15 Spectacular dog walks in Suffolk

Dog walks
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The beautiful county of Suffolk is as far east as you can get in mainland Britain, and is rich with a variety of landscapes. Although largely low-lying, there are some small hills in the west. The East falls away to the coast and North Sea, with lush arable land and wetlands in between. This green and pleasant land is perfect for dog walking, where you and your pooch can get a breath of fresh air and stretch your legs. We’ve compiled 15 of the best dog walks in Suffolk for you and your furry friend to enjoy.

There are many landmarks and claims to fame within Suffolk. Anyone with an interest in horses and racing will love visiting Newmarket. The famous home of horseracing and a town with a population of several thousand racehorses.

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Meanwhile, those who enjoy the arts will certainly enjoy a visit to Constable County and discovering the landscapes that inspired the painter, John Constable. And for literary fans, you can stroll along the banks of the river that gave George Orwell his pen name.

Luckily, there are many fantastic walking routes through these famous areas - and some hidden gems - so you can explore all this and more on your dog walks in Suffolk.

Country & country park walks

Flatford - The Footsteps of Constable

Constable Country is some of the most picturesque countrysides in the UK, and its beauty was immortalised by the great landscape painter, John Constable. This route is perfect for anyone who wishes to explore this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as visit several locations that inspired Constable and appeared in his paintings.

Despite starting in Essex, this is one of the most beautiful dog walks in Suffolk, and relatively gentle going so most ages and abilities can enjoy it. The route gives you the option of detouring to visit Dedham, and you can combine routes with one of our favourite dog walks in Essex that explores the vale.

You will start across the border at Manningtree station, making this an accessible walk for non-drivers. You will also pass Flatford Mill, which is dog-friendly and the ideal place to fuel up with a break in the tea room before you begin your walk exploring the countryside.

  • Walk Length: 6.4km or 11.2km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Manningtree station

  • Terrain: Flat, fields, gravel, slopes

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Lawford, Manningtree, CO11 2LE

More information: National Trust, Visit Suffolk

The Clare & Cavendish trail

This circular walk between the two charming towns of Clare and Cavendish are well known for being historical and visual delights. Clare was a Medieval wool town and many historic buildings remain. Meanwhile, Cavendish is regarded as one of the prettiest and most quintessentially English villages in the county.

The walk is not only within these tiny towns though, as you will spend most of your time strolling through rich arable land and the lush countryside of the Stour Valley, where your pup can enjoy roaming off-lead. Just remember to pop them on the lead when passing any fields with livestock in.

Passing through these villages means you have many opportunities to visit the local shops and pubs, such as the Five Bells in Cavendish, or cafe Clare in Clare. If you are staying for a few days, or simply fancy another excursion, Clare is a designated walkers town and has many great walks nearby, such as the Castle Country Park.

  • Walk Length: 11.5km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Clare castle country park car park

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, trails, slopes, even

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: 1 Malting Lane, Clare, Sudbury, CO10 8NW

More information: Visit Suffolk, Suffolk Mag, Cavendish Village

Nowton park

The large, landscaped gardens at Nowton Park are gorgeous surroundings for your next dog walk in Suffolk, as well as being an outdoor haven you, the pooch and family can enjoy all day.

There’s plenty to see a do here, including the oak-shaped maze, sports fields, and large play area. For a more tranquil walk, you could visit the arboretum and admire the trees from around the world. One of the most magnificent sights in the park is the lime avenue, most impressive in spring, as over 100,000 daffodils bloom between the trees.

Being in Bury St Edmunds means you can take advantage of all the local amenities, many of which are dog-friendly, just look for a paw sticker on the window. But there is no shortage of shops and eateries you can visit alongside your canine companion.

If you’re looking for unspoiled, wild countryside you might be better visiting nearby West Stow Country Park. But be aware, dogs have to be on leads there too. Regardless, it’s another fantastic dog walk in Bury St Edmunds.

