Day 50: English Coastal Path


Tuesday 14th September 2021

Today miles: 4.9 Total miles: 764.1

This is 5 day trip along the still unofficial English Coastal Path, from Orford in the County of Suffolk towards Bawdsey then along both banks of the Rivers Deben, Orwell and Stour to the finish at the Port of Harwich in the County of Essex.

I arrived at Melton train station in the late afternoon and parked up nearby before then boarding the bus for the short ride into Orford. There’s only one bus per day to Orford and unfortunately it arrives so late in the afternoon that I’ve only got about 90 minutes of daylight left in order to stretch my legs on the ECP.

I didn’t linger around Orford for too long but quickly made my way to the point where I had stopped my last walk in June. I took a few minutes to look around before I then doubled back and started off inland towards first Sudbourne Park and then Chillesford. The footpaths are really excellent, a combination of dry earth and sand and I was able to quickly cover the first three miles. After Chillesford I passed through Butley Mills and walked through several fields. Many with the strong stench of freshly ploughed onions stinging my eyes and others with lines of pig pens causing offence to my nose. As the sun began to settle in the sky I started to search for a convenient place to pitch my tent. This wasn’t an easy task as there’s several large houses along this section and I don’t want to be caught out trespassing on somebodies private land. I’d already made a mental note of the excessive number of ’Private Property’ signs on almost every lane and gate.

I eventually located a flat piece of ground just beyond Carmen’s Wood and settled down for the night. I live in a rural area of Northumberland and I’m well aware that it’s currently harvesting time and the fields are likely to be busy at first light, around 6am. I set my alarm for 6 in anticipation of being packed up and gone before I am disturbed. A short but fruitful day.

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