GO AHEAD through a metal gate (note yellow arrow marker) and across a farm track. Keep more or less ahead across a field (the path had been made easy to follow by the farmer) to the LHS of barns and just to the LHS of a pile of straw bales when I walked (fenced junction behind bales). BEAR RIGHT across the field (also clear when I walked). CONTINUE AHEAD through a metal gate across a smaller field then across a footbridge to reached a metalled lane via a collapsible gate.
TURN RIGHT on metalled lane and pass the entrance to Shingle House. About 100 yards further on TURN LEFT onto a bridleway marked with a green and white fingerpost. Follow the broad track under power lines around a bend behind the back of the house. At the end of a ribbon of trees on the RHS of the track note a wooden marker post (this had been interfered with when I walked – GR TM 3062 8480). TURN LEFT on a bridleway across the field behind the house more or less parallel with the metal lane you crossed. The bridleway soon passes to the RHS of a deep drainage ditch. Keep ahead after the end of the ditch aiming to the left of a hedge line and then across the LHS of the next field aiming towards woods and a house.
After passing the house TURN LEFT on a metalled lane then past the mushroom farm on your LHS. Just before a thatched cottage TURN RIGHT onto a bridleway marked with a green and white fingerpost (opposite a road signed to St Cross). The bridleway is a clear concrete track at first. Continue to reach and then CROSS a metalled lane, continuing on a track to Sternacre Farm. The site of the old air station is now on your LHS with some evidence of the hard standings visible. Follow the grass track beyond the farm gate and buildings and the hedge on your RHS. Note a post with double arrow markers, one pointing left and one ahead. KEEP AHEAD on the track as it continues past a wooden fingerpost with a hedgerow on your RHS. A short way further on note another marker post and information map for Otter Vale Walk. KEEP AHEAD on the bridleway (Angles Way). A short way further on by a clump of trees with a pond in the middle BEAR LEFT along the edge of the field as indicated Angles Way and footpath (do not continue ahead towards buildings). Keep up the field with a ditch on your RHS at first. KEEP AHEAD across tracks junction as indicated by blue arrow markers. Pass a house on your LHS then keep ahead on a metalled drive. As the drive bends hard right TURN LEFT onto a footpath as indicated by a green and white fingerpost.
Pass through a short section of trees to reach a clear track (possibly a former air station road) and note marker post. This indicates that Angles Way turns right and a yellow arrow marker points to the footpath ahead. CONTINUE AHEAD across a large field in the direction of the arrow. When I walked the farmer had left clear tracks towards the largest tree in the hedgerow opposite. The footpath is probably a little to the left of here, so you need to look for a clear