  • Walk Length: As long or short as you like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, trails, even

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Bury Road, Nowton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5LU

More information: Visit Bury St Edmunds

Somerleyton (Waverley valley)

You could explore all the Waverley Valley Walk, but it would take you a few days of walking. But, there are several shorter walks that explore sections of the route and the surrounding countryside. This stroll through Somerleyton lets you explore part of the beautiful valley, as well as local landmarks like Somerleyton Hall on this dog walk in Suffolk.

The walk is mostly flat on farm tracks and quiet country lanes, so be sure to have your lead handy on the short stretches by the roadside. But there are plenty of opportunities for your pup to run around off their lead and burn off some energy.

The Duke’s Head in Somerleyton allows dogs, but you will also pass The Village Maid pub in Lound on your walk, should you need to take a pit-stop.

  • Walk Length: 11.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

  • Starting Point: Somerleyton post office

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, trails, even

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: The Old Garage, The Street, Somerleyton, Lowestoft, Suffolk. NR32 5PU

More information: Discover Suffolk

Sutton Hoo

For a historical dog walk in Suffolk, look no further than Sutton Hoo. Home to Anglo-Saxon burial grounds, the area was made famous by the ship burial found here and the Sutton Hoo Helmet. The huge 245-acre site is now managed by the National Trust. There are various walks around the area and it makes for a delightful day out your dog can join you on.

Pups can explore the whole site with you, including the shop and tea room. The only places dogs aren’t permitted is High Hall and Tranmar House, (Unless they’re assistance dogs.) If you visit the tea room, be sure to sit in the marked dog-friendly area and your pup can sample the new pet menu while you tuck into lunch.

Dogs must be on leads on the site but with long walks and tasty treats on offer, they’ll hardly mind. If you’ve somehow forgotten your lead, you can even borrow one from the reception or buy one in the shop. There’s also free doggy treats available from the reception and cafe, so your pooch can have a snack off-menu too.

  • Walk Length: Various (0.8km to 6km)

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: trails, flat, even

  • Free Parking: Yes (But admission fee for entry)

  • Address: Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3DJ

More information: National Trust, Wikipedia, CountryFile

Hadleigh railway walk

The old railway line was lifted away and now the trackbed forms a path through the woodland and meadows of the countryside around Hadleigh. The route is popular with walkers, cyclists, and horse riders, but is quiet enough for a leisurely stroll with your pooch.

Your dog is welcome to explore off-lead, too, but be warned they may decide to take a paddle in the stream.

You start your walk at the old station and follow the trackbed for two miles before circling back to the village. Since the surface is flat and level, it’s an easy-going walk most ages and abilities can enjoy. You can then take a trip into Hadleigh to stop off at many of the local facilities, such as The George or King’s Head.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Magdalen Road main car park

  • Terrain: trails, flat, even, slopes, meadows

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Magdalen Road, Hadleigh, Ipswich, IP7 5BB

More information: Discover Suffolk, GPS Routes

Orwell country park

There are dozens of pleasant dog walks to be had in Orwell Country Park, taking in the changing landscapes of the area that is nestled within an AONB. It includes ancient woodland, heath, and mudflats.

The large park also hosts a nature reserve and views over the Orwell estuary. You can even take a stroll to Nacton Shores, where your pup can paddle in the river that gave George Orwell his pen name.

The park is only a short drive from Ipswich so there are plenty of facilities, including the lovely Greyhound and Lord Nelson pubs and several other parks you can visit for more dog walking opportunities in Suffolk.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Piper’s Vale or Bridge Wood car parks

  • Terrain: Woodland, heathland, meadows, trails, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Sandy Hill, Ipswich, IP3 0ET (Piper’s Vale car park)

More information: Discover Suffolk, Ipswich.gov

Woodland walks

Rendlesham forest

Made famous as “the British Roswell” after several “UFO sightings” of unexplained lights near the RAF base, the most famous UFO event in the UK. Even the sceptics can enjoy a walk along the “UFO trail” in the forest, which is sure to spark your imagination as you stroll through the woodland associated with the infamous sightings.

