Sandlings Walk

Background Information

The Sandlings Walk is a 58-mile walk running from just east of Ipswich to Southwold on the Suffolk Coast. It is a varied walk, with large expanses of forestry, heathland and coastal walking.

There are two alternative trailheads at the western end of the trail; this gives the walker a choice of starting point.

Woodbridge.

Map of the trail


Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format.

List of legs

LegDistance (miles)Ascent (feet)Descent (feet)Difficulty
Broke Hall to Woodbridge9.7220305easy
Woodbridge to Tangham9.2249190easy
Tangham to Snape Maltings12.2262322easy
Snape Maltings to Sizewell9.3282272easy
Sizewell to Dunwich8.7295272easy
Dunwich to Southwold9.2213246easy
58.315211607


Further information (books)

Sadly I know of no books describing the Sandlings Walk. If you know of any, please let me know.

However, there are a number of books detailing circular walks based on the trail:

Further information (websites)

The following websites detail the trail:

Transport

The nearest railway station to the main western trailhead on Bucklesham Road in Ipswich is Derby Road (Ipswich) station, which is about a mile away. The actual start point has abus stop called "St Augustines (Ipswich), adj Community Centre (On Bucklesham Road)", and is well served by bus services from Ipswich, run by Ipswich Buses.

Southwold is not served by a railway line; the nearest stations are Halesworth to the west and Lowestoft to the north. However the town is well served by bus services that run to Lowestoft and Halesworth.

Transport Direct is a very good resource for planning journeys by public transport.

Trail news

The latest information on the Sandlings Walk, including path blockages and events, can be found on the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths website.

Map information

1:25,000 maps

     
Explorer 197 (Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich)  Explorer 212 (Woodbridge & Saxmundham)  Explorer 231 (Southwold & Bungay)  

1:50,000 maps

   
Landranger 169 (Ipswich & The Naze, Clacton-on-sea)  Landranger 156 (Saxmundham, Aldeburgh & Southwold)  

Suggested schedules

The following scedules are advisory. They indicate various ways that the trail can be split up into walks of several lengths, with convenient end-points for each day's walk.

Naturally, you may want to alter this according to whether you are staying in B&B's, hostels, camping or are doing the walk in sections and are relying on public transport. Your own walk will probably vary from the itineraries shown below.

Night   Leisurely   Fast
PlaceDistance (m)PlaceDistance (m)
0Broke Hall Broke Hall 
1Woodbridge9.7Tangham18.9
2Tangham9.2Sizewell21.5
3Snape Maltings12.2Southwold17.9
4Sizewell9.3
5Dunwich8.7
6Southwold9.2

The Sandlings Walk is easy going with few gradients to challenge the walker, meaning that it is easy to do long distances each day if you so desire. Additionally, the going underfoot is often soft, again making it easy to walk long distances. However it is a walk that deserves to be taken slowly, with a great deal to be seen just off the trail.

The biggest problem with splitting the walk up is transport back each day; public transport is detailed on each leg's description.

Tourist Information

For information about accommodation and things to do in the Ipswich area, see the visit-ipswich website.

Southwold has a tourist information office that is open between Easter and the autumn - see the Visit East of England website for more information.

When to walk

The Sandlings Walk can easily be walked at any time of the year. Many of the paths and tracks it uses are sandy, meaning that the ground is generally well-drained; additionally it passes through one of the driest parts of the country.

Some of the paths get busy during the summer, especially during the weekends, and accommodation may prove hard to find along the coastal stretches of the trail during the summer holidays.

The budding trees and flowering plants can make a springtime walk rewarding; additionally a summer or autumn walk are enhanced by brilliant expanses of flowering heather.