Head to the Suffolk coast for dramatic grey skies and thundering waves, blow away the cobwebs with invigorating countryside walks or follow inviting paths through frost-sprinkled parkland and historic gardens. Immerse yourself in striking winter scenery; the stark beauty of frost-gilded trees, new vistas of wide landscapes, and dramatic winter sunsets.
Winter is a great time to go outdoors and see wildlife. Birds arrive for the winter months and woodland residents can be seen more easily in the bare trees, so why not combine your winter walk with some great nature-spotting opportunities?
The National Trust tea rooms and cafes make the perfect pit-stop after your winter ramble to warm up and refuel with a hot drink, comforting warm lunch, or a well-earned sweet treat.
Here are some of the best trails in Suffolk to enjoy during the cold winter months:
Flatford lies in the heart of the beautiful Dedham Vale along the Suffolk-Essex border. This charming hamlet was the inspiration for some of John Constable’s most famous pictures, for example, the Hay Wain or Boatbuilding near Flatford Mill among many others. Follow in Constable’s footsteps visiting Flatford, East Bergholt, and Dedham. Wandering beside the River Stour or looking at Flatford Mill and Willy Lott’s House you can feel as if you are walking through one of his paintings. It’s even more magical if you’re visiting on a crisp and frosty morning.
Dogs are welcome, but they must be kept on a short lead at all times as there is livestock grazing. If you ever feel threatened in a situation with your dog with livestock close by, it is advised to release the lead and reach safety separately.
Willy Lotts House at Flatford (c) John Millar
Ickworth Estate, nr Bury St Edmunds
An Italianate Palace in the heart of Suffolk with over 1800 acres of beautiful parkland, woodland, Italianate Gardens , and an all-weather trail to enjoy. The Ickworth Estate is the perfect place to get back to nature. The Monument Walk makes a great winter walk. The circular route weaves through the historic estate and offers breathtaking views across the landscape. Explore a mixture of open parkland and woodland glades, and take in the church and obelisk monument. While the river walk has firm footing and is suitable for those using wheelchairs and mobility aids, as well as for buggies and young children. Dogs are welcome on short leads, except for Italianate Garden, and mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available for loan.
Ickworth is even more magical in the snow (c) Tom Soper
Sutton Hoo is the perfect spot for a scenic winter stroll in the picturesque Suffolk countryside with the atmospheric Royal Burial Ground at its heart. There are miles of walking trails to discover the more expansive estate. The Ferry Cliff walk explores woodlands, fields and river on a 3-mile trail route, and you’ll be rewarded with far-reaching views over the River Deben. Take a moment to rest and enjoy the stunning views from the 17m viewing tower across the burial ground. Dogs are welcome on short leads and mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available for loan.
Sutton Hoo in winter (c) Robin Pattinson
Dunwich Heath and Beach
Enjoy a bracing winter walk along Dunwich Beach, surrounded by the dramatic scenery of the crashing waves and imposing clifftop. Explore the heath on a cool, crisp day and spot winter migrating birds such as hen harriers, merlins, bramblings, redwings, and fieldfares. The site’s waymarked pink and orange routes take in steady 2 and 3-mile routes that traverse heathland and clifftop paths, taking in plenty of coastal views and nature spotting opportunities.
Dogs are welcome off lead under close control across the site during winter, and on a short lead in the tearoom, mobility scooters are available for loan.
Enjoy a bracing walk along Dunwich beach (c) Melissa Philips