Starting life as a stream and opening into a wide, tidal river when it reaches Snape, the River Alde in Suffolk is a river teeming with wildlife and unique history.
Sometimes called the River Ore when it approaches Orford, there are several features to be aware of on the river. It is a wide and tidal river, so consideration should be given to this.
In terms of history, there’s certainly some unique facts to know about this Suffolk beauty. In Tudor times, the river served as a busy port. This port proved very important during the Spanish armada, where four ships launched from here to fight.
Although the river is no longer a busy port, it’s interesting to paddle along and relive the river’s Tudor history. You can enjoy what it would have looked and felt like at the time.
Another little fun fact for you. The river flows by a shingle split before entering the North Sea. This area is now owned by the National Trust. However, once upon a time it was a secret military base where tests with radar were once carried out!
It’s not just all about the history for the River Alde though. There’s wildlife in abundance too. On the southern side of the river near Iken there you will find the Alde Mudflats nature reserve managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
Although there is no public (or paddler!) access, as you paddle along you’re likely to see some of their residents, including oystercatchers, grey plover, avocet and marsh harrier.