A walk from Long Thurlow to Badwell Green and back again via some of the ancient Hundred Lanes
Round Walk, c 1hr 15 mins
This walk is on footpaths and quiet country lanes and paths, with a very short section on a busier road.
- Start at the ‘Rainbow Cottages' in Long Thurlow - a terrace of Victorian painted-brick cottages on the north side of Long Thurlow Road (on the left as you come from Badwell Ash). At the east end of the cottages is Sheepgate Lane, a one-track lane with passing places. Walk up Sheepgate Lane, leave Long Thurlow and continue past fields on either side.
- The next houses you reach are in Badwell Green, where there is a dog-leg in the road at the junction with Badwell Green Road. Follow the road round to the right and turn immediately right onto a grassy track, marked as a bridle and footpath. This track is Kiln Lane and passes in front of Badwell Green Farm, a traditional pink Suffolk timber-framed house. Continue down the track as it narrows and cross a bridge over a small stream. Continue up the path, which now has trees and ditches on either side. This is an ancient Anglo-Saxon track, bordering different ‘Hundreds' - areas containing 100 households which were created in the 10th Century and named in the Domesday Book.
- Walk to the top of the hill where you'll come to a cross-roads of Hundred Lanes leading north, south, east and west. On the southwest corner of this point is a blighted oak tree, said to be the burial place of a 'gypsy.' The north-south Hundred Lane still marks the boundary of Wyverstone and Badwell Ash parishes. Turn right (south). Again the lane is bordered by ditches and trees for several hundred metres. When the trees finish on the left-hand side there's about one more field before the lane crosses the road to Wyverstone.
- This is quite a busy road, with a 60mph speed limit, so please control children and dogs before you reach the road. The path zig-zags by the road to get you over the drainage ditch. Please note that drainage ditches in this area can be very deep, steep-sided, and wet, so use the bridges provided. Cross the road, and into the field opposite. The path dog-legs right and then left (south) again, back into the Hundred Lane, bordered by trees for another 50m or so. As you come out of the trees you'll find yourself in a triangular meadow. Follow the path towards the continuation of the Hundred Lane straight ahead.
- At the end of the meadow turn right, do not re-enter the trees. Follow the path along the edge of the meadow, parallel to a ditch on your left. The path will take you to the south-west corner of the meadow and right, slightly north again. After about 5-10m turn left, over a grassy bridge into a wide grassy lane.
- As the lane turns from grass to grit to your left there is a converted barn. This is all that remains of Brook Hall, one of Badwell's medieval manors. Continue on til the gritty Braziers Lane joins the tarmaced road at Daisy Green.
- Veer slightly right along the tarmaced road for about 5m. To the right before a house there is a gap in a high hedge, marked as a footpath. Turn right through the gap into a field. Follow the path across the field, over a ditch-bridge, over another field and up onto Long Thurlow Road.
- The Rainbow Cottages are visible to your right.