Moat Meadow Walk

  • 1.5 hours
  • hard
  • 3.5 miles


This walk takes you through woodland, past Rougham Church up to Kingshall Street, swinging round to the right, taking in part of Oak Lane and crossing Moat Lane to return to Blackthorpe Barn via a meadow with stiles.

The walk starts and ends at Blackthorpe Barn, where you can find plenty of free parking as well as Roots Café and the new Garden Room shop. Please remember that the gates to the avenue entrance are locked after the Cafe and Shop close. More details here.

For more general information about this and other walks, see Walks around Rougham Estate. We hope you have a lovely walk.

Use the Google Map below on your phone to follow the path shown or print the route using the PDF button above, if you prefer.

If you can’t access the map through the image above, use this google map link

Go on the Moat Meadow Walk with George and Bolly in this video where George Agnew, whose family has owned the Estate since the early 1900s, chats about interesting points along the way:

Points of Interest




Step 1

From Blackthorpe Barn turn right and pass through the carparks along the concrete road until you reach a wood on your right.


Step 2

A path leads into the wood shortly after you reach its boundary. Follow this path bearing left at a fork and then turning left after 50 metres. Follow through the wood to the far end.


Step 3

At this point turn right at a T junction. Follow this path out of the wood with a hedge on your left. Follow this path until it meets a path from the right.


Step 4

At this point follow round to the left heading for Rougham Church which appears dramatically in front of you. At the far end of this path cross the school and church carpark. Cross the public road with care.


Step 5

On the far side, turn left and walk along the pavement passing the splendid sight of Rougham Church on your right side. Shortly afterwards you pass the magnificent lychgate with carvings and seats within. You might like to take a short pause here. The structure was built in 1901 in memory of the previous rector Morton Shaw.


Step 6

When you are ready to continue, turn right out of the lychgate, walk along the pavement for a few metres before following the footpath along the edge of the field as it peels away from the public road to the right. This footpath has a tarmac surface but tree roots below the surface make it uneven in parts so take care as you walk.


Step 7

This path leads you to Kingshall Street which gradually appears ahead of you as you leave the church behind. At the far end of the path, you will see a convenient poop bin on your left which might come in handy.


Step 8

You are now about to cross one of the busier roads in Rougham so take care. Cross the road and turn right for a few metres before you see a gap in the hedge on your left with a clear path leading through. Take this path.


Step 9

Continue straight on, with some houses set back on your left and the field on your right. This pathway follows the edge of the field. Ignore various turns to the left. At the far end follow it round to the right and it continues to skirt the edge of the field.


Step 10

Shortly after this you will see a small turning to the left which brings you immediately onto an official footpath where you turn right.


Step 11

This path crosses through the hedge line so that the hedge ends up on your right side. Follow this path to the edge of the field where it emerges onto Oak Lane. Turn right here.


Step 12

This lane has a gravelled surface and is a public right of way, but with the occasional car going to and from the few houses on the lane. Watch out for these. At the far end cross straight over Moat Lane, which is a public road and bus route so take care.


Step 13

On the far side you will see a stile in the hedge. This has a dog flap on the right side. Cross this by putting your dog through the flap first and then taking hold of the lead from above the fence. Whilst holding your dog, climb the stile yourself. On the far side you are in an old meadow which from time to time will have cattle. It is essential that you keep your dog on a short lead as you cross the meadow.


Step 14

On the far side is a similar stile, followed by a foot bridge. Cross these and continue straight on.


Step 15

You pass the village playing field on your left. After a while a footpath leads off to the left. Ignore this and continue on your way.


Step 16

After passing through a gap in the hedge ahead, the path turns right and you follow it slightly down hill with the hedge on your right. At the bottom of the hill, you will see Rougham Church appear before you with its magnificent west tower.


Step 17

Instead of walking right up to the church our path turns left at the field edge as you follow the ditch line with poplar trees and the church now on your right.


Step 18

At the far side of the field the path reaches close to the public road. Here it swings round to the left for 100 metres before emerging on the road at a crossing point over the ditch. Turn right onto the public road where care should be taken.


Step 19

Walk along the road for 100 metres before turning left. You will see a poop bin marking the spot. Follow the lane here as it heads north, away from the church and back towards the Blackthorpe Barn.


Step 20

Cross straight over a footpath and continue onwards. You are now on the path where your walk began a while ago.


Step 21

You will enter the wood and shortly afterwards find the path leading off to the left. This will take you through the wood to the far end where you turn right.


Step 22

This path leads you to the edge of the wood. Turn left at an angle as the path approaches the Blackthorpe Barn carparks. Follow these through to the left and then follow the signs to the Roots Café where a welcome awaits you (and your dog).

