Pin Mill and the River Orwell

Cast off from the Butt and Oyster Pub, one of the prettiest o Suffolk’s estuaries, immortalised as the setting of “We didn’t mean to go to sea” in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, it’s a place made for messing around in boats.

Pin Mill and The River Orwell

The walk follows the shore line at the beginning and end and loops inland through the ground of Palladian Woolverstone Hall, described in 1867 as “a boundless panorama of satisfying beauty”.

Pin Mill and the Butt and Oyster

From the car park, head down to the waterfront, and turn right in front of the pub. If the tide is too high go back up the lane and take the footpath of the Sour and Orwell walk on the left.

Follow the shore line until you reach the Riverside Clamp house, where you need to turn right and follow the farm track across arable land for around 1.5 km.

After crossing the Pin Mill road, continue along Hollow Lane, past St Andrews Church which was rebuilt twice!, once in the 1860’s and then again in 1950’s after being destroyed by a V2 rocket n 1944.

200 m into Collimer Close, take the footpath on the left, (Church Lane) to skirt the edge of the village and head back out into open countryside.

Woolverstone Park

After 500 m turn right into Richardson’s Lane, past Park Cottages and then across the fields into the Stately parkland of Woolverstone Park, which is a beautiful setting for the magnificent grade 1 listed Woolverstone Hall, which is now the home of Ipswich Girls High School.

Built in 1776, Woolverstone Hall is a Grade I listed building set in 80 acres of parkland on the banks of the River Orwell. It is widely thought of as one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in England.

 

Berners purchased the estate in 1773 and engaged architect John Johnson to build his gentleman’s country residence. The site of the hall is typical of the 18th Century interest in the surrounding landscape and appreciation of beautiful views and vistas. A grand driveway leads guests to the front of the hall, while the rear of the building overlooks the River Orwell, with views both down and upstream towards Ipswich, thanks to the curved structure.

Unlike many other 18th Century houses of note, Woolverstone Hall is as attractive from the back, as it is from the front, perhaps owing to the classic Palladian design; consisting of a central block which originally housed the main living quarters, flanked by two smaller wings which were added in 1823.

There is one unusual feature of note – the inclusion of several sculptures of monkeys…

In the 1800s, there were some resident pet monkeys on the Woolverstone estate. One night there was a fire and the monkeys made such a noise, they woke the household, thus saving many lives. As a result stone monkeys were placed on the gates at the entrance and feature throughout the park. To this day you will see features nodding to the tale of the monkeys!  

1930 – PRESENT DAY

In 1930s, the Woolverstone estate was sold to Lord Nuffield, as an investment for Oxford University. Then, during the Second World War it was requisitioned as a naval training establishment. Becoming HMS Woolverstone, a shore-based naval station. Dummy landing crafts were made there as part of the deceptions that went on around D-Day.

After the war, in 1950, the London County Council took it over as a boys’ boarding School thus beginning Woolverstone’s heritage as a school. In 1992 it was sold to Ipswich High School who moved to Woolverstone from central Ipswich. With the move to Woolverstone Hall, upgrades to the facilities followed, with the opening of both a new sports hall and a new theatre complex in June 1993.

St Michael’s and All Angels Church

Head Straight across the parkland to St Michael’s and All Angles Church, which has been restored and expanded by the wealthy Berners family, and has resulted in several stained-glass windows being dedicated to them, and with a chancel rebuilt by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1860’s.

Cross the adjacent park and turn right down the approach lane to the Royal Harwich Yacht Club.

The Final Stretch 

The final stretch of the walk is back along the Orwell, head right which goes in front of the yacht club before venturing into the waterside woods of alder and oak where you can see glimpses of the Butt and Oyster pub in the distant and the wading birds on the salt marsh.

Cross the fields and turn left after the boat yard, following the lane past the cottages, back to Pin Mill.

There is so much to see and do...
2 days is just not enough!

Download our FREE Guide - Suffolk's Secret Walks.
A handy at a glance guide to easy / short walks in Suffolk.

You might also like

Halesworth and the Town Trail

Halesworth is a market town in north east Suffolk, about ten miles inland from the Suffolk Heritage Coast, a beautiful area to visit at any time of year. A small market town built upon a Roman settlement Halesworth is full of interesting buildings, from timber framed structures to Victorian former alms-houses.

Read More »
The Yoxman

The Yoxman

A new and exciting sculpture has been erected in Yoxford, only 5 mins drive from us here at the Farmhouse.
The giant bronze statue of a man, 26ft tall, has been installed at Cockfield hall Yoxford Suffolk right beside the A12.
A must see when visiting the area!

Read More »

Bury St Edmunds

Steeped in history dating back to the Bronze Age, the west Suffolk market town, Bury St Edmunds, also benefits from an advanced cultural scene and a sense of civic pride, with nearly every major roundabout heading into the town itself.
Bury St Edmunds took its name from a former King of East Anglia who, after refusing to give up his Christian faith in 869 to invading Danes, was tied to a tree, shot full…

Read More »
Shotley Peninsular

The Shotley Peninsular

Nestled between the rivers Orwell and Stour on the Essex/Suffolk border, Shotley is a picturesque village only 9 miles from Ipswich. Shotley’s history goes back to the time of the Ancient Britons with Vikings invading and battles being fought on the rivers Stour and Orwell, the most famous being when King Alfred, while he wasn’t burning cakes, saw off piratical invaders from what is still called Bloody Point.

Read More »