Following a path to the side of the park roadway, we had a very pleasant walk in to Bridge Wood, where the blue bells were in full flower, to emerge back on to the riverbank. We did not have far to walk on the river before we had clear views of the Orwell Bridge' stanchions marching across the river. With beautiful views down the river, we took a moment or two to reflect and enjoy the early morning air.
We entered Freston Park, where we hoped to find a route along the riverbank. On the way, we passed Freston Tower, a six-story, red brick folly, arguably built somewhere between the 15th and 17th C. It is currently owned by the Landmark Trust, which acquires old and interesting buildings, renovates them and then makes them available for private holiday rental.
Some way along the riverbank the path ran out and we were left trying to fight our way through very heavy under-growth until we were stopped by a fence boundary at someone's garden. Rather than turn back, we decided a wee bit of trespass would not go amiss. Trying to climb the fence quietly, difficult when your legs no longer bend much more than 35%, we crept across the garden towards a path that appeared to head back to the road we had left. Fortunately for us, when we hit it, it turned out to be a public right of way down to the shore, albeit there was no further progress to be made along the riverbank. We shot up the footpath at a great rate of knots, constantly looking over our shoulder, hopeful that we had not been seen.
Continuing on down the seawall we came to and went around the village of Shotley. One plan had been to stop here in a B&B but that would have left us with a lot of miles to do tomorrow, so in the end we decided to put in some more miles today and to wild camp at Erwarton Bay, which lies at the mouth of the River Stour. But, before we did so, we stopped in Shotley for a nice Sunday roast dinner in the local pub. The maxim when wild camping in England is to arrive late and leave early, that way you are less likely to upset people. Consequently, we were quite happy to while away the minutes in the pub and took our time over our meal.