The Grove and Abbey Grove

Location: The Grove and Abbey Grove Woodland, Grove Road, Felixstowe, UK


The Grove is one of the few remaining areas of mature woodland on the Felixstowe peninsula. It was planted around the early 1800’s.

Shady paths and tracks take you past a good variety of trees and shrubs, such as sycamore and oak. It provides a wonderful home for a variety of wildlife, including nesting birds, insects and wildflowers.

Adjacent is Abbey Grove – a Woodland Trust Millennium Woodland. In December 1998, 10 acres were planted with sapling oak, ash, sweet chestnut, field maple and wild cherry, alongside hedgerows of hawthorn, guelder rose, spindle, blackthorn and wayfarer.

The saplings have now become a mature woodland, and you can enjoy quiet walks, picnics and nature.

Walks around The Grove and Abbey Grove

Walk 1: Approx 1.5 miles

A pleasant woodland and field walk. Approx. 1.5 miles. Easy going under foot, flat but can be muddy.

1. Park in The Grove car park opposite the Grove Medical Centre. Enter The Grove woodland directly from the car park.
2. Turn right along the woodland path through The Grove.
3. Continue on the path through the trees until the woodland becomes a narrow strip. Continue through the narrow strip until the path reaches arable land.
4. Keep going straight on along the path till you reach Gulpher Road.
5. Turn right along Gulpher Road until you reach a footpath sign on the right.
6. Take this footpath till you reach a junction of footpaths and turn right.
7. Follow this path till you return to The Grove woodland.
8. Turn left through The Grove till you reach the entrance where you started at the car park.

Walk 2: 7.5 miles

A woodland, farmland, coast and estuary walk. 7.5 miles. A good walking surface but can be muddy in places.

1. Park in The Grove car park opposite the Grove Medical Centre. Enter The Grove woodland directly from the car park.
2. Turn right passing the red dog bins.
3. At a fork in the path bear left going over a boardwalk.
4. Continue until next junction of paths. Turn right up some shallow steps in the direction of a small yellow footpath sign.
5. Continue with a narrow band of trees on your left and woodland on the right.
6. You will shortly come out onto Eastward Ho playing fields.
7. Continue keeping the border of trees close to your left. After a short distance a narrow path kinks into the trees on your left, follow this path as it meanders through the trees.
8. As you leave the trees look out for two red dog bins on your right. Follow the track to the left at this point – Hyem’s Lane. You will pass four majestic oak trees along this track.
9. Immediately before the path curves towards Park Farm House take a narrow footpath through the hedgerow on your right.
10. Follow the path across the field to where two fences come to a corner behind some houses. Turn left along the path with the housing on your right side.
11. Come to a tarmac road – Ferry Road. Cross the road and turn left.
12. Walk past a few houses and then turn right along a walkway – Abbey Walk.
13. Continue through the new housing over a tarmac road. This is gated at times but opened at anytime by the gate-man in the kiosk.
14. Come out onto the other leg of Ferry Road, turn right.
15. Pass the Old Ferry School, now the Ferry Residential Centre.
16. You can now see the sea in the distance and Bawdsey Manor where radar was developed in World War II. Continue to the golf club house and turn left.
17. Pass the ‘Kingsfleet Course’ sign. 2.5 metres further on take a permissive footpath on your left along The Tomline Wall.
18. Continue straight over a golf buggy track until you reach a kissing gate. This stretch gives you good views of the sea, Martello towers which were built in the 19th century from the time of the French Revolutionay Wars, Bawdsey Manor and the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry.
19. Go through the kissing gate and straight on through the squeeze gate.
20. Follow the seawall round to the right. Saltmarshes and the river Deben are on your right.
21. Continue until you reach Kingsfleet Sluice. This sluice drains the surrounding fields as they are lower than the sea level. Follow the path to the left at this point staying on the seawall. Keep to the path as it takes a sharp right hand turn. At the next sharp right hand bend go down the steps on your left off the seawall.
22. Follow the track ahead of you. As you walk along the Kingsfleet will be on your left. It was from here that King Edward III sailed on his forays across the North Sea to Flanders during the Hundred Years War.
23. Looking out for kestrels – follow the track as it goes slightly uphill. Continue past Deben Lodge Farm on the tarmac road.
24. Shortly afterwards, opposite a road turning on the right, is a footpath sign on the left. Follow this footpath across arable fields to the brow of a hill and down the otherside.
25. On reaching a band of trees take the footpath on your left. Follow it through the trees. Note the decoy ponds on your left.
26. Continue on this woodland path till you reach a gate. Go through the gate and then follow the direction on the footpath signpost and go diagonally across a field to reach the end of a
line of trees.
27. At this point bear right (not a sharp right) and continue close to the fence and
hedgerow on your right.
28. You will come to a gate on your right. Go through the gate and cross a small bridge.
Look out for kingfishers.
29. Continue straight ahead with the reeds on your right till the corner of the field. Follow the path around the field to the left in the direction of the marker post.
30. At the next junction turn right up a track towards a house – Brick Kiln Cottage.
31. At a T junction with a track turn left along the track until you reach a
tarmac road – Gulpher Road. Turn left.
32. Continue along Gulpher Road passing Gulpher Duck pond and its magnificent willow tree. Originally this was a horse watering pond.
33. Pass a few houses on your left then on a left hand bend take the footpath on your right.
34. Follow the path as it curves to the left. When you reach the trees on your right take a narrow path down a short slope back into The Grove woodland.
35. Walk along through this narrow stretch of woodland ignoring the steps on your left
that you went up earlier.
36. Walk along the boardwalk you went along earlier and immediately bear right.
37. At the next junction of paths turn left, cross over the bridge on your left and then follow the path up a slope to return to the car park.

