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Dunwich heath (c) Malcolm Farrow

Autumn Ambles in Suffolk

A crisp autumn day is an invitation to explore dramatic, colour-infused landscapes and experience the satisfying crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. The rosy cheeks and warm glow that follow an invigorating walk are a bonus and our reward for lacing up our walking boots to venture into the great outdoors.
 

 For the everyday walk, by all means stride out on a tried and tested route along some of the 3,500 miles of footpaths in Suffolk, but you could also mix it up a bit and try some of our suggestions below...

Thetford forest Suffolk (c) euphroThetford forest Suffolk (c) euphro

Outdoor adventure

What about a walk by the light of the moon? In rural Suffolk, in the village of Wissett, north of Halesworth is Wissett Farm Holidays. Perfect for cycling and walking holidays, visit the farm animals, sit in the arboretum and soak up the changing colours of autumn.
 
And it's within easy reach of some of Suffolk's great visitor attractions: RSPB Minsmere, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, Framlingham Castle, Orford and Sutton Hoo.
Aldeburgh Music and Snape MaltingsSnape Maltings on the River Alde

The Magic of Minsmere

Birdwatching can be very rewarding during the autumn and winter and a series of walks is scheduled at the RSPB Minsmere nature reserve on the Suffolk's coast. What can visitors expect to see at this time of year? Ian Barthorpe, Marketing and Publicity Officer at Minsmere and a keen birdwatcher himself, explains:

 “The main highlights of our Magic of Minsmere walks are huge flocks of colourful ducks on the Scrape; tits, finches and thrushes in the woods/scrub; bearded tits and marsh harriers in the reedbed, and superb coastal and wetland scenery. Winter is also a great time to see otters and bitterns. Our guided walks don’t usually visit the reedbed hides, but it’s worth heading out to these hides after your walk in search of these usually shy creatures. If you stay till dusk you may see marsh harriers, Bewick’s swans or up to 50,000 starlings coming in to roost.”

A murmuration of starlings is a wonderful thing to behold and worth staying on for. Warm up in between stints of birdwatching with a tasty choice of cakes, snacks and soups in the on-site cafe.

There are two Magic of Minsmere walks. The mid-week walks start at 9.30am and take place on Tuesdays (9 and 16 Oct) and last for three hours. The weekend walks start at 9.15 am (7, 13, 21 & 27 Oct) and last for a few hours. Walks cost £11.25 or £9 for RSPB members, plus normal entry fees. Children are £5.60 or £4.50 for members.

Explore more of the Suffolk Coast this autumn.

Starling murmuration at RSPB Minsmere (c) AirwolfhoundStarling murmuration at RSPB Minsmere (c) Airwolfhound

Step Back in Time and Explore Lavenham

 If you want to indulge in some time travel, and fancy an evening stroll around one of England's finest medieval villages, then consider joining the Lavenham by Lantern Light walk on Saturday, 3rd Nov and 7 other dates that month.

Costumed guides will lead the way, lanterns lit, and regale visitors with stories of Christmases past. The walk ends with hot drinks and home-made cakes in the Lavenham Guildhall.

Discover some of the prettiest medieval villages in the whole of the UK.

The Crooked House in Lavenham, Suffolk ©ShowCaptureLavenham by night. Spy timber-framed houses - everywhere!

Saunter Around Sudbury

On the 6th November, join a Photo Walk at Gainsborough's House around this pleasant market town and birthplace of artist Thomas Gainsborough. The day is spent with a group of up to ten photographers in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Spend the morning exploring the venue with professional photographer, Lucy Kayne, as your guide. In the afternoon, participants spend some time reviewing their work, before picking their favourites and sharing them with the rest of the group. It's amazing how one subject can look so different through ten different pairs of eyes!

Whilst in town, explore Gainsborough’s House, birthplace and resident for part of his live, now a lovely museum with a large and important collection of his work.

Gainsboroughs House in Sudbury SuffolkGet inspired by the great master himself at Gainsborough's House in Sudbury

Ghostly Walks

Ghost Walks take place in the elegant market town of Bury St Edmunds, from Halloween until the end of March. Murder, executions, plague, witchcraft and sightings of ghostly figures, the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides take you on a spooky tour around this haunted town.

Starting at Moyse’s Hall, learn of the story of the Red Barn Murderer – William Corder, who trial, conviction and execution brought thousands to the town, followed by spectral goings on at the Market Cross and then to the Nutshell pub to hear the stories of witches, mummified cats and local folklore.

Wind your way around the darkened streets hearing stories of screaming skulls, mysterious ‘monk’ like figures, burnings and hangings, and more, finishing up in the dark and deserted Great Churchyard, where the guides recall the stories from the Abbey and the famous Grey Lady.

The Bury St Edmunds Ghostly and Macabre Tour starts on Halloween (Wednesday Oct 31) and then every Friday evening from 2 November to 29 Mar 2019, excluding 23 Nov. The 90-minute tour costs £6 per person and starts from outside Marks and Spencer on Cornhill at 6.30pm. The only caveat - you have to be 14 years or over to attend this spooky spooktacular!

Find out more by contacting the Tourist Information Centre on 01284 764667 and don't forget to read our article on ten things we love about Bury St Edmunds.

Bury St Edmunds Abbey (c) Dave CatchpoleWhat better way to explore historic Bury St Edmunds than by joining a ghost tour!

Forest Walks

Brandon Country Park in Thetford Forest in the west of the county, has many options for a hike through the wilderness. The park has a red (1.5 miles), purple (3.5 miles) and orange (6 miles) trail, as well as a short tree trail, which shows off the False Acacia, Monkey Puzzle and Giant Redwoods which are dotted throughout the 30 acre site.
 
Walks are self-guided and leaflets are available at the park's visitor centre and cafe. Find out more on the Brandon Country Park by exploring The Brecks.
Brandon Country Park (c) Nick FordBrandon Country Park (c) Nick Ford

Birds by Barge

Through November to January take the opportunity to experience one of East Anglia's finest wildlife spectacles on board Sailing Barge Victor, where you can see thousands of birds on the magnificent Stour Estuary. The half day excursion includes not only the best bird experts, but all the refreshments needed to keep you fully alert on your bird-watching experience. 
 
Join the crew between 18 Nov and 13 Jan between 10.30 and 2.30. Tickets can be booked via the tourist information centre 01473 258070.

Read our top tips for other things to do in Ipswich.
Ipswich waterfront, SuffolkAmble along Ipswich waterfront before boarding The Victor

KNOW SOMETHING WE DON'T?

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