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Summer Walks

Make the most of the sunny days and warm evenings and enjoy a summer walk in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond...

Summer can be the most beautiful time to explore the wonderful rolling countryside which Suffolk boasts. Flowers, trees and the rural landscape are often stunning with footpaths well established and trodden by high Summer so why not head out for a ramble on one of our Summer walk suggestions.

Avoid overheating and discomfort by dodging the hottest part of the day and take plenty of water or fluids. Choose a time that allows you to find a little shade – if you’re armed with a picnic, or have foraged some wild berries en route, you can take some refuge and stop to eat under a tall tree or high hedges.

Whether you are looking for the chance to steal away with a loved one, spend some time with the family (many of our footpaths are suitable for buggies and obviously dogs too) or just looking for the chance to get away from it all by yourself with nothing but a book and nature for company, Bury St Edmunds and some of its nearby villages have some of the best routes for walking.

Ickworth Walled Garden and Canal Walk, Bury St Edmunds

This is a circular walk just over a mile in length which will lead you to the Ickworth walled garden and canal lake.

Start off at the West Wing reception and head towards the garden entrance and five-bar gate. Then, follow the signs leading you to the church and on towards the canal lake. From there, take the track to your left which will lead you to the beautiful walled garden, Once finished, you can retrace your steps along the road.

Do check out the view from the far side of the canal lake which frames the seasonal meadow, church and the Rotunda in the distance – it’s considered the best view of Ickworth, You should catch sight of the resident herd of deers and if you’re fortunate, even a buzzard in flight!

The track is mostly surfaced and grass track in places which may offer hard terrain for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

For more information and the route go to:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/trails/ickworth-walled-garden-and-canal-walk

Clare Circular Walks

This is not one but a choice of 6 circular walks based in Clare - the smallest town in Suffolk! These walks range from 2 to 7 miles in distance, offering something to suit both beginners and veterans alike or somebody looking for a realistic challenge for their young children as well as the loved-up couple looking for a full day away from it all.

All the walks have stiles to climb so are not suited to people who have mobility issues but the park and the town have a number of flat paths which are more accessible.

Each walk provides a range of views of Clare, set in the heart of the Stour Valley, and the heritage and culture surrounding the town, including a number of magnificent listed buildings and beautiful countryside.

There are toilets at the (reasonably priced) car park as well as the café; Platform One which means you can “fuel up” for the journey or reward yourself afterwards.

Choose from the Clare Loop, Houghton Hall, Cavendish, Long Lane, Claret Hall or Chiton Street at http://clarecastlecountrypark.co.uk/circular-walks/

Nowton Country Park

This walk which takes in the beautiful and manicured 200 acres of Nowton Park is described by the Bury St Edmunds ramblers as a fun and exhilarating 4 miler and you can even join them walking the route if you’d like some company or to make sure you follow it correctly and don’t get lost! 

Start in the car park of Nowton Park and set off at a leisurely pace on the route which allows for a refreshment stop at the café and facilities in the park.

With so much to see in the park, from the unique arboretum – home to tress from around the world to the bird feeding area, the maze comprising over 2,5000 hornbeam trees and two ponds – both over an acre in size, you may find yourself wanting to take a detour or increase the route in order to take in all these draws. Why not – there are no rules! 

For the full route, visit http://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/group-finder/areas/suffolk/groups/bury-st-edmunds.aspx

The Lavenham Walk

Our next walk takes in the beautiful medieval town of Lavenham and links it with the Melford Hall Estate offering a supreme amount of wildlife to enjoy.

The Lavenham Walk follows a 1.5 mile section of the disused railway line that once allowed travellers access between Colchester and Bury St Edmunds and carried the materials that were used in the local coconut mat and horsehair industries.

Starting in the town near the old station, the walk will take you through meadows and paddocks into the pastoral landscape where you might find yourself sharing the track with cyclists and horseriders. Almost certainly you’ll also be accompanied any number of insects, mammals and birds – kestrels and whitethroats are common.

Once you pass through the arched bridge, a strong aroma of mint and ground ivy should be picked up. This particular area has become a haven to a wide range of wildlife including nearly 20 different species of butterfly, orchids, thistles and quaking grass. In Summer, glow-worms are an amazing sight here, you should catch the females emitting light to attract males during early evening and dusk.

For the full route, visit http://www.discoversuffolk.org.uk/assets/Walks/Up-to-6-miles/Lavenham-Walk.pdf

Melford Hall

A rather more stamina-requiring 6 mile route but along undulating and easy going dirt and grass paths encountering two stiles, two stately homes, typical Suffolk countryside views, crossing the A134 twice and offering plenty of opportunity to see beautiful red poppies during Summer.

Starting at Melford Hall, turn right and follow the pavement up the hill heading towards Kentwell Hall. From there, you can take the wide dirt track up the hill towards Kiln Farm. At the top of the farm track, head for a gao in the treeline and then continue down the hill, crossing over the stile and keeping Chad brook to your right, eventually crossing over a ford.

You will arrive at Cherry Lane Garden Centre on Long Melford High Street, here you turn left until you find yourself back at Melford Hall. Why not stop in the tea-room to reward your activity.

For the full route, visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/melford-hall/trails/melford-hall-escape-to-the-country-circular-walk

Bury St Edmunds Walking Tours

If you prefer a little entertainment and history provided with your walk, why not join one of the 90 minute walking tours which start in the centre of Bury St Edmunds taking in the Abbey Gate, Gardens and Ruins. Your Guide will enchant you with stories about the legend of St Edmund, the Magna Carta and its connections to the town, the favourite Bury St Edmunds haunt of Charles Dickens and many many more fascinating pieces of trivia connected to Bury St Edmunds over its 1,000 year history!

The tours run daily between 1st July and 30th September at 11.00am and 2.00pm (including Sunday and Bank Holidays) and can be booked on the day at the Tourist Information Point on Angel Hill (next to St Edmundsbury Cathedral).

The tours all begin here at the Tourist Information Point (except 11.00am tours on Sundays which begins at the Abbeygate on Angel Hill, the tickets for this tour should be bought from the guide) and cost £6 per person with under 16s are free.

For more information and to book visit https://www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/directory/bury-st-edmunds-tours

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