Sunday, 3 June 2012

Cycling Country Lanes & Traffic-Free Routes In Suffolk

This was a trip to gather images for my new Suffolk Cycling Map....

I feel a bit of a rotter having just got home with 930 miles on the clock. That's motoring, not cycling or walking. For me to produce a greener than green product I am forced to charge all over this enchanting county in search of two-wheel bods.

We are told that cycling is on the rise (despite the fact that some saddles incur infertility, or penile dysfunction). Comments, please...Anyway, where was I?

Looking for cyclists to photograph I head for Forestry Commission lands; High Lodge and Rendisham, both miles apart, and Alton Water south of Ipswich belonging to East Anglian Water. They all charge for car parking. So carry change.  It's very hot and the sun is in its zenith (not too apposite for ground breaking photography)....I have a brilliant idea: I beg the cyclists to stop and model for me, and I present them with my current Norfolk Cycling Map. This goes down well, and I am not thus accused of being a "weirdo" whose only wish it is to photograph their kids. If ever.  I laughingly brush this thought with: "Look, my kids are all over the front covers of my other maps"....

Thetford Forest
Thetford Forest
Anyway, my models all turn out to be charming, and ever so helpful, and sweet natured....

Alton Water Circuit 
Boxford Cycling Club
 On Sunday morning I stop off at Boxford to photograph the church, turn a corner and there, surprise, surprise is the Boxford Cycling Club, all rearing to go off on a spree. I chat and find out their route. Wait for them up a side lane with wild flowers in  the background. Unfortunately, they turn up, fast, before I can get my camera ready so the pics are a bit blurred...

Butley Ferry, Orford
I then turn my attention to the Butley Ferry, the one and only, form of transport to get you along the NCN1 to Orford from the south (unless you go by the back roads).....I push the bike through the sandy track down the the embankment covered in stinging nettles and await the Ferryman who looks to be asleep across the water. He sees me and rows across. He tells me Brian has 18 volunteers who man the ferry from April (Easter) to late September, weekends and bank holidays, from 11-4. The charge is £2.00 for adults.

I need to photograph the ferry in use, and am left chatting away with the Ferryman for 90 minutes before the first cyclists appear. All is discussed; his son's wedding the following week, the economic climate, architecture (he's a retired one), my children, his children, and so on. A lovely chap. We part lifetime buddies and I go off to Orford in search of a pint!
Little Hall, Lavenham
The Guildhall, Lavenham
I was up, and about Lavenham, at 5.00 am photographing these amazing medieval buildings, and was happily surprised to come across "Roadies" cycling through Lavenham in the early hours before the sun came up!

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Old Mill Museum, Lower Slaughter

A walk around one of England's most attractive villages...and a visit to an Alladin's Cave of delights;
Gerald Harris's Museum shop, where you will find that Special Gift....But, first you must walk through this delightful village...You will find the Old Mill in the far right hand-corner. Just look for the Mill Tower!

Footbridge crossing the Eye Stream
Footpath leading into Lower Slaughter
Lower Slaughter has been called "The Prettiest Village in England" - as to whether this is true, I can not comment for I have not visited them all, but what I do know is that it is certainly a beautiful and quaint Cotswold village. Best visited on a June morning, before the walkers, and charabancs arrive.

The Old Mill Museum Shop

An Alladin's Cave of Delights... 
More Delights...
Books, Leather Goods, Men's Jackets...
Gerald Harris
The Riverside Cafe
Try the Circular Walk from behind the Old Mill. It takes you up to Upper Slaughter and along the Windrush Valley. When you return be sure you visit the Old Mill where you will be met with a warm welcome and an invitation to taste their delicate ice cream, or to sip their freshly ground coffee, sitting Al Fresco beside the Mill Leat.
Al Fresco at the Riverside Cafe 
Overlooking the Riverside Cafe
The Mill Tower & Wheel
The Mill Wheel
You will, most likely, be met at the entrance by Gerald Harris, Jazz Crooner and Bon Viveur. He will enquire after the success of your day and will show an interest in "You" that few others do in this neck of the woods.

He lives and breathes his business, and it will not surprise you that his is the most successful retailer Goldeneye supply. You can, if you wish, purchase one or two of my Guidebooks and Map-Guides from him, too.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...