Quick report Suffolk Sept Part 2

I swam Suffolk over two weekends in September. Here are the Facebook posts during Part 2, 21-22 Sept. I invited people to join me, to support or to swim together at our own risk, or to sponsor me, to mark my year of becoming 60 and to celebrate outdoor swimming in East Anglia.

Day 1 of Suffolk Swims part 2 was a gorgeous late summer day, lovely and sociable day, with some familiar and some new places. Day 2 was also a success, with glorious sunshine to start but less glorious rain to finish, and good company from friends old and new.

See the itinerary and the locations

You can read about my other treks in the Swims section.

swimmers posing at the seaside
some of the swimmers at Felixstowe Swimscapes
wooded river and sunlight
River Gipping, Needham Market

Sat 21 Sept

Swim 1 Day 1, at Needham Market, 12.9 degrees, shallow but clear pool a little walk upstream. Chat to an older lady walking her dog past me, who asked if it was deep enough, said she loved that sort of swimming, and that I had made her day! The lake looks shallow and uninviting, even before you see the signs!

Swim spot 2 Day 1, at Bramford. Running short of time to walk down to the wood where water probably clear, so just a paddle by the bridge, 12.9 degrees. A lovely spot to visit on a glorious morning. Already dog walkers and anglers out and about.

sign, many activities including swimming prohibited, lake with sunlit foliage
Needham Lake

Swim 3 Day 1, at Felixstowe with Swimscapes, 16.9 degrees, with Seamus Bennet, Amanda Bowden, Mark Sanderson, Jon Run, Susie Ling, John, Caroline, and many more. Fantabolobuoso swim, lively, sparkling, and great company. Had to drag myself away!

Swim spot 4 Day 1, at Fore Street Baths, Ipswich, heated and indoors, swim abandoned, due to lack of time and parking.

river with boats and swimmers
River Orwell at Pin Mill, Chelmondiston

Swim 5 Day 1, at Chelmondiston Pin Mill, 18/18.6 degrees, with Swim Walks, lovely to see Philip Nice, Sue, Maggie and others. Although tide low, only slightly muddy entry, and lovely once in the water.

lake water and beach
Alton Water

Swim spot 6 Day 1. At Alton Water, just a paddle, as ran out of time again. Could have been a good chance to investigate, as water low, and could walk along beaches

swimmer in wooded river
Lily in the Stour, Stratford St Mary
swimmers, one with seaweed, and sea
Susie and Jon at Holbrook

Swim spot 7 Day 2, at Stratford St Mary, 14.3 degrees, with Lily Chase who brought some of the most delicious flapjacks that I’ve had! A refreshing and lovely swim, with a real zing to it. A great spot, and good company

Swim spot 8 Day 2, at Holbrook, 18-20 degrees, with Jon Run and Susie Ling. What a lovely place. Shallow, but soon deep enough to swim at high tide, popular, with a big group of swimmers later.

Swim spot 9 Day 2, at Bures, sunset paddle, felt warm, lovely place. Should have been there over an hour earlier, but schedule was far too tight. Sorry to let people down. Dropped visit to paddle at Swim spot 10 Day 2, at Sudbury Old Bathing Place.

sea and beach
Holbrook beach, Stour estuary

So I’ve completed Day 1 of Suffolk Swims part 2, five swims today, three paddles, visited nine places. A gorgeous late summer day. It was a lovely and sociable day, with some familiar and some new places. Different to when I did my previous swim trip  through the Ipswich area (see my Facebook Note three years ago . And I got home and found my brother had made me dinner, which was much appreciated!

bridge over a river at sunset

Sun 22 Sept

blue fisherman's boat and sea

So, Day two has started sunny, due to be warmer, if less nice. I’m starting with some familiar places along the Suffolk coast; a key part of my swim trip the years ago.

Here’s what I wrote then about the area (Facebook Note)

Swim spot 1 Day 2, at Eastbridge, no swim here, just a paddle, quite chilly. OK for a dip in spring and winter. A beautiful place, on a beautiful morning. We used to come here a lot, one of mum and dad’s favourite places. Under threat from a campus for Sizewell C power station, see the campaign website

beach, sea, paddlers, power station platform

Swim spot 2 Day 2. At Sizewell, 18 degrees, quite glorious, sea lovely and still warm, basked in the sun after, sheltered by the blue boat. The fisherman was playing on it with his grandchild, pretending to be hurt as the child pushed him off it, then pretending to call a doctor with a large stone as pretend phone. Others swimming too. My mum would have loved it, though in later years the sea would be too rough for getting out.

sculpture with children playing on it, on the beach
Shell sculpture, Aldeburgh

Swim spot 3 Day 2, at Aldeburgh, 17.8 degrees, bouncy waves, fun getting in and out, lovely swimming with Susie Ling again, and for fun with family and friends at the shell (yes, I climbed on it and jumped off too, thanks to Jake for encouragement, though I didn’t get under it like Eddie and the other little ones). Lovely to meet everyone. Quick paddle at the sluice before that.

steep shingle slope with fisherman and sea
Shingle Street
warning sign about dangerous currents, and beach
Shingle Street

Swim spot 4 Day 2. I am not welcome at Iken Cliff – low barrier – and I got the tide wrong it is low, not high, so no swim here!

Swim spot 5 Day 2, at Shingle Street, 18.1 degrees, steep entry, but slightly calmer than Aldeburgh. Quite a few others braving the dangerous currents – apparently they are further out. Kite surfers, too, and anglers. Found a lead weight with spikes in the shingle. Chat to a couple who also swam, Fiona lives in Woodbridge, and they were both interested to hear about my trip. Caught the last of the sunshine, I think.

sea, rocks and ominous cloudy sky
East Lane, Bawdsey

Swim spot 6 Day 2, at East Lane, Bawdsey. Running short of time to walk to the beach. Looking ominous, and started raining.

river, bridge, anglers and rain
Ufford Hole
angler's phone with photo of boy holding fish
Pike caught earlier at Ufford by Ethan

Swim spot 7 Day 2, at Ufford Hole ( The Hole is a bomb crater.) A chilly 13.5 degrees with some rain, with angler Ethan who took my photo and his dad who told me about the pike that got away, 2’6″! And showed me the photo of the one they caught. But reassured me it wouldn’t get me. Pike were driving away the fish, and he regretted that they don’t dredge the river any more. Very nice and friendly.

Swim spot 8 Day 2, at Wilford Bridge, 18.6 degrees, the warmest of the day, at perfect slack tide, in above bridge, easy entry, and swam under bridge with a lovely echo. Kayakers and paddleboard taking advantage of the tide too. Sunset between spots of rain.

calm river and banks
Wilford Bridge

Swim spot 9 Day 2, near Parham, 17-17.6 degrees, to my surprise and delight with David and Fiona who I’d meet at Shingle Street earlier, told about this spot and my website, and they turned up too, game for an adventure in the rain. And it was lovely, stunning sunset on the way there, blue water, fairly warm with colder spots, about 2 ft lower than usual revealing that it isn’t as deep as I’d always thought. Made my day to have good company for this swim!

beach, sea, swimmer
Aldeburgh, Susie looking for interesting stones
 red sky, foliage and water
Rainy sunset near Parham

This completed Day 2 of Suffolk Swims Part 2. I felt today was a success, with six swims, two paddles, ten places visited, good company at a few, glorious sunshine to start (as well as all day yesterday) less glorious rain to finish. And another meal got ready for me by my brother, very welcome once I had dry clothes on after the final soaking!

I added an invitation to join me to every post, and tags #outdoorswimmingsociety #sharetheswimlove #suffolk

Location info

[log 1100 – 1110]