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Couple walking in Abbey Gardens

Enjoy the great outdoors in Unexplored Suffolk This Autumn

Great for Outdoor Activities

With two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), 50 miles of sublime heritage coastline and the largest low-lying pine forest in Britain, the county of Suffolk is a great place to explore and enjoy outdoor activities. Walking, cycling, sailing, golfing – the list of things to do is long and varied. Below are a few suggestions for ways to enjoy the great outdoors this autumn in Suffolk...

Explore the countryside

Suffolk's gentle landscapes make walking and cycling accessible for people of all ages and abilities. The countryside is beautiful and with over 3,500 miles of public rights of way, it's easy to get around. There are many long-distance paths including the 77 mile Angles Way from the Suffolk Broads to The Brecks, or the 13 mile Gainsborough Trail around the water meadows near the artist Thomas Gainsborough's home town of Sudbury.

For off-road cycling head to Alton Water on the Shotley Peninsula and make your way around the reservoir on the 8 miles cycle/footpath. It's a picturesque, shady route, with plenty of picnic stops along the way. There's also a good choice of off-road cycling options in Thetford Forest with family-friendly forest trails and more challenging mountain biking routes, complete with crests, dips and 'bomb holes'.

Walking in Suffolk

Coastal walks with your dog

Take a stroll with your pet pooch along one of Suffolk's beaches on a crisp autumn day. Dogs are welcome on most beaches after the 1st of October and there are plenty of nearby dog-friendly cafes to warm up in afterwards.

For something a little more challenging, take to the 50 mile Suffolk Coast path or the more gentle, six mile Sailor's Path that meanders through part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Aldeburgh coastline (c) Visit England / Diana Jarvis
Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast ©Diana Jarvis (Visit England)

Take a walk in the park

There are many parks and gardens throughout the county, often with a cafe on-site. Brandon Country Park in Thetford Forest has walking trails, a cycling route called The Poacher's Trail as well as a walled garden and aboretum.  The RSPB have a lovely wildlife garden in Flatford in the heart of Constable Country which is open until the 3rd of November. It offers inspiration to visitors wanting to attract wildlife into their own gardens.

Combine a visit here with a walk through the surrounding countryside which inspired some of John Constable's finest works of art.

The manicured Abbey Gardens in the centre of Bury St Edmunds are a delight at any time of year and nearby Nowton Park has 170 acres of woodland and pasture to explore. A few miles outside of Bury St Edmunds is the National Trust owned Ickworth House with its beautiful parkland and gardens. Look out for special events this autumn, including guided walks around the estate.

Browse our list of Suffolk parks and gardens for other options around the county.

Willy Lott's House in Constable Country, Suffolk ©ShowCapture
Willy Lott's House in Constable Country, Suffolk ©ShowCapture

Take to the Water

A river cruise is a wonderful way to explore the county from a completely different angle. Hire a day boat and sail yourself  down the River Waveney 

Get a good look at some of the largest container ships in the world, by taking a trip on the Harwich Harbour Foot and Bicycle Ferry. The ferry runs daily until end of October.

If you want to admire boats of all different shapes and sizes from the dry land, head to Ipswich Waterfront. The marina is chock full of yachts, vintage sailing barges and river cruisers and it's great fun to watch the comings and goings of boats from one of the warm and cosy waterside cafes.

Sailing barge Victor on the River Orwell
Sailing Barge Victor on the River Orwell, nr Ipswich

Take a tour in Newmarket

Guided walks and tours are always a great way to gain in-depth knowledge of an area, especially so for Newmarket, the home of British horse racing. Join an early morning tour of the Newmarket Gallops, a trainer's yard and the National Stud to learn about this fascinating industry. The tour includes a warming, full English breakfast. Other tours with Discover Newmarket are available throughout the year, including tours with afternoon tea and champagne. Newmarket gallops (c) Visit England
Newmarket gallops ©Visit England

Bring your binoculars for birdwatching

RSPB Minsmere on the Suffolk coast is a wonderful place to spend the day. The reserve goes right up to the beach and each season brings new things to see. In the autumn, migration is underway and you can watch flocks of birds passing through the reserve. Look out for ducks, swans, sandpipers and kingfishers and you may even glimpse a rutting red deer.
Red stag at RSPB Minsmere (c) Paul Sawer
Red stag at RSPB Minsmere ©Paul Sawer

Pack the clubs for a round (or two) of golf

There are many golf courses across Suffolk, some of which also have a hotel with a spa and swimming pool for those wanting to combine their golfing with a relaxing overnight stay. Have a read of our article: The 8 Best Golf Courses in Suffolk
to decide which one suits you best.

What outdoor adventures will you have this autumn?

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