Iona goes to Suffolk

Trip 8, Clockhouse Farm, Glemsford

We left the house at 9.30 because it was just over an hours drive. Once on our way the sat nav told us 2 hrs 49m so we were not going to arrive too early. The route was mainly dual carriageway until we reached Bury St Edmonds and then it was A134 until we headed off towards Glemsford.

We arrived and I went to look for the owner who took me on a tour to see which pitch I wanted. We chose one between some ornamental leylandi trees. The site has lots of grass pitches and they are all enclosed by manicured fir trees.

There is an Orchard that is more open , plus a rally field and a field for tents.Most pitches have electric hookup and the pitches are on the large side. There are a few water points, a waste water point and an elsan point, two toilets. When we arrived there were 5 other campers but I expect it to fill at the weekend but for now it is lovely and quiet.

Then the first issue arose.

While we were talking to Colin the owner I asked Sue to turn off the motorhome. When Colin left us I tried to start Iona to move her onto ramps etc but the engine would not turn over. I had to use the Tack-Life power pack to get her started but this meant taking up the carpets and the floor to get to the battery.

By now I am seriously peed off. We got her on the ramps but it took three attempts to get her level and on the ramps properly.

Now the solar system was showing that only the leisure battery was charging. Remove the carpets and floor and see what is wrong, the inline fuse between the battery and the solar panel had blown. Fuse changed and all is working, put back the floor and reconstruct the cab etc. hopefully by the time we leave the vehicle battery will be back fully charged or the floor will have to come up again.

The sun is out and it is very hot so we put up the Quest room for the first time this year.We had a BBQ of Fish and Burgers. We sat outside until gone 22.00, tomorrow we investigate the surrounding area.

Day 2

We picked up some leaflets yesterday, one was about Glemsford and circular walks. Today we chose the 5 mile route that went out into the countryside and looped back to the village. The instructions started off ok but they got a little confusing if you were following the map. The map was not to scale and the paths were not as straight as the map showed. Anyway we were about 1/2 mile into the route and Sue saw a stoat run across the road infront of us, then a mile or so further on I saw a fox on a track as we left a farm yard.

A lot of the route was on farm tracks and as we got to the ‘Hillies’ it went to footpaths alongside the fields, with a couple of steep hills thrown in.

Just checking the route.

The walk ended in the village of Glemsford and the notes pointed out various houses along the route with a bit of their history. The village had it’s own mill for making silk thread. This thread was used in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress, it was also used for dresses worn by princess Ann and Princess Diana.The mill in some form lasted until 1960 when the mill was knocked down. A small estate of bungalows has now been built on the site and the developers have left a small ‘mill’ pond to keep in with the history along with an information board.

There are three or four very old buildings that still survive from the 15th century. The Monks Hall and the Chequers are two that stand out, there is also the original primary school that is still used today, although it has been added to at the back to cater for todays children.

Monks Hall

There are several rows of terraced houses that were probably for the mill workers. The route then took us to the village green and from here we were nearly back to the start of the walk. We had covered 5.8 miles in total.

Back at Iona it was lunch and relax, our legs were feeling the effects of the walk, we are a bit out of practice. Tea tonight is Steak.

Day 3:

Today we walked into the village to buy some bread rolls from the shop, then we headed for a footpath that would take us towards Cavendish. The path took us over some hills that provided a great view over the river Stour valley.

We reached the outskirts of the village and headed for the river and the path of the old railway. I took a picture of the bridge that was built in 1886.

We crossed back over the river and the path took us through a field with a particular breed of sheep in it.

Further along we could see the old railway embankment but then we caught a glimpse of a weir that diverted the river away from the site of an old mill.

We left the river behind and headed for the Bull Inn where we picked up the path that led out of the village and hopefully back to Glemsford in a large loop. I can’t believe we walked past a pub without stopping for a drink.

The paths were fairly boring with the first one about a mile long following the edge of a field in a straight line. We followed several paths but most were either beside fields or across the middle of mainly Barley or Wheat crops.

Once we were back at the campsite we had walked 5.5 miles, so we had lunch and then stayed by the van reading. Tonight we will be eating Pulled Lamb in fresh rolls.

Day 4:

With all the walking we have done already we chose to stay around the motorhome and read or in Sue’s case cross-stitch. The weather forecast was for full sun all day but we had strong wind and cloud although the sun did keep popping out between the clouds so it was not cold.

Joined by a Red Kite

There are a couple of families packing up and the group in a tent look like they are leaving today. We are leaving tomorrow so we will take the Quest room down after tea. It takes less than 10 minutes to take down and pack away .

Home today.

The battery was flat so the floor came up etc. When we got home the battery was still flat so it looks as if the alternator has gone wrong. This may limit the rest of our trips until I can get it fixed.

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