A signpost pointed me in the direction of the quay and a nearby large car park, and with very few cars in there I had lots of spaces to choose from. Finding one in the shade of a large tree I went to get a ticket from the machine - it wasn't exactly cheap at £1.50 an hour as opposed to the four hours I got in Woodbridge for the same price, so as it was quite late in the afternoon by then, and not knowing exactly how much there was to see, I just paid for an hour. The river side was just round the corner from the car park and when I got there I saw several cars parked on the quay itself; none of them had tickets on them so it seemed like I could have parked there for free if I'd known.
A lot of the cloud from earlier on in Woodbridge seemed to have rolled over to Orford but there was still plenty of blue sky and sunshine and a walk from the quayside along the shingle beach in one direction got me several photos. Part of the way along was the Riverside Tea Rooms, and judging by the amount of people at the outside tables it was a very popular place; I did briefly consider going in for coffee and cake but with only an hour on the car park ticket I didn't want to waste too much time so I didn't give in to temptation.
Going from the quayside in the other direction was a riverside walk so I decided to explore along there for a distance; there were many yachts and dinghies moored up in the stretch of river between there and the shingle spit of Orford Ness, and a handful of derelict boats lay partially sunken just a few yards from the riverbank. And as silly as it sounds I felt rather sorry for one small fishing boat which lay unloved and abandoned in the shallows.
The riverside walk seemed to be very popular with dog walkers and others out for a stroll in the sunshine; one couple were even picking samphire from the riverbank close to the water. At the far side of a nearby field Orford Castle rose up from its mound on the edge of the village; I didn't know how long the riverside walk was, it could have gone on for miles, but the castle was my next destination so I only went a certain distance before turning round and retracing my steps.
Unfortunately with it being so late in the afternoon the castle was due to close not long after I got there, but with not much time on the car park ticket I wouldn't have had time to look round inside anyway, so I just had to be happy with a wander round the grounds, though I did get several good photos. It was a shame really that I didn't have time to go in the castle as I would have liked to get some shots looking out from the very top.
As I was making my way back through the village I came to St. Bartholomew's church; it looked nice so I decided to take a look, and go in if it was open to visitors. The door was indeed open but just inside was a large group of musicians - teenagers and older people - sitting in a semicircle and playing various instruments. Presumably it was some sort of concert practise, so not wanting to intrude I made a hasty exit and had to be content with a photo of the church from the outside.
With the time almost up on my car park ticket I made my way back down towards the quay, though I did stop for a couple of minutes near a row of pretty cottages on a small green set back off the road. At 5.45pm, and with the sun getting lower in the sky, they were in quite a bit of shade but they were still worth a photo or two.
Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink then set off on the drive back up to California. The first part of my route took me along a minor lane and past Snape Maltings; I was very tempted to make a brief stop but it was only the year before last that I was there and nothing would have changed in the intervening time so I just continued on to the A12 and headed northwards, though I did make a brief stop at Darsham to see if a friend of mine was at her caravan but she wasn't.
Finally back at the tent I made a meal and a brew and settled in for the rest of the evening until it was time to take the dogs for their pre-bedtime walk. It had been a lovely day, and though the weather in Woodbridge had been rather cloudy to start with it had come nice in the end and I'd got some good photos from there and Orford. And information gained since getting back made me realise that although Orford may be small there's far more to see and do than I first thought, so it looks like a return visit will be very much on the cards next year.