England-Suffolk Flag

   Walberswick >  Google™ Map

UK > England > Suffolk

England-Suffolk Flag
Walberswick Sign

Sep 2020+

waldberht Unknown (personal-name) + wīc Old English dwelling, building.

Population - 420.

Walberswick Sign

Well-heeled Wobbers-wick sits just south of Southwold over the River Blyth. Several celebrities including  Richard Curtis and  Bill Nighy have gaffs here but, a quick heads up, there's no sign of the king of the roguish tut today.

That makes for a rather disappointing autograph hunt but throw in a couple of wildlife-driven distractions and you've got yourselves a famously-proper afternoon out.

A couple of ways to Walberswick including an easily-missable B road off the  A12 or a footbridge over the river from Southwold that's a bit of a diversion, walking-wise. Alternatively, there's a seasonal  foot ferry or, if you'd rather, a  lady off of the telly in a rowing boat.

Walberswick to Southwold Ferry Walberswick - Phoca vitulina

This is all made more complicated by a fearsome-looking tide and she'll set off at sixty degrees to adjust for the short hop across. The tide helps to bring the seals in and photographic evidence of that is up there with the dolphins in Wales.

The work with the rowing boat, by the way, is what's thought to be called doing a 'proper shift'.

Whatever your way here, everything revolves around a smart-looking village green. A brace of tea shops, a pair of pubs and access to the beach and the sea.

Walberswick

If you're looking for sustenance, the Parish Lantern Tea Room is the pick, probably. Sit in a secret garden in a small gazebo surrounded by shrubbery and a water feature before browsing their knick-knacks back inside.

The Potters Wheel can also accommodate in what would make a great beer garden with benches or the newly opened ice cream shop that formerly served hipster, fishy-fayre from an old shed, not shown.

 
The Bell Inn (Ferry Road)

There's a proper beer garden at the back of the Bell Inn where there are more offerings from the ubiquitous Adnams™ to wash down that decent Ploughman's.

Here's also a chance to clock who's ordering champagne and caviar wearing a false nose and hat. Hey Nighy! Is that you?

Wally Webb was an all-round, local legend, it would seem, and co-founder of the British Open Crabbing Championships, seriously. With nothing more than a baited line and a bucket, all-comers competed to catch the largest crab within the allotted hour.

The event was so popular it had to be cancelled in 2010, the small village unable to cope with the influx, but ' crabbing' on the quay[1] is still popular with kids during the day.

Walberswick - Crabbing on Wally's Bridge Walberswick Beach

It's just hoped that 'dogging' in the dunes isn't quite so popular with their folks come sundown, eh?

[1] That's 'Wally's Bridge' there, actually, and a little bit more on him in a minute.

There's a section of beach here that's unusually sandy for these notoriously shingley shores.

Walberswick - Beach Walberswick - Beach Huts

The black, weatherboarded beach huts aren't nearly as showy as the ones in Southwold but they still come at a premium even with a bog that's back near a car park.

 
Suffolk Coast Path

Don't be fooled by the relative flatness, the shingle-sapping stretches of this fifty-mile-long path will have you wishing you were on the West Highland Way, say.

If you're coming from Felixstowe, congratulations it's only another twelve more to the finish at Lowestoft. If you're coming from Lowestoft, it's only twelve miles in and you're going the wrong way, anyway.

The area to the south and west is a National Nature Reserve and could best be described as 'marshy'. There's an other-worldly feel and, if you're good, this relatively tame raptor might make an appearance, early claws.

Walberswick - National Nature Reserve Walberswick - Falco subbuteo?

It was first thought to have been a marsh harrier[1] but a succession of Countryfilers have been heard banging on about how rare they are.

You can continue on to Dunwich on said Suffolk Coast Path or you can just cut back to Walberswick via some sandy heathland, somehow.

[1] It was certainly doing some harrying, in and around a marsh, but it's a hobby[2], probably, and suggestions are still welcome.
[2] When Peter Adolph patented his new game 'Hobby', the application was refused based on the terribly unimaginative name, perhaps? Undeterred, Adolph looked at the Latin for the bird, Falco subbuteo™, and smugly smuggled in the now-iconic name that's got nothing to do with football. Besides, that resubmission was a rhyming gift for the  Undertones thirty years later, eh?

If you're coming from Southwold over the bridge, rather than heading straight on there's a worthy diversion on the right. Yes, it's flat and yes, it's wet and yes, it'll eat up an hour but this timeless landscape is one of the best and most beguiling in Britain, scratch that the world!

Near Walberswick - Footbridge to Southwold Near Walberswick - River Blyth Near Walberswick

It's not just this pair saying that, oh! It seems it is just us saying that but don't be put off by it being riddled with adders, neither. None on show today but that's because they're more scared of you and wouldn't have evolved if they weren't, naturally.

When the raised riverbank runs out, a creepy, ramshackle cottage leads through fields to the previously undiscovered Walberswick Common.

Near Walberswick Walberswick Common - Falco tinnunculus

There's another aerial display only this is an, admittedly out-of-focus, kestrel trying its best to avoid some aggressive crows. This is definitely a kestrel, definitely, unless, of course, it's that hobby again, possibly.

Either of these ways just about bring you out at more ruins only these are part of the still-functioning St Andrew's Church.

Walberswick - St Andrew's Church Walberswick - The St Walberswick - Main Street

The dwellings along here hint at Walberwick's la-di-da-diness becoming, only slightly, more modest as you head back in towards the village green.

Remember Wally Webb? Well, Wally's day job was as a local builder and several blue plaques celebrate his restoratory prowess with a nice nod to the crabbing. If natural diversions aren't to your liking and the autograph hunt is proving equally fruitless, you could spend the afternoon playing Where's Wally™.

Walberswick - Wally Webb #1 Walberswick - Wally Webb #2

Well, 'Where's Wally™'s Blue Plaques', actually, and here's a clue... there are at least two of them.

Walking from Walberswick by the river to the bridge back to Southwold, you'll pass these cohabiting species on some reclaimed land.

Walberswick - River Blyth Walberswick - Gulls and Bulls

The Gulls and Bulls[1] are thought to be the inspiration for the signs to the toilets in every 'fun pub' in every UK seaside resort.

[1] And variations thereupon.

Finally, someone famous and Curtis was trimming the brambles near here he was...

Walberswick - Curtis' brambles

'Hey, Richard' I initiated, 'Loved your delicate handling of the difficult balance of over-sentimentality and tragedy in  Four Weddings.'
'Most will even forgive you
 Love Actually but...  Sliding Doors, come on?'

'What do you mean?' Curtis replied. 'That was  Joey from Bread.'

'Was it?' I stood corrected.

'Oh well, I suppose if your work can be considered a source of derivative appropriation then best of luck. See ya.'