Walk 3: Allow about 45 minutes

A self-guided Nature Walk through Abbey Grove. Allow about 45 minutes.

1.  Park in The Grove car park opposite the Grove Medical Centre. Walk back to the entrance of the car park. Turn right and then immediately left along a track with the medical centre car park on your left towards a gate.
2.  Enter Abbey Grove through the kissing gate.
3.  Take the 2nd narrow path on your left.
4.  Continue to a Hazel fence then turn right.
5.  Walk along with the Hazel fence on your left to a T junction.
6.  Turn left at the T junction.
7.  Take the first path on the right.
8.  Take the next small path on your right, just before a junction of paths. There is a habitat pile for small mammals on your left.
9.  Turn right at the main path.
10. Shortly take a narrow path on your left.
11. This will lead you past a green meadow area on your left.
12. Turn left at the end of the path and walk past two benches.
13. Bear left when you reach a wide path.
14. Continue on this path straight over a crossroads of paths. Continue towards a grassy meadow.
15. Turn left at a small Welcome to Abbey Grove sign, just before the grassy area.
16. Immediately bear right onto a narrow path. Continue on this meandering path with the grassy meadow on your right and a dead hedge on your left.
17. When you meet a wider path turn right towards the hedgerow bordering Grove Road.
18. Turn left at the T junction of paths. Grove Road will be on your right and a row of wild
cherry trees on your left.
19. After a while take a left fork in the path. Follow this meandering path to reach a T junction.
20. Turn left and follow this path alongside the medical centre until you return to the main
Abbey Grove entrance.
21. Turn right and you will be back at the entrance gate. Return to the car park.

Walk 4: Approx. 4 miles

Woodland and arable landscapes with good views of the river Deben. Approx. 4 miles. Starting from the Capel Hall Lane Picnic Site. Nearby parking available.

