A Walk Down Memory Lane
Thinking back to this time last year, we recall the many conversations we have with guests about beautiful countryside walks they’ve been on while staying here at The Suffolk Escape in one of the Scandinavian-inspired log cabins or in our large converted barn, the Sheepyard Barn.
It reminded us just how fortunate we are to be living in Suffolk and to have access to so many footpaths directly from the doorsteps of the cabins and the barn, but also within close driving range. Suffolk even has its own annual Walking Festival in May! We decided to take a wander down memory lane of some of our favourite places to walk and look forward to when we can all safely enjoy these places again.
Starting close to home, here on our 300acre farm in Hintlesham, we have a circular 3.5mile (approx.) route that takes in the tranquillity of our farmland and the abundance of wildlife that has made the land it’s home. Our farm is part of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme and we manage it to preserve the traditional look of the countryside and to encourage wildlife, so guests will often see hares, deers, buzzards, badgers, bats, owls and many different birds while out and about. We always recommend a stop off at Hintlesham Golf Club for a coffee and cake which is conveniently located half way around the walk! For those who enjoy a longer walk, our farm is part of a footpath network which makes extending your walk easy to do by following the paths off to neighbouring villages and their paths.
A firm favourite of ours just a short drive away is to explore Constable Country which Suffolk-born painter John Constable made famous with his painting The Hay Wain featuring a horse and cart crossing the River Stour at Flatford. You can stroll around the pretty hamlet and find yourself amongst the buildings and scenery that inspired John Constable from Flatford Mill and Willy Lott’s house to Bridge Cottage and The Granary. The National Trust provides lots of useful information about what to see and where to go.
Another popular walking area, celebrated in both Constable and Gainsborough paintings, is Dedham Vale, now a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can enjoy short or longer walks following the valley through charming villages such as Dedham, Stoke by Nayland, Stratford St Mary and Long Melford. The Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Project offer lots of guides, routes and information about this stunning landscape and walkers delight.
Even more locally, we have Wolves Wood Nature Reserve less than one mile away on the way to our closest market town, Hadleigh. It is one of seven ancient woodland areas in Suffolk and managed by the RSPB, and offers a one mile circular nature trail with many species of birds to look out for along the way.
Going slightly further afield and for a change in landscape, we love the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which offers walks of heathland, reed beds, small coastal towns and villages, shingle beaches and a stunning coast line. The popular towns and villages of Aldeburgh, Southwold, Dunwich, Orford, Walberswick to name but a few are a natural attraction to these walking routes but it also offers the RSPB Minsmere Reserve and many Sites of Special Scientific Interest. We have our favourites but because the area has so much to offer and such a variety of landscapes to enjoy, we’ll leave you to discover your own favourites!
These are just a few of the places we love to visit on foot – either with our families, on our own while running, to meet up with friends or to enjoy the peacefulness on offer. We’re always more than happy to share our routes and experiences with guests who are looking for inspiration, just as we love to be inspired by our guests and their trips out.