Day 47: English Coastal Path


Tuesday 25th June 2021

Today miles: 12.0 Total miles: 726.1

The logistics for the next few days meant several hours on the internet researching the local bus and transport options. I confirmed the plans with Gemma over our English (sorry traditional) breakfast and in her professional verdict she said “That’s a bit of a faff”. Today started with Gemma dropping me and Alfie back where at the exact location we had finished yesterday, on the Southern outskirts of Lowestoft close to the RNLI station. We then headed South, out of town. There’s some nice big, impressive three storey houses on the edge of Lowestoft and equally impressive views out across the coast.

There’s the usual row of weirdly painted beach huts on the promenade. Thirty minutes later Gemma telephoned to say she’d arrived at the beach near Pakefield where we would meet a few minutes later. After leaving the promenade I climbed onto the cliff top and walked past Pakefield Church. Somebody has taken the time to collect several small rocks, paint them and had then written out various proverbs before scattering them around the local area.

I spotted Gemma in the distance, sat down on the cliff top relaxed and enjoying the views out across the marshes and the North Sea. A few minutes later we met up again and continued walking towards Kessingland cliffs. We were enjoying the walking when once again we were forced away from the cliffs by coastal erosion and ended up back on the beach. The walking along the sand was pleasant and the ground was firm. After about a mile we again left the beach and walked through Kessingland village until we reached the ‘Sailors Home’ public house. We took the opportunity to sit down and both enjoyed a nice cold drink. We had been flirting with the Suffolk Coast Path for the last few miles and on leaving Kessingland the path diverts inland for a mile to skirt around the Benacre Broad nature reserve. I did a quick physical check of the path ahead, the tide was going out, so instead of heading inland and continuing on the SCP I decided to stick to the beach for the next 3 miles towards Southwold. The walking along the firm sand was easy and we had plenty of short breaks.

As we approached Easton Cliffs the clouds began to darken and then a light rain appeared. I saw that the cliffs disappeared sufficiently at Easton Bavents and suggested to Gemma that we should leave the beach and climbed up onto Easton Cliffs for the final miles walk into Southwold. As we left the beach we’re stopped in our tracks by a large sign reading ‘Private Property, no access’ accompanied by a high fence. We U-Turned and continued along the beach until we reached Broadside Park Farm. I’m now confronted with a wall of huge boulders, a steep sided cliff edge and a high cement wall, Gemma’s face just drops at the thought of having too retrace our steps, 4 miles back along the beach. I scout out the edge of the cliff which is maybe 10-12 metres high and think I can see I straightforward way up the side. I suggest it to Gemma and her face drops for a second time. I led the way with Alfie and it’s a relatively easy climb to the top. Just to add to the excitement the previous drizzle is now a full on downpour. We paused at the top of the cliffs as Gemma recomposed herself. As we enter Southwold in full wet weather gear we wander around the pier before then wandering into the town centre. Southwold is teeming with tourists, who despite the poor weather appear to be enjoying themselves. There’s the beautiful 15th century church of St Edmund which is recognised as one of the finest in suffolk and the Adnams Brewery site. After another quick drink in another local hostelry we waited for the service 64 bus which then took us back to Pakefield.

It’s been a pleasant day and we were lucky that the weather stayed good for the vast majority of the walk. It’s back to Wangford to relax for a few hours before a nice evening meal. There’s a nest of ants in the bathroom of our room, I mention it to a member of staff and they promised to sort it out as soon as they can.

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