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Suffolk

Hiking in Suffolk

Hiking

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Photo: paularps (CC BY 2.0)

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Walks in Suffolk are the perfect escape to gentle landscapes, wonderful scenery and vibrant wildlife. Whether you bring the binoculars for a spot of birding along its estuaries and coastal wetlands, or amble through the exquisite valley that inspired one of Britain’s greatest landscape artists, it’s a county that simply oozes scenic charm.


Suffolk’s trails are perfect for the entire family. The county is mostly low-lying with only a smattering of modest hills in the west, so the going is easy. It’s also a delightfully rural land, where the purple heathland of the coast gives way to patchwork pastures, dotted with pretty villages and the occasional market town. There’s always somewhere to relax and put the feet up after a day on the trails.


There’s a wealth of excellent walking country, with two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to explore during your hikes in Suffolk. Dedham Vale AONB straddles the border with Essex, following the gorgeous River Stour, while the Stour and Orwell Estuaries and the North Sea Coast are encapsulated in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.


Top 20 best walks and hikes in Suffolk

    1
    Intermediate
    02:27
    5.88 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Intermediate
    03:30
    8.52 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    02:37
    6.38 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    02:22
    5.80 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    02:35
    6.34 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    03:01
    7.21 mi
    2.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    03:21
    8.07 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Easy
    01:59
    4.80 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    02:36
    6.28 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    02:25
    5.86 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Easy
    01:34
    3.82 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    02:33
    6.21 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Difficult
    05:37
    13.4 mi
    2.4 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    02:09
    5.13 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    02:09
    5.13 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Easy
    01:56
    4.71 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    01:13
    2.97 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    18
    Intermediate
    03:05
    7.44 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Intermediate
    02:42
    6.36 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    20
    Easy
    00:57
    2.28 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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Constable country


Some of the best hiking routes in Suffolk explore the lovely Dedham Vale and Stour Valley regions. The scenery is so delightful, you may feel as though you are walking through a work of art. In fact, the area was famously the home and muse of John Constable, who revolutionised landscape painting in the early 1800s with works such as Wivenhoe Park and Dedham Vale. Perhaps you too will be inspired, as you wander the peaceful riverside trails and drink in the idyllic views.


Exploring Suffolk’s Coast and Estuaries


To the east of Dedham Vale, the Stour widens into an estuary, a superb place to watch wildfowl and waders as the tides ebb in winter. This also marks the beginning of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, which encompasses both the Stour and Orwell estuaries and 60 miles (97 km) of beautiful North Sea coastline. It’s a bird watching paradise, while its low-lying heathland turns a gorgeous deep purple in late summer. There are countless places to enjoy a dawn stroll and catch a dramatic sunrise reflected in the sea.


The low-lying nature of the coast and its Pleistocene sand and clay constitution means that it is a dynamic and potentially dangerous environment. The direction and speed of the tide can change very quickly, cliff erosion is common while soft mud and sand represent a considerable hazard. Take great care when exploring the coast and make yourself aware of tide times before setting out.


Pub walks and forest rambles


Away from the coast, there’s yet more to discover during your hikes in Suffolk. In the northwest of the county is Breckland, where you find yet more invigorating heathland and the Scots pines of Thetford Forest. There’s a staggering 46,282 acres (18,730 ha) to explore in this, Britain’s largest man-made lowland forest.


With so many options when it comes to walks in Suffolk, it’s no wonder the county hosts its own annual walking festival in the summer. There are plenty of beloved pub walks to seek out from its historic half-timbered villages, while many tackle one of Suffolk’s many long-distance footpaths, such as the 60-mile (97 km) Suffolk Coast Path.


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