1.  A short distance along Capel Hall Lane from the picnic site turn right along a bridleway.
2.  Follow the path bordered by hedgerows. It then passes through a sandy area and goes along by the A14. Continue straight on ignoring a track on your right passing under a road bridge. Eventually you come to a row of conifers on your left.
3.  At a gap in the conifers turn left along a footpath.
4.  Follow the footpath across a field towards some trees in the distance.
5.  Enter the wooded area and cross a small wooden bridge.
6.  Continue over another small wooden bridge.
7.  Shortly take a right fork at a footpath junction.
8.  Go through a gate and then bear right towards another gate.
9.  Go through this gate and head towards a hedgerow passing a majestic oak tree on your left.
10. Walk through the gap in the hedgerow, bear slightly left up a slope.
11. Cross straight over a wide track and continue to a ribbon of woodland.
12. Walk straight through woodland, ignore a track bending to the left and continue straight
on up a hill.
13. Cross over another wide track.
14. Continue through a gap in a hedgerow and go straight on, slightly downhill.
15. On reaching a road turn left.
16. Shortly take a footpath on your left.
17. Follow the direction of the footpath finger post on a narrow path, ignoring a wide track
on your left.
18. Continue across an arable field towards some trees.
19. Cross a wide track into the trees.
20. Continue on the path as it bears to the right.
21. At the end of the trees continue straight on with a hedgerow on your right.
22. Come to a road. There are a few steps to walk down. Turn left onto the lane.
23. After a short distance downhill take a footpath on the right.
24. Follow the path diagonally across a field then through some trees.
25. Continue on the path across another arable field to a road.
26. Turn right at the road and return to your car and the Capel Hall Lane Picnic site.

Walk 5: Approx. 3 miles 

A walk encompassing The Grove, horse paddocks, Walton’s old church and Gulpher Road (quiet lanes). Approx. 3 miles. There are a few stiles to cross on route.

1. Park in The Grove car park opposite the Grove Medical Centre. Enter The Grove woodland directly from the car park.
2. Almost immediately turn right, passing the dog bins on your right.
3. At the junction of paths continue straight on to cross a boardwalk.
4. Continue on the path to a small footbridge on the left. Cross the bridge and go through
the metal gate.
5. Go straight on to reach a 5-bar metal gate. Go through the gate.
6. Continue straight on. Ignore the stile on your left as the footpath has been diverted from crossing this stile. Continue on the track until reaching a gate on your left.
7. Go through the gate. There is not a sign on the gate but this is the footpath diversion. Immediately head for a stile in the fence on your right.
8. Go over the stile and then head for another stile on the other side of the paddock. Pass a couple of young trees on route.
9. Cross this stile and then head diagonally to another stile in the far-left hand corner
of the paddock.
10. Cross this stile then follow the narrow path to Candlet Road which can be busy.
11. Cross Candlet Road and continue along the footpath directly opposite.
12. Ignore a path on your left but take the next small pathway on your right through a hedge
onto a recreation ground.
13. Walk towards the lamp post and then follow the pathway in-front of three bungalows on the left.
14. At the tarmac road turn left.
15. At a T-junction turn left and head towards St. Mary’s Church in Walton.
16. At the High Road turn right. Walk along the High Road passing The Half Moon on the left.
17. Continue till you come to a footpath on your right opposite the Tollgate Garage.
18. Follow this footpath straight across the field to the fence and road on the far side.
19. Cross the road and go up the steps opposite to a footpath.
20. Follow the footpath across the field to a bridleway.
21. Turn right onto the bridleway and follow it to join Gulpher Road.
22. Turn left onto Gulpher Road and follow it round a sharp right-hand bend and then continue passing Gulpher pond on your right.
23. After the pond you will come to a few cottages on your left, take the next footpath on your right.
24. Follow the path alongside a stream until you reach the start of the trees. Take a short, steep slope on your right into the Grove woodland.
25. Walk along the woodland path with a stream on your right.
26. Walk across the boardwalk and continue straight on through the woods.
27. At the dog bins on your left turn left back to the car park.

Map and directions

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