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The name Walberswick is believed to derive from the Saxon Waldbert or Walhbert - probably a landowner - and “wyc”, meaning shelter or harbour. Once a thriving port trading in cheese, bacon, corn, timber and fish from the 13th Century right up to World War 1, the village is now a bustling tourist attraction in the summer months and almost half the properties are holiday homes. Click here for some at-a-glance useful information.
Over a thousand acres of heath and marshland around Walberswick are protected as an Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB). The seaside town of Southwold is within strolling distance along one of the many beautiful walks in and around Walberswick.
St Andrews Church is at the top of the village, the size of the ruins demonstrating how wealthy and large the Parish once was. In fact this was the village’s third church built at the end of the 15th Century. Once prosperous, the church lost its tithes, became decayed and - would you believe it - had to be finally partly dismantled to provide for repairs and restoration to the south aisle.
Within Walberswick there are tea rooms, restaurants, two public houses, an art gallery, original crafts and gift shops. Fresh fish can be bought from Uncle Fred in Church Lane and from the harbour huts on the Southwold side of the River Blyth, which itself may be crossed either by a bailey bridge or the foot ferry that runs during the summer months.
A wide variety of flora and fauna makes Walberswick popular with ramblers and visitors alike. A major attraction for children in summer is crabbing by the harbour, where bridges and river banks become crammed with buckets, lines - and foul smelling bait!
In 2010 Walberswick hosted the thirtieth British Open Crabbing Championship. Over the years this annual family event has raised useful funds for various charities and good causes, both local and national, while participants enjoy the delights of this simple outdoor pleasure.
Walberswick is a very beautiful village but the very factors that make it so popular with tourists, and indeed its inhabitants, have meant that - recently - management schemes have had to be put in place so that the village and its wonderful environs may be preserved for this and future generations. To know more about the Parish Plan go to http://walberswick.onesuffolk.net/parish-plan/ .
Recently, the Blyth Estuary Group was formed following the publication in 2005 of the Environment Agency’s (EA) plans to withdraw maintenance from the estuary flood defences. The Blyth Estuary Group has found serious flaws in the EA’s "backing" science and following the breaching of 160 acres of marshes in November 2007 and their subsequent abandonment by the EA they plan to repair and reinstate the defences themselves. The Group is now seeking funding and support for this work which is of paramount importance to the safety of navigation and infrastructure of Southwold Harbour. You can view the full details – and donate towards their goals – on their website.
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