a user-contributed guide to the best of suffolkA user-contributed guide to the best of Suffolka user-contributed guide to the best of suffolk Login

Walking in Suffolk

Suffolk is great walking country with its tranquil landscapes and no fewer than two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s thought of as being a fairly flat county, but actually it’s gently undulating which makes for easy walking along the 3,500 miles of public footpaths.

Countryside around Nayland, Suffolk

Walking is a popular leisure pursuit in Suffolk, and there are several long-distance footpaths, numerous walking events throughout the year and an annual Suffolk Walking Festival in the late spring.

Long Distance Walks

The Mid Suffolk Footpath  is a 20 mile walk from Hoxne in the north of Suffolk, to Stowmarket in the heart of Suffolk and has stretches along the valleys of the Gipping, Dove and Waveney rivers.

The St Edmund Way is a 79 mile route across Suffolk, which makes use of the Stour Valley Path from Manningtree in Essex to Thetford in Suffolk.

The Suffolk Coast Path is a 50 mile walk from Felixstowe to Lowestoft and links up with the Stour and Orwell Walk, taking in stretches of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Stour and Orwell Walk is a 42 mile walk from Felixstowe to Cattawade and Manningtree, around two of the most beautiful estuaries in East Anglia with a rich variety of wildlife. This long distance path also goes through the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

The Sandlings Walk is a 60 mile walk and the third long-distance walk through the coastal AONB between the eastern edge of Ipswich going up to Southwold and incorporating the beautiful Sandlings Heath.

The Stour Valley Path  is a 60 mile route that goes along the valley of the River Stour through some of the most scenic Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire countryside.

The Angles Way is a real leg-stretcher of a walk and is described by the Ramblers’ Association as ‘the best waterside walk in Britain’.  It goes on for 92 miles along the Waveney Valley on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, to the Brecks in the west and links up with  the Icknield Way and the Peddars Way

Bury to Clare Walk  is a 19 mile walk from Nowton Park on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds and finishes in the pretty village of Clare in the Clare Castle Country Park.

Walking in the Dedham Vale AONB. There are many routes throughout the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including walks through Constable Country, taking in many of the scenes immortalised by painter John Constable who was born in East Bergholt and painted many of his most famous works in the area.

Countryside walks around Nayland, Suffolk

Short Walks

There are many shorter walks throughout Suffolk too, including the three mile Sudbury to Long Melford Valley Walk along the disused railway line; a two mile Thread Trail through Hadleigh, which explores the town’s history and connections with the wool trade and many more.

Guided Walks

The friendly people at Lavenham and Sudbury Tourist Information Centres organise walks around medieval Lavenham, Long Melford and Sudbury throughout the main tourist season (generally March to the end of October) as well as special themed walks at other times of the year. Keep an eye on their events list or give them a ring to organise a private walk for a small group.

Lavenham, Suffolk

Suffolk Walking Festival

An annual walking festival takes place from the last two weeks in May to the first week in June with around 75 guided walks across the county. The walks are themed and often include a cream tea or other refreshments. They are sociable and fun; do explore the walking festival website for details.

Countryside with bluebells in Suffolk

Bluebell Woods

There are many beautiful bluebell woods in Suffolk, which offer up a glorious displays during the late spring. Keep an eye on the Suffolk Wildlife Trust website, which has updates on when each of their sites is in full bloom.

If you prefer to just grab a map and explore the Suffolk countryside off the beaten track, there are plenty of options throughout the varied landscapes of the county. From the beautiful coastline in the east, to the pretty countryside of farmland, woodland and river valleys in the heart of Suffolk, to the Brecks in the east.

Suffolk Walking Websites

Discover Suffolk – walks and cycle routes in Suffolk
Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB – Suffolk’s coastal area and Shotley Peninsula
Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley – includes Constable Country
Suffolk Walking Festival  – three week annual walking festival (May/June)

Fancy a walking holiday?

Why not stay for a few days and have a walking holiday in Suffolk?  Book a cosy holiday cottage and explore the delightful Suffolk countryside and fascinating wool towns and villages. Try The Grove Cottages, who specialise in romantic holiday cottages and even supply bikes with most of their cottages if you want to mix things up a little bit!  More details here: www.grove-cottages.co.uk

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Written by Mark

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