Lace up your boots, feel the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot and experience the dramatic colour-infused landscapes of Suffolk. With over 3,500 miles of footpaths, which have been tried and tested, there are plenty of choices for your autumn walk but you could also mix it up a bit and try some of our suggestions below…
What about a walk? In rural Suffolk, there are plenty of self-catering holiday cottages nestled into the countryside where you can take a walk straight from the front door onto the footpaths and into the countryside. Suffolk is a perfect base for cycling and walking holidays and soak up the changing colours of autumn. Within easy reach are some of Suffolk’s great visitor attractions too, RSPB Minsmere; Snape Maltings; Aldeburgh; Framlingham Castle; Orford and Sutton Hoo to name just a few.
Explore the many waymarked walks through the heathland at Dunwich
THE MAGIC OF MINSMERE
Birdwatching can be very rewarding during the autumn and winter and a walk around the reserve at Minsmere on the Suffolk Coast can be exhilarating at this time of year. Ian Barthorpe, the Marketing and Publicity Officer at Minsmere, and keen birdwatcher himself, told us what visitors can expect to see at this time of year. “The main highlights 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, and if you head out to the reedbed hides you may get to see some of these shyer 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 definitely 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.”
If you would like to learn more about the wildlife and habitats on the reserve, you can join guided walks and events, which take place at Minsmere throughout the year.
Late afternoon at the Scrape at Minsmere (c) Ian Barthorpe
STEP BACK IN TIME AND EXPLORE LAVENHAM
If you want to indulge in some time travel, and fancy a stroll around one of England’s finest medieval villages, then consider joining a guided walking tour in Lavenham. Lavenham was the centre of the wool trade and on a walk, you will learn about the medieval cloth trade, see the former cloth Merchants’ houses and hear how the village survived almost 200 years of neglect and poverty. The Lavenham Tour Guides can show you where Jane and Ann Taylor lived, the authors of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, where John Constable went to school, and the building used for ‘Godric’s Hollow’ in ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows’ (Part 2).
Lavenham is one of England’s finest medieval villages
Ghost Walks take place in the elegant market town of Bury St Edmunds, from Halloween until the end of March. Stories of murder, executions, plague, witchcraft, and sightings of ghostly figures will be told by the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides as they take you on a spooky tour around this haunted town. 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.
Be prepared to be spooked on a Ghostly Walk in Bury St Edmunds
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 about Brandon Country Park by exploring The Brecks.
Breathe in the fresh air of the forest at Brandon Country Park
Wherever you are in Suffolk, you’ll find a walk nearby, whether you are near the coast, in the countryside or in a town a village.