8 Suffolk walks with cosy pubs along the way

Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds (c) Jimmy - S, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds (c) Jimmy - S, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Blow away the cobwebs and walk off the weekend meal with a stroll around a pretty Suffolk village or a bracing walk along the coast. Here are 8 walks for you to choose from, with some cosy pubs and cafés to revive you along the way

Snape Maltings on the River Alde in Suffolk

1. Snape to Iken

For a short but challenging ramble, start at Snape Maltings and stroll along the side of the River Alde until you reach the thatched roof of beautiful St Boltoph church in Iken. Take your wellies - this path gets muddy in winter but the views are well worth getting dirty for.

Refuel: A pint at the cosy Plough and Sail pub. Dogs are welcome in the bar here. If you're planning on eating best call ahead and book.

Framlingham 002

2. Framlingham

Start at Elm's car park in Framlingham and follow the 'town trail' signs at your feet. Admire the historical buildings, pretty streets and natural beauty, including Framlingham Mere. At Framlingham Castle you can walk the ancient walls to marvel at magnificent views of the town and beyond.

Refuel: The Station Hotel is one of Framlingham's most popular pubs so nip into there to meet some friendly locals. Their menu has nothing too flashy and contains plenty of hearty dishes guaranteed to warm you up.

Flatford Mill

3. East Bergholt

Watch the 16th century bells being hand-swung at East Bergholt Church and marvel at the scenery that inspired John Constable's famous landscapes on this varied five-mile 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. With great views across the Dedham Vale, you can really feel the same creative stimulation as the great painter himself.

Refuel: Pop into the Red Lion pub. They do a cracking Sunday lunch.

Walberswick Nature Reserve, Westwood Marshes

4. Walberswick

For the perfect start to a weekend morning begin at Hoist Covert Car Park on Lodge Road where little footpaths lead along woodland and meadow margins by Hoist Covert, dropping down onto the boardwalks of Oldtown 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 from November to April so it's best to follow the footpath back down the Blyth in winter.

Refuel: The Anchor on the walk back for a quick pint with a great view. The pub offers a well kept selection of craft ales, including Adnams.

Last Light, Orford, Suffolk

5. Orford

Begin at Orford village car park 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.

Refuel: Wander into the village for coffee at Pump Street Bakery, or drop into The Jolly Sailor - not far from Orford Quayside - to enjoy a log fire, locally sourced menu and a selection of Adnams ales.

St Peter's Church from Gainsborough St, Sudbury, Suffolk

6. Sudbury Valley Trail

This three-mile stretch starting from Sudbury town centre is teeming with wildlife. There are ditches, pools, streams and water-meadows just waiting to be explored. Wander along the banks of the Stour and linger to admire the incredible brick bridges and wartime defences.

Refuel: On a cold winter day you can't beat curling up by the fire in the Black Boy and tucking into anything from the 'Winter Warmers' section of the menu - we reckon a Yorkshire Pudding wrap sounds incredible.

St Edmundbury Cathedral through the Abbey Ruins

7. Bury St Edmunds

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 tour.

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.

Refuel: You're spoiled for choice in Bury St Edmunds. The Beerhouse and The Old Cannon Brewery are great pubs serving traditional ales and heartwarming food. There are cafes throughout the town so plenty of places to drop in for comforting hot drinks.

The Stour at Clare, Suffolk

8. Clare Castle Country Park

Only a two-minute walk from the picturesque, historic town centre, Clare Castle Country Park is a beautiful and peaceful area perfect for a relaxing walk to get close to nature and learn about Clare's fascinating history. In short, this walk has it all: a charming town, a pretty park and even the ruins of an ancient castle - what more could you want?

Refuel: The Swan Inn will be just minutes away when you have finished your walk and a roaring log fire will be waiting for you on arrival.

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