If you’re an outsider, you might not have heard of the charming Suffolk village of Newbourne. But there are many reasons to visit, including a beautiful medium-length dog walking trail.
Just a half hour’s drive from Woodfarm Barns, 15 minutes from our Twee Gebroeders barge and 30 minutes from our Onderneming barge, Newbourne is an excellent choice for a day trip with your dog. A small rural community with a population of less than 350, the village ticks all the boxes of an idyllic ‘storybook’ location, with its peaceful atmosphere, attractive houses and well-kept gardens.
Here, you’ll find an easy, circular walk which takes around an hour and a half, if walking at a steady pace. Factor in a stop or two at the irresistible pubs along the way, as well as a couple of photo opportunities, and you’re probably looking at three hours. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, and your dog will love it!
Newbourne Village Hall – begin your dog walk
Unless the village hall is in use, you can usually find a space to park your car and begin your walk. Otherwise, the nearest car park is at The Fox Inn (more on this fantastic pub later), which is just down the road.
At this point, your dog is probably raring to go – and you’re likely excited to work up an appetite for a delicious pub lunch, too! Pop a leash on your pup and make your way past the children’s play area (try not to give in to the oddly relaxing nest swing), and head into the forest onto the boardwalk.
You’ll come to an open, grassy area. Just follow the trail where the grass has been walked over. Pass through two gates and the trail will finally start to look like a proper track. This takes you through Hemley, where you’ll see the All Saints’ parish church, which dates back to the 14th century.
Turn left before the church and walk past the beautiful country houses and cottages which sparsely line the street. At the end of the street, you’ll find a metal gate. Walk around it and continue down the tree-lined track (avoiding horse poop as you go!) past Hemley Hall and to the end of the path where you’ll see a sign for a bridleway.
Take a right at this sign to walk down a pretty lane where you’ll come to White House. Turn left and walk through the fields, once again walking into a forested area where you’ll find a lake. If your dog is inclined to swim, this is a good spot. If not, continue on the forest path towards the river bank, turning left before the boats, and follow it to The Maybush pub. You can’t miss it – there are usually customers sitting outside on the spacious terrace, especially on a sunny day.
Enjoy a meal at The Maybush
A Deben Inns pub, The Maybush oozes charm, making it a popular hotspot for people of all ages, with or without dogs. Park up outside if it’s sunny and enjoy a pint of our local brew, Adnams, and a hearty pub meal. Head inside to see the specials on the chalkboard by the bar, or pick from the well-rounded menu.
In summer, this venue in the divine riverside village of Waldringfield is bustling with locals and visitors. On the weekend, you’ll likely see families enjoying the narrow strip of sand below the pub, as well as those with boats heading out on the water for a leisurely sail. If your pup is eager to make friends, there are plenty of opportunities here, as it’s a favourite of dog owners!
Head back into the countryside
Once you’ve satisfied your stomach, walk across the terrace to the right side of the pub, and turn left. You should see a red phone box near the entrance to the car park. Follow this road for around 350 yards, admiring the surprising mix of architecture, until you reach a footpath sign on your left.
Turn left here and follow the track to the gap in the hedge on the right, where you’ll see a large, open field. Walk across the field to another gap in a hedge and cross the road to continue to the next footpath.
Walk down the path and through the trees, into a field with an oak tree, and then a straight grass track. Take a right along the road to walk around 100 yards, then another right at the footpath sign. Cross the field, descend the stairs, then follow the road.
Indulge with some dessert at The Fox Inn
Along the road, you’ll find the attractive village pub, The Fox Inn, another arm of the local Deben Inns group. With a pink facade fringed with colourful blooms, The Fox could be one of the prettiest pubs in the region; however, it’s not just its appearance that attracts patrons.
This dog-friendly pub is known for its great service and excellent food. In fact, they recently bagged county winner in The National Pub & Bar Awards 2019 – so if that doesn’t convince you to stop for a second helping of yummy local grub, we don’t know what will!
Walk through Newbourne village
Enjoy a pleasant walk through this peaceful village and along the way stop to admire the stunning Newbourne Hall. This manor house features architecture from various eras, the earliest being 14th century and the latest additions made in 1870. Visitors are able to take a guided tour of the property for £10 with a prior written appointment.
You’ll also pass St Mary’s Church, a Grade I listed building and functioning parish church for Newbourne. The church is medieval in origin, and in its graveyard lay the bodies of two brothers known as the Newbourne Giants. George and Meadows Page were 7’7” and 7’4” respectively, and became famous after joining a travelling circus. Their home, Giants House, remains on The Street in Newbourne and can also be spotted on this walk.
After you’re confident you’ve absorbed all that Newbourne can offer, finish your trip at the village hall and head back to Woodfarm Barns where your cosy, dog-friendly cottage is waiting for you, or Woodfarm Barges to your unique and historic barge. We look forward to seeing you!