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" Shotley to Pin Mill - River Walk "

Date & start time:      31st December 2019.  1.30  pm start.

Location of Start :     Parking at Shotley Marina, Harwich Harbour, Suffolk.  (TM 251 337 )

Places visited :          Shotley, Lower Reach to Collimer Point, Long Reach to Pin Mill.

Walk details :              5.6 mls, negligible feet of ascent, 1hour 55 mins.

Highest point :           20 feet above sea level (apart from Pin Mill Woods)..

Walked with :              Matt and Alexander and our dogs, Boris, Bilbo, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                      Sunshine and slightly overcast blue skies.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


With two of our grandsons away now, it has just left two to accompany me, or me to accompany them, on a walk from Shotley back to Pin Mill.

Ann and Catherine were busy today so we took the car, with four dogs in the back, to Shotley at the southern end of the Orwell peninsula.

We'll get a lift back to collect the car later, after this delightful linear walk is complete.

The seascape looking across from Shotley to the town of Harwich.

We're looking more or less south east here, not at the North Sea but across the River Stour,

to Harwich peninsular that is home to the town, the docks and ferry port.  The North Sea is beyond, hidden by the buildings.

Not only is it the UK’s second busiest passenger ferry port, but has a harbour which is the largest between the Humber and the Thames.

The famous seafarers Hawkins, Drake and Frobisher all sailed from Harwich during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I on various expeditions.

Harwich is best known for its role in the story of America, as the port from which the Mayflower captain originally departed from

on the voyage across the Atlantic to the New World in 1620  . . . . Harwich Town website

On the third side of the bay is the modern port of Felixstowe

which is now an extensive deep water harbour specialising in the container handling trade.

Just how many containers can you fit on one ship ?

We parked at the entrance to the marina and started our walk up river.

This old channel marker buoy has now been put to use as an advert for the Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant conveniently sited next to the boats.

I follow Matt and Bilbo across the entrance locks, but Alexander and Boris are already over the other side and on with the walk.

A Napoleonic Martello Tower has a more modern water tower addition.
Across the water these new container cranes outstrip it in height.

The harbour front of Felixtowe where multiple ships can be handled if required.

The Marina was enclosed by an artificial bank between it and the river.

That bank extends well up river and also allows the reclamation of quite a large area of agricultural land.

The embankment provides us with a level and easy path to Pin Mill, about six miles away.

The next marina up river, which can just be seen, is about half way to home.

Inside the flood barrier is an artificial drainage ditch, presumably where the soil came from to build the bank.

Outside the river silt has formed salt marsh which varies in width depending on the flow and shape of the main channel.

A Canada Goose floats along the drainage canal inside the barrier.

A last relatively close-up view of Felixtowe, as our sights are now directed up river from now on.

This marshy section, wide because of a bend in the sea wall, provides safe moorings for a small boat.

Old sea defences offer little defence now.

A wind surfer is moving rapidly out in mid-channel due to the steady breeze today.

At times he moved extremely rapidly to the point of disbelief.

His secret is a hydrofoil wing on his sked which lifts the whole craft clear of the water when travelling at speed.

Check the photo again . . . it is not an illusion.

A much more stationary craft . . . a lightship moored up in the Levington Marina

The marina clubhouse seen across the water as we round Collimer Point.

We've passed half way and we're now on the Long Reach, the name for the straight section of river from here up to Pin Mill.

A coastal freighter is making its way down river from Ipswich Docks, under the Orwell Viaduct and heading for the open sea.

The Arklow Castle is a general freighter.

Find out where in the world she is now at

More salt marsh, full of water as it's now high tide.

The Oystercatchers are gathering together on the tide line, as the mud is unavailable to them at this time.

Occasionally one or two decide to fly to a new patch of shore line . . . the grass is always 'muddier' on the other side.

As we approach 'The Clamp' more birds take to the air . . . quite a few varieties this time.

The sea wall has ended now and we have just a small bank to take us the last few hundred yards to the woods.

A repeat of our first day's walk now as we take the undulating path through the woodland.

If anything, the dogs are dirtier from this path than the ones earlier this afternoon.

The old hulks would be afloat if their hulls were still intact.

Signs of life on several of the house boats moored in Potter Bay, the last section of river before the village.

As suspected, the tide is lapping the walls of the pub so we face wet feet or climb the ladder.

We found the dogs an alternative, if slightly narrow squeeze next to the old shed.

Alexander is under-age and Matt didn't want an afternoon drink at his place of work tonight,

so our walk today would end at the houses beyond the boatyard !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . A warm beverage to make up for the lack of a cold one.

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Previous walk - 29th December - Pin Mill - Woodland Walk

A previous time up here - Sun 23rd to Thurs 27th Aug 2009 Pin Mill in Suffolk

Next walk - 1st January - 4. New Year's Day