Monday, October 27, 2014

Walking in the Steps of Ancestors

Today was a glorious day, the kind of day that calls out for a long walk.  So that's exactly what I did, a wonderful circular walk along the Suffolk Essex border.  I walked from home down to the river Stour and along towards Sudbury,

across Friar's Meadow in Sudbury,

and onto the old railway line.

Nowadays the train line terminates at Sudbury, just running up and down to connect with the main line services to London at Marks Tey, but in the past this line would have taken people up to Long Melford and then on to either Bury St Edmunds or Haverhill and Cambridge.

After a short walk I left the railway line and was on the Sudbury water meadows where I came across this rather magnificent grey heron.

I walked past the old bathing pool

and across the water meadows towards Brundon Mill.

I was amazed that on this glorious day in 1/2 term that there was hardly anyone about, but it was nice to have it to myself!

At the mill the swans came to greet me.

My route then rejoined the old railway line and as I walked under some wonderful old bridges I couldn't help but think about my great great uncle David Ward, who lived in Long Melford until 1940.  He part owned the foundry there, Ward and Silver, and would have travelled by train along this very line many many times, passing under the same bridges.

I was coming back towards Sudbury now, glimpses of buildings visible from the edges of the railway line, scenes that haven't really changed since he would have travelled the same route.

Soon I was back at Friar's Meadow where the trees are just starting to turn autumn colours,

past the willow damaged in last winter's gales, bent over but not snapped, 

and back along the river to home.

If any of you are interested in walking some of this same route, the middle section was the Meadow Walk, part of the Gainsborough Trail - details of which can be found here.  


Celia Hart said...

One of our favourite routes too - starting at Foxearth nr Long Melford and usually ending at The Mill Hotel for a drink or afternoon tea. The water meadows are probably exactly as Gainsborough would have sketched. Amazing you had the you're to yourself! xx

Jane Hoehoegrow said...

What a lovely walk, in some stunning , typically English countryside.

Janneke said...

Every year we go some weeks to England and we are great fans of your beautiful country walks, love walking along public footpaths. You show us here a lovely piece of English countryside.

Frances said...

Su, to be able to take this beautiful walk at this time of the year and to know that Gainsborough also saw these views, well, I know that you do appreciate your riches.

Celia's comment wrote something else I wondered. How is it that you have had this beauty to yourself? And that leads me to say how wonderful it is that you were able to take this walk through gorgeous areas and not be looking over your shoulder, reminded of a plot of a tv mystery program set in a photogenic area.

Su...just to accent that last sentence, as I was typing along, my phone rang, and I answered to hear a recorded message warning me about crime in my area and trying to sell me a security system. Baloney. No sale from me.

It was a joy to return for another look at what you and Mr Gainsborough have had the pleasure of visiting.


Annie Cholewa said...

What a beautiful walk! The first time I visited Suffolk I left my heart there when I left and although I've returned often that's where it stays. In years to come we hope to retire to Suffolk.

Anna said...

Oh what a fabulous walk Su, made even more special by being able to take in the same scenery as one of your ancestors.

Gina said...

What a delightful walk. And such beautiful weather to enjoy too.


What a beautiful walk in some stunning landscapes! beautiful pictures and glorious Autumn colours. XCathy