Suffolk is a beautiful county with lots to see and do, and what better way to get a sense of the county than walking through the open countryside and our picturesque villages? The Financial Times, in the first of a series of monthly great British walks, chose Suffolk as their starting point – see The ‘Black Shuck’ route near Southwold by Tom Cox – The Black Shuck route, Southwold, so it must be worth a try!
An excellent source of information for walks in Suffolk can be found on John Harris’s website Walking in Suffolk where you can download free walks, guides & maps. This is a first class website providing up-to-date information and maps on walks in Suffolk so we thoroughly recommend that you check it out.
Many of the trails in Suffolk are easy walking, partly because Suffolk is infamously flat! So ramblers with disabilities can get about and enjoy our countryside reasonably easily. The best organisation to contact for information on accessible trails and group hikes are the Disabled Ramblers. Run by a group ” of like-minded disabled people who enjoy being in the countryside, and who get about using paths and trails of all kinds. We are truly ‘ramblers’, although very few of us can walk more than a few yards! Our membership consists mainly of mobility disabled people and we get about mainly through use of a wide variety of mobility aids, ranging from electrically powered pavement buggies, scooters, powerchairs and, in some cases, manually propelled wheelchairs. We organise rambles of varying difficulty from easy to challenging all over England and Wales, and, along with our volunteers, spouses and friends, each event provides recreation and challenge to suit every taste”. Click on the link above to access their website for more details.
Walking in Suffolk is about changing landscapes and fascinating wide, wide skies. Walk over farmland, disused railway tracks, woodlands, nature reserves, meadows, heather on Dunwich Heath, RSPB Reserves and more! Pack a picnic and stop off at one of the many Suffolk picnic sites for lunch. Or you can take a coastal tour, taking in beaches and harbours, perhaps around Southwold? Family walking in Suffolk can start from the picnic sites of Gripping Valley, or pick up lovely trails around villages such as Lavenham.
The Brecks in the North West area of Suffolk are one of the great natural areas of Britain, spanning 370 sq. miles/940 sq. kilometres across Norfolk and Suffolk – one of the driest parts of Britain and an area steeped in human history stretching back to the Stone Age. A Neolithic Flint mine (The Brecks is the flint capital of the UK), Medieval rabbit farming and 19th Century landed Estates are amongst the many clues to human settlement to be found in The Brecks. The landscape is part tranquil forest, open heathland and agricultural land, and is home to many unique and distinctive birds, plants and animals. Catch a glimpse of the Stone Curlew at Weeting Heath or spot roaming deer in the Forest – but there is much more. 6 new Heathlands have recently been recreated and restored. There’s plenty of accommodation nearby and you’ll also find Go Ape in Thetford Forest too.
Walking in Suffolk with others can be a treat too as they can guide you. In Suffolk there are a range of Walking Groups, the best known of course being the Ramblers Association. Depending on where you’ll be staying below is a list of contacts for local Ramblers
For Lavenham area – contact Lavenham Rambling Club on 01787 248128
For Bury St Edmunds – Bury St Edmunds Ramblers
For Clare – contact The Footpath Strollers on 01787 277464. They meet once a fortnight on alternate Mondays at 10.30am. For gentle walks in and around Clare.
For Stowmarket – Stowmarket Ramblers
For Ipswich – Ipswich and District Ramblers
For the Suffolk Coast – Suffolk Coast and Heath
Dogs are allowed on some of the Rambles too, providing they are kept on a lead and walk at the back of the group. So bring mutley!
For a gentler pace and a shorter trail with a Farm cafe at the end of it, see our article on Farm Shops and Farmers Markets as many of the Farm Shops have free farm trails that take you through the fields and livestock sheds. Suitable for all ages and lots of fun!
For great walks with children please see Kiddiwalks in Suffolk.
To find a welcoming pub for some light refreshment after your walk around Suffolk please see our full list of Pubs in Suffolk. We also have a list of dog friendly Suffolk pubs, perfect for finding somewhere nice to stop for lunch when you’re out walking with the dog.
If the weather takes a turn for the worst and you need to change your plans, you can refer to our guide to rainy day things to do in Suffolk.
Live Well Suffolk is a local NHS campaign to encourage people to take more exercise, so they run ‘Stepping out in Suffolk’, a programme of Health Walks offered across the County. Improve your health by joining them on one of their walks! You can find details of walks near you here – Stepping Out in Suffolk.
Before you head off take a look at iFootpath a website and App to encourage people to get out and enjoy beautiful walks across the UK. Here you’ll find a library of walking guides, footpaths, iPhonetown trails to riverside strolls and countryside rambles so check it out – http://www.ifootpath.com/