A day out in Mid Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 13:07 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:07 10 February 2015
The heart of the county, mid-Suffolk is an area of rolling open countryside, punctuated by ancient market towns and picturesque villages - Stowmarket, Needham Market, Debenham, Elmswell, Bacton and Woolpit to name a few.
Mid Suffolk is an area well worth exploring on foot as there are some excellent walks.
The Mid Suffolk footpath runs for 20 miles from Stowmarket in the south to the village of Hoxne at its northern end. The route meanders through the gentle river valleys of the Gipping and Dove, along green lanes through farmland, and through attractive villages with local pubs, churches and other places of interest.
Thornham Walks at Thornham Magna (IP23 8HH) are 12 miles of waymarked footpaths within the Thornham Estate, winding through beautiful countryside, ancient parkland, woodland, farmland and water meadows.
They include a surfaced path suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, which leads to the Thornham Walled Garden. You can recharge at the Forge Café or The Old Coach House resturant. There are also picnic areas and a play area.
Helmingham Hall (IP14 6EF) is a wonderful place to while away an afternoon. The grade 1 listed gardens are open May 3- September 20, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, noon-5pm, as well as bank holiday Mondays. You can enjoy a delicious lunch or cream tea in The Coach House, and visit the gift shops, produce and plant stall. Helmingham hosts events throughout the spring and summer, including a vintage tea, the Suffolk Walking Festival, heritage plant fairs, Suffolk Dog Day and a festival of classic cars among them. For more information www.helmingham.com