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
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
Nearest parking: Manning Tree Station CO11 2HH
Access: Easy - some moderate slopes
The Valley Trail
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
Nearest parking: King Fisher Car Park CO10 2SU
Access: Easy - hard path and gates designed for wheelchairs
Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail
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
Nearest parking: Rendlesham Forest IP12 3NF
Alton Water Walk
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
Nearest parking: Alton Water IP9 2RY
Inn to Inn Trail
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
Nearest parking: The Westleton Crown IP17 3AD and The Ship at Dunwich IP17 3DT
Access: Moderate - shingle beach and gates
Clare Castle Country Park
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
Lavenham to Long Melford Railway Walk
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
Nearest parking: Prentice Street CO10 9RD
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.
Nearest parking: Thornham Estate IP23 8HH
Access: Easy - all-access footpath available
Southwold to Walberswick
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
The Butt and Oyster Pin Mill Walk
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
Nearest parking: Pin Mill IP9 1JJ
Stay near a wonderful Suffolk winter walk
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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.