The walk here described incorporates elements of the Gipping Valley "Shrubland Walks" but keeps within the Barham Parish boundary. About half of the walk is on roadway. Care should be taken at the bends on Barham Church Lane as there are steep banks with no verges at this point. The section through Shrubland Park needs careful following of waymarks due to the wooded nature of this part of the walk. This is also necessary from Bull's Wood (12) to Dentling Plantation (15). Shrubland Park is owned by Lord de Saumarez.
The distance covered is 5 miles (or 3 miles* excluding the Shrubland Park section).
The walk described
Cars may be parked at (I), the SCC owned Picnic Site (which can also be used as the starting point of the Shrubland Walks) or at the Church car park (3) by kind permission of the Parochial Church Council.
Leave the Picnic Site via Pesthouse Lane and pass over the dual carriageway of the A14 by the bridge. Much of this area comprises flooded workings from gravel extraction and known locally as Barham Pits. At the T junction with the old Norwich Road turn Right in the direction of Claydon for 1/2 mile and then Left at the Barham Village Sign (2) and proceed up Barham Church.
Visit the Church, (obtain the key at the addresses shown at the porch door). See the "Madonna and Child" sculpture by Henry Moore. This was originally in Claydon Church but was moved here when that Church was declared redundant. Post Cards and a booklet are available inside the Church. From the Porch turn left and follow the path through the Church grounds. The large house on the right is Barham Hall (4), which has a long history as can be seen in the boundary wall with its traces of Gothic stonework.
Continue up the lane for about 'A mile passing on the right Barham Manor (6), the one time home of John Hadfield, author of "Love on a Branchline" and editor of "Saturday Book". In the past there were indeed "Peacocks on the Lawn", the title of his wifes book about the Manor's restoration. During the WW2 the house was used by the army for planning secret operations. To the Left is a "moat" with a tree lined setting. Manor Farm (5) and Whitelodge Farm (7) are passed on the right.
Continue on the road to Barham Green passing on the left Nursery Wood (8) and to the right the aptly named Pond Farm (9). Barham Green (10) is a large open area of grazing land, here are a number of thatched cottages, which help to make the Green attractive, especially in the Spring and Summer, when there are roadside trees in blossom, and many buttercups. The main road turns to the right and a narrow lane goes straight on to Hemingstone. At this point follow the sign to the left, passing thatched Plumtree Cottage on the right and eventually coming to Skeet's Green (11), also with a thatched cottage. The footpath bears to the right and crosses an arable field keeping a distinct tree (oak) to the right. Take a small "dent" in the path and pass down a track with Bull's Wood (12) also to the right. This track continues to Hemingstone but turn left at the waymark and pass through the northern arm of Oak Wood. Following the waymarks the path emerges from Oak Wood at point (13) rejoining F/P 21. Go along the path between Ten Acre Plantation and Broomwalk Plantation (14). The modern house high on the left is Barham Lodge . (An alternative shorter walk is from (14) to (19). Emerge at this point (14) and cross Sandy Lane (Barham — Coddenham road) and, by means of a stile, enter the grounds of Shrubland Park. The path becomes indistinct in the Dentlings Plantation (15) but eventually passes "Russian Lodge" (16) on the right. (A cattle grid is nearby) and a Stable Block is situated above and to the right at this point. Follow the track (2nd anti-clockwise) through the park until the old Norwich Road is reached opposite a house called "The Spinney" (17). Turn to the left and proceed in the Ipswich direction to point (18). Passing an attractive group of cottages Sharpstone Street. Turn left along a track, passing poultry houses on the left. At a point where tracks meet (19) turn right along a bridleway which climbs to higher ground. Here a panoramic view of the Gipping Valley is obtained (20). Eventually the north side of Barham Church is seen and the car park is reached at the Church or, by way of Church Lane (and passing the preserved "Kirby's" Cedar Tree on the left) the Picnic Site is regained and the walk completed. The walk is about 5 miles. Food and drink is available at The Sorrel Horse Public House.