If you’re looking to stay active and find fun ways to explore your local area this Summer, get your walking shoes on and start exploring with Suffolk Steps.
Suffolk Steps is a collection of local historic walks and trails developed by museums and partners throughout Suffolk. The free walks are designed to help all ages stay active and uncover Suffolk’s hidden history from the lost city of Dunwich, to the largest Millennium Green in England. You can explore Suffolk Steps by viewing the trails on your phone, or printing the guides below if you have access to a printer. Share your walk pictures and stories using the hashtag #SuffolkSteps
Suffolk Steps is proud partner of Keep Moving Suffolk, a local campaign aimed at helping people stay active during the Covid-19 pandemic. Keep Moving Suffolk aims to inspire and encourage people to stay active, move or move more, by sharing ideas, tips, useful links and positive stories during these unprecedented times, using the hashtag #KeepMovingSuffolk
The Association for Suffolk Museums is also a regular contributor to Families Suffolk Magazine, which is packed full of useful parenting articles and up to date information for families living in, or visiting Suffolk. You can view a free pull out map of Suffolk Step locations in the latest edition of Families Suffolk Magazine.
Why go walking?
Walking is a simple, free way of exercising and is one of the easiest ways to stay active and become healthier. A brisk 10-minute walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Whatever your age, increased physical activity is linked to helping people lead a healthier and happier life with lower incidences of chronic illness.
How do I know if I’m walking fast enough?
A brisk walk is about 3 miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll. You can tell you’re walking briskly if you can still talk but cannot sing the words to a song. If you’re not very active but are able to walk, increase your walking distance gradually. If you’re worried about the effect being active may have on your health, talk to your doctor to find out if it’s safe. It almost certainly will be, but they may need to give you some exercises to build up your strength gradually.
Staying safe outdoors and walking responsibly
As with any form of outdoor exercise, please follow the current Government guidelines on staying safe outside your home. Please view the current Government guidance
When enjoying the outdoors, follow the Countryside Code: respect other people and protect the natural environment by leaving no trace of your visit.
Check back regularly, as more walks will be added throughout the Summer.
Heritage, Heath and Hedgerow
Aldeburgh. Easy/Moderate. Allow 1-2 hours. Parking and refreshments available in Aldeburgh (though the start of the walk is a mile or so out of town, in the Suffolk Wildlife Trust car park).
Explore the famous Sailor’s Path route from Aldeburgh to Snape for a fascinating view of the River Alde.
Historic Clare Town Trail
Clare. Easy. Allow 1 hour. Dog Friendly. Parking and refreshments available in Clare.
Follow the map to understand the architecture and heritage of this historic market town, with its ruins of a Norman Castle, an Austin Friars’ Priory, its Gothic Wool Church, and its beautiful Country Park
A city lost to the sea…
Dunwich. Easy. Allow 1 hour. Dog Friendly. Parking available in Dunwich.
Discover the ruins of ancient Dunwich, once the capital of the Kingdom of the Eastern Angles and a great medieval port, now lost to the sea. Use the map to find the information boards around the village.
Sudbury. Easy. Allow 30-60 minutes. Self-led walk. Parking and refreshments available in Sudbury.
Home to the renowned Suffolk artist, Thomas Gainsborough, Sudbury is full of hidden History. Walk along Friars Street, an ancient thoroughfare dating to the 1300s; view the timber framed Salter’s Hall and relax by the beautiful Water Meadows along the River Stour.
The Malt Heritage Trail
Halesworth. Easy. Allow 30-60 Minutes. Dog friendly. Parking and refreshments available in Halesworth.
Take a walk through a forgotten townscape by exploring the Historic Malt Trail around Halesworth. Use the trail guide to find the nine distinctive Malt Trail panels and learn more about the town’s history as a centre for the malting trade.
Haverhill Local History Group Audio Trail
Haverhill. Easy. Allow 1.5 hours. Parking and refreshments available in Haverhill.
Download the Echos Interactive GPS Ap to any Smartphone and take an audio tour of Haverhill. Login using the following details:
East Coast Maritime Heritage
Shotley. Various walks and lengths. Dog friendly. Parking available in Shotley Gate.
Discover the fascinating naval history of the East Suffolk Coast and Shotley, including HMS Ganges, Shotley Church, and the Submariners Memorial. Part of the Harwich Haven: Surrender and Sanctuary Project.
Blue Plaque Trail
Mildenhall. Easy. Allow 30 minutes. Dog friendly. Parking and refreshments available in Mildenhall
Discover the history of Mildenhall, a small market town in West Suffolk. The name of the town was first recorded in 1050AD as Mildenhale, and there’s been a weekly market here since the 15th century.
Pirate Treasure Hunt
Bury St Edmunds. Easy. Allow 30-60 minutes. Family activities. Parking and refreshments available in Bury St Edmund’s.
Pirates have fled up the River Lark and hidden treasure in the town of Bury St Edmunds. The hunt for gold is on! Staring at Moyse’s Hall Museum, can you follow the clues around the town to find the treasure?
Off the Beaten Track
Orford: Easy. Allow 60 minutes. Dog friendly. Parking and refreshments available in Orford.
You can see history with every step in the picturesque village of Orford. In amongst the more prominent landmarks, including the 12th century Orford Castle, are may lesser known parts of the town’s history. This walk uses a map of Orford made by John Norden in 1601.
A heritage market town trail
Saxmundham. Easy. Allow 30 minutes. Dog friendly. Parking and refreshments available in Saxmundham.
Saxmundham is an historic market town set in the valley of the river Fromus. The town is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Sasmunde(s)ham and there’s been a weekly market here since 1272.
Discover the Suffolk Regiment
Bury St Edmunds. Easy. Allow 1-2 hours. Parking and refreshments available in Bury St Edmunds.
The Suffolk Regiment was formed in 1685 when the Duke of
Norfolk raised a regiment for James II to meet the threat of
the Monmouth Rebellion. Find out more about this fascinating infantry regiment in Bury St Edmunds,
Aldeburgh. Easy/Moderate. Allow 30 minutes to a few hours if walking to Snape Maltings. Dog friendly. Parking and refreshments available in Aldeburgh.
Explore the legacy of renowned composer, Benjamin Britten, and his professional and personal partner, the singer Peter Pears, in the places where they lived and worked.
A lark in the park…
West Stow County Park. Various walk lengths and abilities. Dog friendly. Parking and refreshments available at West Stow County Park.
Discover 125 acres of unspoilt countryside, with heathland and woodland walks, a sculpture trail, adventure playground and reconstructed Anglo-Saxon village. You can find a Site of Special Scientific Interest, early 19th Century Pine Belts, and the picturesque River Lark.