Central England – Shotley Peninsula, Suffolk
Distance: 19½km/12 miles
Where: Circular walk from Chelmondiston via Shotley Gate.
Start/End: Chelmondiston car park (TM204372).
Terrain: Mostly easy shoreline and field-edge paths, with some quiet country lanes.
Maps : OS Explorer 197; Landranger 169.
The 67km/42-mile Stour & Orwell Walk – which links up with the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path at Felixstowe – goes around two of the most beautiful estuaries in East Anglia. The Shotley Peninsula separates the Stour and Orwell rivers, which meet at historic Harwich Harbour. Harwich is one of the biggest ports in Europe, and Felixstowe opposite is the largest container port in Britain. You’ll have excellent views across to both ports on this walk, which, by contrast, is mostly along stretches of unspoilt shoreline – ideal for bird-watching. The estuaries are renowned for their wildlife, with many thousands of birds spending the winter along the riverbanks. They are also popular with sailors – their boats dwarfed by the enormous container ships – so there’s always lots of activity to watch on the water. The last leg of the route, which cuts back across the peninsula, is along quiet country lanes.