I started off from home and headed down Poplar Hill towards Pikes Meadow, and walked beside it up Needham Road. We crossed Gipping Way and headed towards the River Gipping down a footpath beside PPG. The footpath was overgrown, but cut down so it was fairly easy to get through, but very muddy!!! When I got to the road, I crossed it and headed along the Gipping River path towards Needham Market. Cassie decided that it would be a brilliant idea to try and jump off a very high wall into very fast flowing water, but I managed to stop her in time!
We carried on along the path and had to almost crawl under fallen trees and pipes crossing the path. The path carries on beneath the Cedars link road and along towards Muntons. Here the path splits, and you have the option of carrying along bside the river, or walking through Muntons’ grounds. I decided to follow the river as I had Cassie, and carried on until we reached the roadway leading to Muntons. Cassie pulled me up the steps and we crossed the road and carried on along the river path. We eventually came to a stile leading into a field which usually has Cows in (but not today luckily) and cassie jumped over the stile with ease, almost pulling me over it with her!!!
At the other end of the field, we crossed the river at Badley Mill Lock and followed the path beside the mill and under the railway and up towards the road. As it had been raining heavily, the Mill pond had flooded and made the path extremely muddy. The path came out beside Roots and Shoots Garden centre. We turned left and walked alongside the road towards Badley. Opposite Badley Walk, we crossed the main road and walked through the wodded area at the end of Badley Walk to Badley Church meadow. We headed accross the meadow to the Church for a rest and well deserved Coffee. For some reson, Cassie was acting very strangely, looking at things that weren’t there, whining and trying to get out of the porch, spooky!!!
We left the church and headed up towards Badley Farm along a very muddy track. We were half way up the track when we came face to face with a horse, and Cassie really wasn’t sure weather it was a big dog or just some alien creature!!! We came to a small field that we had to go through (seemed pointless really, but that’s just me) before carrying on towards Moats Tye. The path was wet, but as it is just hard track, it wasn’t too bad on the old legs. We turned left at the junction and headed towards Moats Tye.
The road soon turned into grassy footpath, and we followed this beside a sheep field until we got to a gate to another field. I decided not to go through the field, but to skirt the woods and walk alongside an arable field instead. This path then carried on until it came to an opening in the trees to take you through a wooded path. We walked through the trees, admiring the giant mushrooms until we came to Moats Tye. Here I spotted a bench, so we sat down and had a Coffee (me anyway, not the dog). I finished my coffee and continued along the footpath until we hit road. The path was fairly overgrown, so during the summer it may be an idea to avois this and walk round by the road instead.
We reached the Gardeners Arms Pub and turned right until we got to a footpath marker. We crossed the road and followed the path around the field edge, following this round to our right until we reached another footpath marker pointing accross the field. Usually, the path goes straight accross the field but as the farmer had ploughed over his field we followed the path round the field edge. We were about three quarters of the way round when Cassie spotted a Rabbit and decided it was play time. She ran after it with all of her hackles up, but lost it when it ran into long grass. Looking rather defeated, she came back and we carrird on to the gap in the hedge where there was a random bench. I decided to take this opportunity and have lunch and a coffee before continuing on our way.
We crossed the road and took the path beside the farm, and followed this path until we reached the other road. We turned right and walked up the road a little way to a gap in the houses opposite and a footpath sign pointing to the edge of a field. We followed the edge of the field until we came to a path on our right with trees on our left. We took this path and followed it all the way to Jacks Lane. Some of the trees that line this path are Apple trees and have lots of fruit on them during the autumn.
We crossed Jacks Lane and headed diagonally left to another path that runs along side a field. As with the path we just left, this is a grass track and can be muddy after wet weather. We followed this path all the way round the field and to a track on our right. We walked up the farm track which was very muddy, eventually coming to a path on our left. We followed this path to Combs Church Hall, and then continued home.
As it was November when I did this walk, most of the paths were very muddy and because of this, were fairly hard going.