For those of you considering the Kesgrave Landmarks Half Marathon charity challenge I am publishing a guide to the route to help keep you on track! For more information on the challenge please see Kevin Ward’s Facebook post.
The route is available to download as a GPX file on both Strava and Garmin if that helps with your navigation. Feel free to modify the start and finish of the route based on the closest point to your home. You’ll certainly pass more landmarks than those included in the route picture, and there are others that had to be dropped to meet a Half Marathon distance. The route is a mix of pavement and trail – with the trail all now well baked and without any mud in sight!
The route begins behind the Farmhouse pub, on the cycle path and heads East towards Dobbs Lane. Cross over Dobbs, past Gorseland Primary School and a brief right and left brings you alongside the Control Tower.
Continue straight with the Control Tower to your left, and follow the footpath until you turn right on to Eagle Way. Turn left into Valiant Road and continue on this road, with the Martlesham Heath shopping area remaining to your right. You’ll pass through the traffic calming area, and back out to Eagle Way, where the path to the A12 Bridge will be straight ahead of you.
Cross the bridge and then turn left before you reach Greggs. Continue along this road, behind the back of M&S, then turn left and ideally cross over the road towards Costa. Continue running with Wickes and Tesco to your right hand side. Follow the path around as it circles round towards the heath behind Tesco car park, but at this point take a sharp U turn left and head under the A12. At the end of the underpass turn right, and follow the path up until the Police HQ is on your left!
Very simple one now. Continue past the Police HQ until you reach Kesgrave Main Road, turn left and continue along, past Kesgrave High School, straight through the two underpasses, until you reach All Saints (and The Bell) on your left.
Continue straight along Main Road. As you reach the traffic lights by Beech Road, near the Foxwood store it is advisable to cross – ready to turn right down Bent Lane (immediately opposite the start of the golf course). Run to the end of Bent Lane where you’ll end up on some grass before crossing over to The Street Rushmere. You’ll spot a Duck Pond on your right, and shortly after follow the road round to the left. When the pavement runs out cross over and you’ll be rewarded with another Duck Pond under a Rushmere sign.
Continue along the remainder of The Street Rushmere, past St Andrew’s Church, and then take a left into Humber Doucy Lane. The pavement is quite limited in places here, so take care. At the bottom of Humber Doucy Lane cross straight over the road and through some bushes, until you reach the A12, where you need to cross again, and continue straight, with Rushmere Golf Course on your left. If any doubt on the golf course then always keep going straight, and keep a similar distance from the houses to your right – don’t get tempted to explore the greens!
After the Golf Course sign continue straight along trail, and you’ll shortly reach the Sugar Cubes – large metre high squares of concrete. Pass through onto the Heath Road pavement, continuing straight until the roundabout, where you’ll take a left onto Foxhall Road. Follow along Foxhall Road until Bixley Drive, where you’ll turn left – this turn is by Lings Motorcycles. Follow Bixley Drive downhill and then uphill as it curves to the right. At the junction turn left into Bladen Drive, straight over at the roundabout, and the Water Tower should appear on your left.
This is the most challenging part of the route, so please note the additional pictures. From the Water Tower continue on the road, with the Bixley shops to your left. The road will bend right, cross another roundabout and take you uphill back to Foxhall Road, where you turn left. Continue past the end of the Foxhall Road houses, and just before the right turn to Nuffield Hospital there will be a trail open on the right. Please take care crossing this road, the cars travel fast!
You are now approaching the Boardwalks, and there are trip hazards here including holes, fallen trees, low hanging branches and roots. After about 150m there will be a post on the left of the trail with a Sandlings Walk sign, and arrow pointing right – turn right here! You’ll almost immediately find the Boardwalks, with a route going left, and a route up some steps straight ahead – take the steps ahead. Now just keep following the path (around a couple of fallen trees) until you come out on Purdis Farm Lane, where you can take a left turn. You’ll continue along this lane, and just when you start thinking you might have missed a left turn you’ll spot a new signpost on the left, with another Sandlings Walk sign, and arrow pointing left – so turn left here! Follow this main path and you’ll end up back at the junction where you entered the Boardwalks, and you can retrace your steps to Foxhall Road.
Back at Foxhall Road cross over safely (again, fast cars) and follow the pavement right up the hill. Just before the entrance to Foxhall Stadium is a trail on the left, which takes you up the main gravel road to the stadium. Keep following this main gravel road as it bears right – as you’ll want to follow it through the next section.
Homeward bound now, as you continue past Foxhall Stadium towards Bell Lane. You can either exit through a gap in the gate onto Bell Lane, or follow a short trail on the left just before reaching the road. You’ll then want to cross over almost directly, on to Long Strops – easily recognisable as part of the Kesgrave Parkrun course. The Telegraphy Station towers will be visible on your right.
Continue down Long Strops. You’ll reach the big oak tree that is used as the turning point for Junior Parkrun (and for Kesgrave Parkrun B route) – this is just before the paths open up ahead of the car park. At this point there are a couple of cut throughs to the left, on to Century Drive – take one of these, and then cross over, following Century Drive round to the right. You’ll come out to Ropes Drive, where you should turn right, and continue 250m until you reach Kesgrave Column.
From here cross the road, and head up St Isidores towards the Farmhouse. The official route has you follow a short footpath (used on the Kesgrave 5k route at this same section) past a Basketball court, and back out on the cycle path, right where you started!
Hopefully these instructions have helped, and remember to get in touch with Kevin Ward regarding the charity elements of this challenge!