Seasonal Suffolk strolls: 5 awesome winter walks
PUBLISHED: 15:53 15 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:02 15 December 2015
Feeling full after a festive feast? We pick 5 countryside walks perfect for walking off the Christmas dinner to the sound of local church bells - plus some of the best cosy pubs to visit along the way
Leave the turkey and tinsel behind for a family outing this winter with a gentle stroll around a pretty Suffolk village or a more bracing coastal walk to blow away the cobwebs. Luckily there are a great number of well signposted walks and walking maps available for keen ramblers and dog walkers, but if you still can’t decide where to go for a walk, here are five of our favourites, plus the all important country pubs and cosy cafés to check into on the way.
1. Snape to Iken
For a short but rewarding ramble, start at Snape Maltings and stroll along the side of the River Alde until you discover the thatched roof of the beautiful St Boltoph church in Iken. Don a pair of wellies as this path is muddy in the winter, but worth it for the views.
Don’t miss: Grab a pint at the cosy Plough and Sail pub – dogs are welcome in the bar here. If you’re planning on eating, it is worth calling ahead to book.
Start at Elm’s car park in Framlingham town and follow the ‘town trail’ signs at your feet. Take in the historical buildings, pretty streets and natural beauty – including Framlingham Mere. Be sure to check out Framlingham Castle where you can walk the ancient walls to see magnificent views of the town and beyond.
Don’t miss: Warm up with a coffee at Paddy and Scott’s on Wells Close Square – the Earl-Soham-based coffee aficionados have been roasting beans since 2007 and currently have three café’s in Suffolk, plus more further afield.
3. East Bergholt
Roll up and watch the 16th century bells being hand-swung with festive fervour at East Bergholt Church and marvel at scenery that inspired John Constable’s famous landscapes on this varied five mile rural walk. The circular route starts at the Red Lion and bends around Fishpond Wood and over Fen Bridge to Flatford before heading back towards the start via Clapper Farm – where you can expect to find great views across Dedham Vale.
Don’t miss: Pop into the Red Lion pub before you head home – we’ve heard they do a cracking Sunday lunch.
Walks are great appetisers and Walberswick tempts with the ultimate BLT combo (Boardwalk – Lanes – Tales of the Riverbank). Start at Hoist Covert Car Park, Lodge Road where little footpaths lead along woodland and meadow margins by Hoist Covert, dropping down onto the boardwalks of Old Town Marshes and Dunwich River. A choice of tracks trail off more or less into ‘town’ and the historic lanes around mighty St Andrew’s church. After a cut across the Common, there’s the old railway line which carves its way across Robinson’s Marshes to Bailey Bridge and the Blyth. The rowing boat ferry is closed November-April so it’s best to follow the footpath back down the Blythe in winter.
Don’t miss: Head to The Anchor on the walk back for a quick pint with a great view - the pub offers a well kept selection of Adnams draught ales and a selection of craft ales perfect for thirsty real ale fans.
Start at the Orford village carpark for this rewarding 5.5 mile circular pub walk. The route takes in the tranquil quayside towards Chantry Point and wanders along the river wall before turning back inland towards Orford Castle – built in the 12th century by Henry II, the well-preserved keep provides excellent views of the village and coastline.
Don’t miss: Wander into the village and grab a coffee at Pump Street Bakery - a great place to snuggle up round the communal table for a hot drink. Or if you’re after a traditional pub, then The Jolly Sailor, not far from Orford Quayside, boasts a log fire, locally sourced menu and a selection of Adnams ales.
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