Walk in the footsteps of seafarers

"Walk in the footsteps of seafarers from the Suffolk coast to the village of Snape" - Launch of a new licenced path in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB.

Aldeburgh Golf Club, Suffolk Secrets, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB and Suffolk County Council have worked together to create a safer, more pleasant experience for walkers on the historic Sailors’ Path which follows a beautiful route taking in marshes, heathland, woodland and open coast. Recent upgrades include the creation of an improved and safer route for walkers alongside the busy A1094 road that bisects Aldeburgh Golf Club which was officially launched along with a new information board on a beautiful crisp morning in November. 

The new footpath, already very well received by users, was constructed with a grass finish and a ‘hoggin’ surface where used by golfers. A fence has been installed along its full length, along with waymarkers, Sailors’ Path posts and a taller fingerpost to direct walkers.

Robin Anderton, Captain of Aldeburgh Golf Club is pleased that the Club is associated with the improvement to safety by accommodating this stretch of the Sailors’ Path: “we have enjoyed working with Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB to ensure the pleasure of this walk for so many”.

Exactly where the Sailors’ Path name comes from is a bit of a mystery, but one take on it is that sailors, who moored their vessels at Snape Maltings to unload goods, would find their boats stuck at low tide. They had to walk home, mainly to Aldeburgh so the path became a sailors’ commuting route. Today it makes a fantastic walk - the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB in microcosm. Taking in views of the meandering River Alde, the ancient woods of the Blackheath Estate and expanses of marshes and reed beds, the Sailors’ Path offers a stunning variety of landscapes and wildlife.

Other improvements to the six-mile/9.6km route includes surface improvements, traditional oak way markers, easy access gates, boardwalk repairs, interpretation panels to show the natural and cultural heritage and a new Explorer Guide detailing the route.

The Sailors’ Path improvements are delivered via BALANCE, a European and local partnership funded project to help visitors connect with the landscape.  Suffolk Secrets, an independent and family-owned holiday home lettings agency with over 300 Visit England assessed self-catering cottages in Suffolk sponsored the improvements. 

Alex Paul, General Manager at Suffolk Secrets is delighted that this final part of the Sailors’ Path has been completed and is very grateful for Aldeburgh Golf Club’s co-operation in making this happen:  “The Sailors’ Path is a great example of how local business can be involved with improving the visitor experience through thoughtful and visionary investment. Suffolk Secrets is extremely proud of its key role in making this happen and we hope many visitors to the Suffolk coast enjoy walking this historic route”.

David Falk, Countryside Access Manager at Suffolk County Council who provided additional funding said “It was a great pleasure to be able to work with the landowner to improve the public footpath to Snape and to get the Golf Club’s agreement to the licenced path next to the A1094. At long last there’s a safe walking between Snape and Aldeburgh.”

The new information boards unveiled on the route include ‘respect for the area’ messages alongside insights into what makes the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB unique.  Neil Lister, BALANCE Project Manager said: “Huge thanks are due to Aldeburgh Golf Club as without their support and positive vision the new licenced route could not have happened.  Thanks must also go to the local businesses and organisations who have provided valued funding to enable the design and installation of the information boards which will connect people with their surroundings in a totally positive way”.    




By Helen Taylor on November 15th, 2013

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