Appox 9 Miles
Footpaths are the result of reasoned choices made by individuals in the attempt to move around the area where they lived. The choices based upon distance, difficulty of the terrain and significance of the destination were created in a time when the most common means of moving around, for the majority, was on foot. Walking, both stimulated, and constrained, the informal creation of a network of communicating paths. Footpaths, now mainly used for recreation, were originally created out of necessity.
This walk takes about four hours as it is around 10 miles without a meander around Kersey. There are gradients, sheep and stiles (dogs would have to be lifted over one). There is a short stretch of busy road to walk beside and cross at a junction on a bend.
Boxford and Kersey, once closely shared ties of commerce and industry as well as the familial and social ties that accompanied economic activity. The shortest and most convenient way of travelling between the two was along the road leading up Cox Hill and out of Boxford. No doubt, that was the choice for the majority and, what was once a path, evolved into a road where pedestrians, carts and carriages shared the way (and provided a ride). Our route to Kersey is less direct and leaves Boxford from Broadstreet, with The Fleece on our left,to walk up past the garage to enter Clubs Lane on the left. Continue along the lane, over a roadway, to a path between fences, to turn right beside a ditch up to a road. Crossing diagonally to the right enter the footpath and walk ahead through a muddy section in a spinney to reach a field. Follow the path to the left and then right around the field edge and then up the track directly ahead. Continue to a T junction of paths (1) where you turn left. Follow the path ahead to reach a road which you cross to enter a track diagonally opposite. About 100 meters along the track the footpath goes up into a field on your left and on it you now turn right to continue the walk. Walk along until you reach a footpath on your right pointing across a narrow piece of open field which you cross to a hedge. Keeping the hedge on your right walk up to the road and turn right.
Continue along the road for 200m approximately until you can turn right onto a footpath beside buildings to then turn left onto the path leading ahead beside field edges to a road with a wood to the left and houses on the right. Walk along the road until, passing houses, you arrive at a junction where you take the lane on your left. Walk down the lane until, where a footpath crosses, you can turn right and continue on the path ahead until you reach a stile, close to an electrical transmission cable, at a path which leads down a grassy field to the valley bottom where you walk between fences to arrive in Kersey village. During this part of the walk we are relatively close to Lindsey Castle on the Western route to Kersey, which, together with Pitchers Mount, on the Northern route to Boxford, were constructed in the 12th Century and belonged to the same family. Already in the 12th Century, both Kersey and Boxford were showing their importance and need to be defended.
To inform your walk, the Kersey website has a useful walk map and the Suffolk Churches website makes some interesting observations on the two St Mary's of Boxford and Kersey.
When ready to return to Boxford, climb up the hill and leave the road to enter the churchyard where please pause to look back over the village. Continue through the churchyard to turn right onto the road and follow it round to the left. Take the left fork at the junction ahead and continue right as you walk down the hill. Continue along the lane until you reach a house where you turn left and then immediately right to follow the path along the bottom of the valley, hedge on your right, to pass through the hedge, down steps, and then continue along until you turn left through the hedge again to climb the slope to the A1071.
At the road, turn right and walk along the grass verge until you reach the corner where you cross to the road opposite. Walk 150m up the road to enter a narrow footpath, indicated on the left, beside a house, which you follow found the back and then ahead over a road, a bridge and a field to reach a T junction by a hedge where you turn right. Continue to the field corner, where you turn right and then left, to reach a road where you turn left. Walk 200m along the road and then join a foot path, on the right, which you follow across two fields, a lane, around another field and a final short stretch of path on your left to cross the A1071 again.
After crossing the main road continue up the road ahead until you access a footpath on the right near where the road ends. Walk along through trees until you reach a path coming in from the left. This is point (1), above, and you can now retrace your steps to Boxford.
This completes the series of walks from the centre of Boxford. There is scope to modify and add to all these routes and I hope you will find something of interest and use in them. If there is a problem on any of the paths in Boxford Parish please contact me through the Parish Council and I will do my best to sort it out.
Enjoy your walking.