7 of the best walks near Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 10:27 16 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:37 16 June 2020

The friary ruins Bury St Edmunds (c) George Redgrave, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The friary ruins Bury St Edmunds (c) George Redgrave, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


If you’re spending a day in and around beautiful Bury St Edmunds, one of these great walks will be the perfect way to take in much of the area’s natural and historical highlights

1) The rolling hills of Hawkedon, Denston and Stansfield

Wales End – now there’s a place you’d not expect to find in good old Suffolk. But follow the gentle landscape south from Bury towards Cavendish and the Stour, and all those verdant peaks and troughs around the River Glem do somehow make it feel at home.

Admittedly, at 128 metres above sea-level, Suffolk’s Snowdonia (aka Rede’s Great Wood Hill) is a slightly disappointing high point, but ask any resident in the central swathe between Lidgate and Hartest ‘Just how green is your valley?’ And the answer is sure to be a resounding ‘Very!’

Leaving Rede

2) Bury’s historical highlights

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the historical wonders of the town and appreciate its collection of unique features than a good long walk. The highlight of this walk is the Millennium Tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral soaring above the rooftops - if you have time you should head inside for a look around.

This comprehensive route also takes you through some of Bury’s backstreets and past well-known landmarks including the abbey gardens and ruins, the Theatre Royal, the Greene King brewery and St Mary’s Churchyard.

Bury St Edmunds Abbey - aerial

3) The Lark Valley Path

Covering 15 miles between Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds, this walk is certainly longer than most of the others on this list but it is by no means excessively demanding.

Along the way there are several points of interest that could provide a welcome distraction including the attractive Culford School, Lackford Lakes where you may spot a kingfisher, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Cavenham Heath National Nature Reserve.

Lark Valley Path


Some more great Suffolk walks:


4) Ickworth Park - Off the Beaten Track Walk

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Set in the glorious countryside around the Rotunda - the National Trust’s enormous Georgian palace - this walk deliberately avoids the usual tracks trodden by tourists.

Beginning at the Porter’s Lodge visitor centre, the route loops through Twist and Horsepool Wood while also providing greater opportunities to see some of the deer that roam the area. The 5-mile track appropriately ends at the Italianate gardens and Rotunda, the latter offering the ideal place for a post-stroll refreshment and bite to eat.

Ickworth Park (NT) 10-03-2012

5) Wonderful Woolpit

Enjoy classic rural Suffolk vistas as you embark on this walk through the countryside to the east of Bury St Edmunds. Over the 5.5-mile circular - starting and finishing in Woolpit - you’ll pass through Woolpit Heath, Clopton Green and Drinkstone.

Woolpit - whose name derives from the Old English for ‘pit for trapping wolves’ - is most famous as the location of the Green Children legend where two green-coloured children who couldn’t speak English allegedly arrived in the area from a subterranean world.

Suffolk, Woolpit

6) Bradfield Woods

Another fine example of Suffolk’s ancient woodland just south-east of Bury St Edmunds, this traditionally maintained woodland is an absolute delight whatever season you visit.

As winter coppicing begins, bright yellow oxlips will give way to several species of autumnal fungi including the red fly agaric and ink caps. Walks vary from one mile to 2.5 miles and during wet periods, wellies for you and towels for your mucky pooch will certainly be needed.

Bradfield Woods Suffolk

7) Cavenham Heath Nature Reserve

Three different trails allow you to explore this Site of Special Scientific Interest, each of which will give you a unique look at the diversity to be found around the 419-hectare reserve.

The wetland trail is just 1.3km long, the woodland trail is 2.3km long and has accessible paths appropriate for those in wheelchairs or pushchairs while the heathland trail is the longest at 3.8km, demonstrating the heath’s human and natural history along the way.

Cavenham Heath


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