Winter Walks in Suffolk
Published: Monday 25th Dec 2017
Written by: Aimee Anderson
Suffolk is a wonderful place for walking with so many different landscapes to discover. We are so lucky to have such variety of coast, rivers, woodland and countryside to explore. The best way to appreciate the natural beauty of our glorious county is on foot! You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife along the way.
Winter is a great time for walking, to get fresh air in your lungs and wear off the excesses of the festive season. So dust off your boots and have a good stomp around the countryside. Here are some of our favourite walks for winter:
1. Constable Country
The villages and hamlets of Constable Country are famous for their beautiful buildings and fascinating history. Linked by the river Stour these communities were once a major trade route into the heart of Suffolk. The Stour Valley and Dedham Vale were made famous by the 18th-century paintings of John Constable, England’s foremost landscape artist of the time.
The Dedham Vale AONB is a truly stunning part of Constable Country and one of the finest parts of Suffolk which often gets forgotten about. Throughout the seasons the landscape changes dramatically and provides an array of colours and scenery. Stretching from Flatford to Wormingford there are a number of National Trust walks and public rights of way that meander through this diverse part of Suffolk. With ancient woodland, rolling farmland, rivers, meadows and attractive villages, this part of Suffolk will keep you very busy!
Another forgotten part of Suffolk, but a truly magical area that boasts various walks that originate from and return to Clare Castle Country Park.
Set in the heart of the Stour Valley, it is the smallest town in Suffolk but despite its size it is steeped in history and contains many beautiful period buildings. Similar to the better known Lavenham and Long Melford, but it has a wonderfully quaint feel to it and is full of character.
Hadleigh is a small market town with beautiful historic buildings and an array of local shops and businesses. Located in the heart of Suffolk, between Ipswich and Sudbury it is steeped in history with archelogical excavations have Stone Age artefacts and early Saxon burials.
At either end of the town a bridge crosses the River Brett and there are many footpaths which give access to good walking routes. One of which is a circular route through the town taking you past many of the historical buildings including the Guildhall Town Hall, Church and grade I listed Deanery Tower.
4. Dunwich Heath
For those that prefer peace and quiet with a stroll along the coast, Dunwich Heath is the place for you. Best enjoyed from July to September when it is alive with colour and wildlife! A coastal trail with mostly paths, some roots underfoot and hilly in places, making it ideal for families and those who are less stable on foot. Well behaved dogs are also welcome.
Dunwich heath is an important reserve and offers a true sense of being at one with nature. Thanks to years of dedicated habitat management, Stone Curlews (one of Britain’s endangered bird species) have successfully bred for the first time at the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath.
There are a number of stunning walks in and around Ickworth and the grounds of the National Trust property Ickworth House.
One of which is the Monument Walk which is a long circular walk heading towards the monument at the southern end of the park and passing many highlights on the way including Parson's pond, Albana Wood, walled garden, canal lake, family church and Fairy lake at Ickworth.
The evergreen gardens and parklands also provide an excellent walk for families, including well-behaved dogs on leads.
Of course, walking in Suffolk is good at any time of year and 2018 sees the return of the Suffolk Walking Festival from 12th May - 3rd June 2018. With lots of walks on offer you can explore the wonderful and diverse Suffolk countryside with themed walks and other activities including geocaching for children.
With so many wonderful places to visit in Suffolk you'll be pushed to see them all at once. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your surroundings and maybe plan a stop at one of the fantastic local pubs to re-fuel and refresh your body, ready for the next walk!