Top 10 winter walks in Suffolk holiday cottages

Top 10 winter walks in Suffolk

Laura Kerslake 15 February 2023

Walk off those comfort-food calories and get closer to nature with an invigorating winter walk. Suffolk has a wealth of fantastic trails, including circular routes, hikes that end at a pub, and dog-friendly walks, sure to tempt even the most reluctant hiker out of hibernation!  

Flatford and Constable Country Trail  

An image of Flatford Mill, a house on the water. 

Follow in the footsteps of England’s foremost landscape artist John Constable, who captured on canvas many idyllic views of the countryside. The National Trust’s Flatford and Constable Country trail encourages visitors to explore the picturesque Stour Valley and Dedham Vale, where you’ll see Flatford Mill, Willy Lott's House (the site of The Hay Wain painting), and visit the village of Dedham, where Constable went to school.  

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Nearest parking: Manning Tree Station CO11 2HH

Access: Easy - some moderate slopes

Stay nearby:  

The Valley Trail  

A photograph of a field of Deptford Pink flowers with trees in the background.

A 3-mile walk following the disused railway line that once linked Sudbury to Cambridge, The Valley Trail runs through riverside meadows that are the oldest continuously grazed pastures in East Anglia. Wildlife watchers will love looking out for the badgers, warblers, and butterflies that are found here; the area is also home to the Deptford Pink, a nationally endangered plant that thrives in Suffolk’s grassland conditions.  

Length: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking: King Fisher Car Park CO10 2SU

Access: Easy - hard path and gates designed for wheelchairs

Stay nearby:  

Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail  

A photograph of the pine trees in Rendlesham Forest. In the middle is a grass path and ferns.

A dog- and family-friendly circular walk through Rendlesham Forest set in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty. The UFO trail takes you through forest, heathland and wetlands, and some of the areas connected to the purported UFO sighting in December 1980. Pick up a trail map from the Forest Centre and enjoy this 3-mile-long easy-graded walk through stunning scenery.  

Length: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking: Rendlesham Forest IP12 3NF

Access: Easy 

Stay nearby:  

Alton Water Walk  

An image of a resevoir, surrounded by grass, plants and trees.

For a waterside, dog-friendly Suffolk walk, you can't beat the Alton Water Circular Trail. An easy and mostly flat 8-mile route around the reservoir, it takes around three hours to complete on average and there's plenty of wildlife to see as you make your way around. There are lots of spots to stop, so pack a picnic for lunch by the water. 

Length: 8 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking: Alton Water IP9 2RY

Access: Easy

Stay nearby:  

Inn to Inn Trail 

A photograph of Dunwich beach. There's a blue sky with some clouds. The beach is a pebble beach and there's a red boat on the beach.

Is there any better way to warm up after a winter walk than to sit in front of a log fire in a cosy pub, with a pint and a plate of delicious food? The Inn to Inn Trail circular pub walk offers not one, but two opportunities to do so as the route goes from The Westleton Crown to The Ship at Dunwich.   

Length: 5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking: The Westleton Crown IP17 3AD and The Ship at Dunwich IP17 3DT

Access: Moderate - shingle beach and gates

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Clare Castle Country Park   

An image of a grassy mound. At the top of the mound there is some ruins.

Suffolk is home to many historic houses and ancient castles, perfect for enjoying a scenic stroll. One of our favourites, Clare Castle Country Park,is the setting for a series of six walks. Varying in distance from 2 to 7 miles, these provide the perfect prompt for a visit to Clare, Suffolk’s smallest town, which is steeped in history.  

Length: 2 to 7 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Nearest parking: Clare Castle Country Park CO10 8NW

Access: Designated access trail on site

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Lavenham to Long Melford Railway Walk  

An image of Melford Hall, which is a grand stately home. In the foreground there are manicured lawns and trees.

The Lavenham to Long Melford Railway Walk is a wonderful trail through woods and open fields and should take around two hours to complete. This self-guided 4.5-mile route largely follows the old GER Lavenham to Long Melford railway line. Perfect to shake the winter blues away, enjoy beautiful crisp scenery and keep an eye out for wildlife as you wander.  

Length: 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking: Prentice Street CO10 9RD

Access: Challenging

Stay nearby:  

Thornham Estate  

A photograph of a path going into a small stream and coming out the other side. On the sides of the path and stream there is grass and trees.

For slightly more manicured surroundings, plan a trip to the Thornham Estate. Thornham Walks is 12 miles of paths across landscaped parkland. The water meadows here spend part of the winter partially underwater, providing an ideal habitat for wintering wildfowl and waders.  

Length: Various

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking: Thornham Estate IP23 8HH

Access: Easy - all-access footpath available

Stay nearby:  

Southwold to Walberswick

An image of some marshland, with reeds and grass. In the distance some buildings can be seen. The sky is a very bright blue with no clouds. 

Coastal path walks are perfect for getting out and about in Suffolk during the winter. And for a moderately challenging walk try out the Southwold to Walberswick via marshes route. With lots to see along the way, from the harbour to the Walberswick Nature Reserve, the 6-mile walk will fly by. Even better the route finishes by the Lord Nelson pub which is the perfect spot for a warming meal afterwards.  

Length: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderately challenging

Nearest parking: Southwold Pier IP18 6BN

Access: Challenging

Stay nearby:

The Butt and Oyster Pin Mill Walk  

An image of the Orwell River. In the background you can see the bank of the other side of the river. In the middle are some boats floating on the water.

A short route at just 2 miles, but one that has it all – it's a dog-friendly, circular, pub walk! Perfect for a winter stroll with the four-legged family members you can end the Butt and Oyster Pin Mill Walk with a hearty meal at this dog-friendly pub!  

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nearest parking:  Pin Mill IP9 1JJ

Access: Easy 

Stay nearby:

Stay near a wonderful Suffolk winter walk

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Has this blog post got you feeling inspired? Browse our range of properties ideal for walkers by clicking here and book your next walking holiday in the Suffolk countryside.  

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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