Important information

What are the difficulty levels?

We have given each walk a difficulty level, as a guide to the potential walker as to what to expect, from “easy” to “hard”.

The Rougham Estate walks are largely based on existing Estate paths and public rights of way, at times passing through woodland and along field-side paths.

A difficulty rating of “easy” means the path is most accessible.
A difficulty rating of “hard” means the path is one of the most challenging possibly including stiles, kissing gates, steps, steep slopes and meadows with cattle.
A difficulty rating of “medium” is between the two.

None of the walks are very hard as we live in Suffolk, not the Lake District, however some people are looking for something very gentle and others, something a bit more challenging.

Are all these walks on Rougham Estate land?

We have endeavoured to provide a real variety of walks based on land within the Rougham Estate, however some destinations are a little remote and to achieve circular walks rather than walks which just retrace their steps, where necessary, use has been made of the extensive footpath network and chosen public footpaths on our neighbours’ land, to complete the journeys in more interesting ways.

Must my dog be kept on a lead?

Here at Rougham we love dogs and really appreciate the importance that they hold for people in their lives and on their walks and outdoor adventures together.
We ask that you keep your canine friends on a lead when you are walking in Rougham. It is safer for the dog and much safer for wildlife.

Ground nesting birds and other wildlife are seriously threatened by dogs running loose. They can also frighten other people who are less comfortable with dogs, but who would also like to walk.

Finally, you will not be able to see where they poop and so will not be able to clear it up and leave a hazard for future walkers.

Some of the walks shown here include sections on public rights of way over land owned by other people. As a courtesy to them too, please always keep your dogs on the lead.
Thank you!

Can I do this walk with a wheelchair?

The Rougham Estate walks, starting from Blackthorpe Barn, are largely based on existing Estate paths and public rights of way. They mostly pass through woodland and along field-side paths.
Each walk is given a difficulty rating ranging from “easy”, which are the most accessible, to “hard”, which are the most challenging and may include stiles, kissing gates, steps, steep slopes and meadows with cattle.

All these walks follow existing paths and are subject to mud and puddles in wet weather, fallen branches and trees during and after storms, ice and snow during frozen weather. Brambles and nettles are common anywhere and will overhang the paths during the summer. Stinging insects including wasps, bees and hornets may be encountered and midges and mosquitos are common on summer evenings. Adders are rare but do exist and should not be approached.
The Blackthorpe Barn has a defibrillator available for emergency use.

Rougham is located in a very flat part of Suffolk and as such is more accessible than most other parts of the country, but concepts of accessibility are all relative and the final judgement must be the responsibility the visitor themselves.

The Rougham Estate does its best to make public areas as available as possible.
The Estate cannot accept responsibility for accidents or injuries incurred during visits or walks on the Estate, though every effort is made to make them as usable as possible.

How can I best get my dog over a stile?

Stiles enable people to cross stockproof fences safely. Our stiles are built to Suffolk County Council standards.
If you have a dog with you then you should look for a small dog gate at the base and to the side of the stile. This may have a flap on a spring or a sliding door. Encourage your dog through first, then pass the dog’s lead through and take hold of it from above the fence. Then cross the stile yourself. This enables you to cross the stile without taking your dog off its lead.

What about dogs and poop bags?

Please ensure that you carry poop bags with you on your doggy walks. If you don’t have any with you, you can buy some in the Garden Room shop. It is so important that you clear up after your dog and then take the bag away with you.
You will find poop bins located near Blackthorpe Barn and Roots Café. Finding abandoned poop bags hanging in the branches of trees or just left on the ground is very unattractive for future walkers on the route so please do take them with you.
Thank you so much.

What should I wear for these walks?

These walks lead through the Suffolk countryside and so expect to find muddy patches, nettles and thistles. It is important to remember that the weather may change during your walk too, especially if the walk is a long one.

Remember to wear sensible boots and take something waterproof along as well.
A sun hat for warmer weather is important too.

Will there be cattle in the meadows?

Our ancient meadows are a wonderful sight and well worth a visit on one of our walks. The reason they remain like this is that they provide grazing for cattle as they have done for many hundreds of years. You must assume that there may be cattle in any meadow that you visit.

Leave all gates how you find them and ensure that any dog you have is on a short lead and kept close to you. Cattle are curious creatures and may well approach you to see who you are. They are also herd animals, so they tend to move together with one taking the lead. They are also frightened of dogs. This is an inherited memory linking back to the times of wolves. Just walk steadily through the meadow. Don’t let anyone chase the cattle or make loud noises.
If you or anyone in your party is uncomfortable about cattle it may be best to choose another walk.

See other walks

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