A Trail of Two Valleys

This walk through ancient woodland and open, upland country, links two of the prettiest river valleys in High Suffolk. There are fine views, interesting and aged vernacular buildings, and a stretch of Roman road, making this an interesting walk, with or without company.

c.5.5 miles; 2.5 hours

St Peter's Church, Ubbeston (now a private home)

St Peter’s Church, Ubbeston (now a private home)

Map of Two Valleys Walk, OS Explorer Map 231, 1:25,000

Map of Two Valleys Walk, OS Explorer Map 231, 1:25,000 (Arrows are photograph sites)

The Walk

Park in a layby just beyond the former Church of St Peter, Ubbeston, and take the signed footpath below the church, heading west along the lovely Ubbeston valley and the headwaters of the River Blyth (often dry in summer) through ancient woodland and out onto the road (the Low Road between Heveningham and Laxfield).  In half a mile turn left on a track to Grove Farm and continue on a signed path to the B1117.  Here turn right along the road and soon left on a farm track to impressive and beautiful Boat Hall (GR324726).  Continue on the same line across fields until, going through a hedge, the footpath is diverted eastwards and then south for some distance round Wood Farm between electric fences.  The path is clearly signed but tends to be a little overgrown in summer.

On regaining the footpath on the map, continue to the top of a ridge overlooking the wide and open Yox valley with views across to Peasenhall.  Here (GR327702) ignore the footpath sign and turn left along the right hand side of the hedge, through a wood and continue along the ridge above the Yox to a shaw through which you join a main track, turning left for Low Grange Farm appearing between the trees, with its fine pargetting.

From Low Grange Farm follow down the metalled track to cross a stream and climb gently to the left  reaching Heveningham Long Lane after a mile. Turn left along the Roman road (a busy road, so take care), crossing the B1117 to continue uphill on the Roman road (now a grassy track) and descend back into the Ubbeston and Blyth Valley.  In regaining the road, turn left and return to the car.

BE AWARE: the last field before regaining the road usually has cattle; if they are at the ends of the field you are safe! Check before starting the walk.

The path in Ubbeston Wood, with dry river bed

The path in Ubbeston Wood, with dry river bed

Looking over the meadows beside Ubbeston Woods

Looking over the meadows beside Ubbeston Woods

Beside the path

Beside the path

The Ubbeston Valley, just before joining The Low Road

The Ubbeston Valley, just before joining The Low Road

Fruit in the hedgerow

Fruit in the hedgerow

Grove Farm

Grove Farm

Laxfield Church tower  peeping out above the fields

Laxfield Church tower peeping out above the fields

Bullaces in the hedgerow

Bullaces in the hedgerow

Boats Hall is a Grade II listed Manor Farmhouse dating back to the 16C, and moated. The listing mentions an ‘..intact slatted cheese room..’.

Old barn with pigeon roosts at Boats Hall

Old barn with pigeon roosts at Boats Hall

Boats Hall

Boats Hall

Ditch crossing just beyond Boats Hall

Ditch crossing just beyond Boats Hall

Diversion at Wood Farm

Diversion at Wood Farm

ON the top, walking away from Wood Farm

On the top, walking away from Wood Farm

Lonely fields on the top of the hill

Lonely fields on the top of the hill

Looking towards the Yox Valley

Looking towards the Yox Valley

And another view

And another view

It was hard to leave the view!

It was hard to leave the view!

Walking towards Low Grange Farm

Walking towards Low Grange Farm

Looking down the Yox Valley just before Low Grange Farm

Looking down the Yox Valley just before Low Grange Farm

Low Grange Farm

Low Grange Farm

A tributary of the Yox River, just after Low Grange Farm

A tributary of the Yox River, just after Low Grange Farm

Ploughing at Iron Gate Farm

Ploughing at Iron Gate Farm

A dink in the Roman Road before continuing up the hill, towards the wood

A dink in the Roman Road before continuing up the hill, towards the wood

On the top of the hill, overlooking the Ubbeston Valley

On the top of the hill, overlooking the Ubbeston Valley

The concealed stile where the path crosses into the neighbouring field

The concealed stile where the path crosses into the neighbouring field

The stile on The Low Road, with the path going up the hill, towards the wood on the brow of the hill

The stile on The Low Road, with the path going up the hill on the right side of the line of trees, towards the wood on the brow of the hill

Ubbeston Hall Farm

Ubbeston Hall Farm

Ubbeston Hall is a Grade II listed early 18c building with important historical connections.

Ubbeston Hall

Ubbeston Hall

The Low Road

The final stretch of The Low Road, towards the Church

The final stretch of The Low Road, towards the Church

And just for fun, here is an extract from Joseph Hodskin’s map of 1783 showing the same area.

Joseph Hodskin's map of 1783

Joseph Hodskin’s map of 1783

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