Shotley Open Spaces

All being well, our health walks will restart this month. The Shotley Gate Stroll, a gentle two-mile stroll lasting about one and a half hours, will start from the bottom of Bristol Hill, Shotley Gate (located on what3words at jumbo.surfer.supporter) at 11.30am on Wednesday 21 April. Free car parking is available, including blue badge bays and a bus stop. The precise details for registration and permitted numbers have yet to be detailed, and we will provide more information about this on Peninsula Facebook sites nearer the time.

Details will also be on our news page at: It would be lovely to have a good representation from peninsula residents and your four-legged friends are also welcome. We use a circular route along the banks of the River Stour, into Shotley Heritage Park (pathways recently improved thanks to a group of local volunteers), through Ganges Wood (a millennium project woodland planted in 2000) returning to the start alongside the River Orwell and around Shotley Marina.

If you are a wheelchair user or have a child and buggy you are welcome to join us and we can modify the route slightly and assist where necessary.

The team at Shotley Marina will allow us to use the yacht basin access road by arrangement to avoid having to cross the lock, which is not suitable for wheelchairs and larger buggies. We will do what we can to help you enjoy this delightful stroll (though can’t guarantee good weather).

Although Suffolk Walking Festival has been cancelled for the second year running there is no shortage of enthusiasm and willingness to do something in its place. For the first time, a Virtual Walking Festival has been scheduled to run from 22 to 31 May. This will be interactive and accessible via a brand new Suffolk Walking Festival website, communicated via social media and free to all. The organisers are continuing to work with their media partners and anticipate reaching out to wider audiences whilst featuring Suffolk at its best!

Shotley Open Spaces is working hard to feature some of our local walks, with information to help people decide where they want to spend some of their valuable time, fresh out of lockdown. We would like visitors to enjoy a great outdoor experience that will encourage them to return to this area time and again. Maybe some will enjoy the great hospitality of our superb pubs and restaurants and perhaps stay for a longer break in some of the fantastic high quality accommodation here on the peninsula. Occasionally, some will decide to up sticks and come and live here, such is the magnet of our open spaces, lovely walks, magnificent countryside and amazing river life.

It will be hard to escape from hearing about what is being offered as we get closer to the launch date of 21 May. BBC Radio Suffolk will play a big part, as will social media and magazines such as this one.

We are looking forward to this ‘virtual festival’ and hope you will enjoy what is on offer right across Suffolk.

For more information about Shotley Open Spaces visit our website or contact Geraint Pugh ([email protected]), Gary Richens ([email protected]) or Tony Lawford-Randall ([email protected]).

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