Badwell Ash - Parkers Grove - Great Ashfield - Long Thurlow - Badwell Green - Badwell Ash
Round walk, c 2 hours
This walk is mostly on footpaths or quiet country lanes. There are short stretches on bigger roads.
1. Start at the Recycling Area on the drive off Hunston Rd. Follow the footpath into the field.
Keep to the path skirting round the edge of this field. The field is owned by Shakerland Hall and the owners have given Bury Fishing Club the rights to use the lake and maintain the lake. (NB: The lake is very deep in places)
The footpath takes you out onto Westley Way. This is quite a busy road, with a 60mph Speed Limit, so please control children and dogs before you reach the road.
Cross the road. Turn left onto Westley Way for about 20m.
2. Take the signposted footpath right and follow it up the hill between two properties. Keep going straight up, passing an orchard and then a field on your left. Go straight ahead into Parker's Grove. Follow the footpath ahead, ignoring a bridge over a ditch on your right. You will come to some earthworks on your left marked as ‘fort' on OS maps, which has a seasonal pond inside them. Just after the fort keep straight ahead, over another bridge, and turn left.
3. Walk up the side of the wood til you reach a track. Turn right, keeping the hedge on your left.
4. After about 50m turn left. You now have Brown's wood (Private) on your right. Walk to the end of the wood and follow the track round to the left.
5. After another 50m follow the footpath signed to the right down through the hedge. Follow the footpath keeping a hedge to the left until the signs direct you to cross it. Follow the path round a fenced livestock field until you come to a tarmaced drive.
Turn right and walk down to Elmswell Road, passing Elmswell Church on your left.
6. Cross the road and turn right, pass Church Cottage. Turn left up the next side road. Keep going straight ahead and you leave the tarmaced road and come onto a green track between fields. Follow the track up the hill. This track is commonly known as Green Lane, but on 19th Century maps is called Hunter's Lane. According to local farmer Roy Barker, it was used to transport bricks made in kilns in his Kiln Wood to the road and on to Elmswell.
7. At the end of the track, turn left up a lane. This lane will bring you into Long Thurlow, passing the old smithy on your right. At the corner of Long Thurlow Road the cream brick house on the left, now called ‘The Millstone' was a pub, The Thurlow Arms, which closed in 1983.
8. Turn right onto Long Thurlow Road and continue for about 20m. Almost opposite the Bus Shelter is a (2014 broken) footpath sign leading through a metal gate, up a green path parallel to the driveway into Walnut Tree (chicken) Farm. Follow the path up, and left, and right walking beside high earth mounds. The path turns right again, along the back of the chicken farm. After the first chicken shed on the right, follow the signposted footpath on the left, turning left and running north between fields.
9. At the end of the field cross a plank bridge over a ditch, and head slightly right over the next field, aiming for the nearest corner of two hedges ahead of you. At this corner you'll find a gate. Go through it into a field, turning left and follow the path down the edge of the field, keeping the hedge to your left. Go through two more gates and down the side of a ditch and you come out on a tarmaced road.
10. Turn left and walk down this road, passing the barns of a duck farm on your right. Further on, on the left, is Badwell Hall.
11. Continue down the lane and turn left onto an un-metalled lane. This is Back Lane. Walk down it. (Note that the beginning of the lane can become a shallow lake after rain and in the winter, so wear appropriate footwear.) On the right you will pass some deep pits. These were formally gravel pits, worked extensively in the 20th Century. The first pit you pass is sometimes used (with permission) by a 4WD club. The white towers of the gun club are then visible on the left; its lakes are used for fishing (with permission) when the gun club is not using the grounds. As you approach Badwell Ash the road becomes tarmaced and houses begin to appear.
12. At the end of Back Lane you pass the pub on your right and join The Street and can continue on to the Start point of the walk.