Chelmondiston, River Orwell and Pin Mill

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Start: Chelmondiston Distance: 3.2 miles (5.2 km) Climbing: 68 metres
Grid Ref: TM 20464 37347 Time: 2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Pin Mill
Statistics
Start: Chelmondiston Distance: 3.2 miles (5.2 km)
Climbing: 68 metres Grid Ref: TM 20464 37347
Time: 2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

The Walk: Pin Mill, a riverside hamlet on the Orwell, is one of Suffolk's best known beauty spots with a cluster of cottages beside a shingle beach, a freshwater stream and a 16th century waterfront pub. Tucked away at the foot of a steep lane Pin Mill is noted for its fishing, boat building and barging and it has a notorious past history of smuggling. The hamlet is visited during this walk which begins in nearby Chelmondiston.

St Andrew's in ChelmondistonSt Andrew's in Chelmondiston
River OrwellRiver Orwell

Beginning in Chelmondiston the walk passes St Andrew's church which was destroyed by a doodlebug during World War II and rebuilt in 1957. Don't be fooled by the harsh exterior of the church, it is spectacularly colourful inside. From Chelmondiston the walk crosses arable farmland while offering grand views of the approaching River Orwell with Butterman's Bay particularly attractive. The river is reached at Clamp House, so called because of the clamps (stacks) of peat stored there, reading for loading onto London bound barges. From here the river is followed upstream for just over one mile to reach Pin Mill. This is achieved by way of Cliff Plantation with an option to leave the woodland by a short road walk into Pin Mill or by staying close to the riverside.

Once more industrious Pin Mill's waters now throng with leisure craft. Away from the hustle and bustle bird life is plentiful with swans, wigeon, shelduck, coot and several more species of waterfowl on the mudflats. Particularly at low tide when waders such as redshank, oyster catcher, dunlin and turnstone can easily be spotted feeding. Pin Mill has other claims to fame; it is the setting for Arthur Ransome's 'We didn't mean to go to sea' and for E Arnot Robinson's 'Ordinary Families'. Many artists have also painted Pin Mill scenes including Edward Seago. From Pin Mill the walk leads uphill back to the finishing point, from where it started at Chelmondiston.


Acknowledgments: Text derived from the Out and Out Series; Discovering the Countryside on Foot. Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia.

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