All the while, your pooch can enjoy a long off-lead adventure amidst the trees and undergrowth hunting for aliens (or squirrels…) If you’re visiting with your little ones as well as your pooch, you can include a stop off at the play area for them to burn off some extra energy.

There are several other trails available, such as a shorter accessible route, or a longer walk along the cycle routes. You can take a picnic to enjoy on your woodland dog walk in Suffolk, and we suggest you do, there is a picnic and BBQ area, and a small mobile cafe.

  • Walk Length: 1.2 to 16km

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

  • Starting Point: Main car park

  • Terrain: Woodland, uneven, trails

  • Free Parking: Yes (only in the Butley Corner car park)

  • Address: Tangham, Woodbridge, IP12 3NF

More information: Discover Suffolk, Forestry England


This wonderful woodland walk starts at the stunning Guildhall in Lavenham, allowing you the chance to admire the handsome timber-fronted, medieval building. After a short walk along the high street, you’ll enter the community woodland.

You could change course and take the Lavenham railway walk from here. But we think a relaxing stroll through the trees and back to the village is the perfect way to spend some time with your pooch where both of you can explore the surroundings, and hunt for mini-beasts and butterflies.

As you start and end this walk in Lavenham, you’ll have plenty opportunities for you and your pup to rest and refuel. Many of the pubs are dog-friendly, including the Greyhound and the Swan.

  • Walk Length: 4.4km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Lavenham Guildhall

  • Terrain: Woodland, even, trails

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Market Place, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9QZ

More information: National Trust

Thetford forest

Stretching from Thetford and reaching across the border into Norfolk is the enchanting Thetford Forest, home to some of the best dog walks in Suffolk. This forest is the largest pine forest in the country and walking here amidst the majestic, tall trees is a wonderful way to spend a few hours with your canine companion.

It’s hard to imagine that this wild wood was completely man-made, as it is now a haven for wildlife. The forest is vast, with different points of interest throughout, including the bold Lynford Stag. This metal “target stag” was found by workers and now stands overlooking the picnic site.

The facilities available vary depending on which area of the forest you visit. High Lodge has play parks, segways, go ape, picnic spots and a cafe. Whereas Lynford Stag has only toilets and a picnic and BBQ site. So no matter who you visit with, or whether you want a tranquil forest walk or woodland adventure, you’re sure to find the perfect place to visit.

  • Walk Length: 1.6km to 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

  • Starting Point: Car park - Varying starts for each trail

  • Terrain: Woodland, even, trails, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes (Except for High Lodge)

  • Address: High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Brandon, IP27 0AF

More information: Forestry England

Knettishall Heath

One of few dog-friendly nature reserves in the county, Knettishall Heath is a natural beauty and biodiversity hotspot. The mix of heathland and woodland makes for a wonderful wild walk where you and your dog will both enjoy the varying surroundings. In nesting season, there are areas your dog will need to be on a lead for. Although, pups can be off-lead on the pine trail all year round. You can roam as you please along the several dog-friendly trails.

What’s more, the heath is home to Hounds of the Heath. They are a friendly community group run by Suffolk Wildlife Trust. They regularly meet for guided group dog walks with one of the rangers. Just turn up on the day and you and your pup can enjoy a sociable walk and make some new friends while exploring the gorgeous countryside.

There are toilets, but few other facilities. There is coffee available at the weekends, and an ice cream van that visits in the summer and school holidays.

  • Walk Length: 2.4km to 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

  • Starting Point: Main car park

  • Terrain: Woodland, heathland, uneven, trails

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Knettishall Heath, Thetford, Suffolk, IP22 2TQ

More information: Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Waterside walks


Visiting Dunwich now, it can be hard to imagine the busy and often turbulent history of the area. In fact, it is the site of “the lost city of England”, after the once-thriving port was claimed by the sea.

Now, the quiet dog-friendly beach is a popular spot for a secluded seaside dog walk in Suffolk, as well as a relaxing amble through the colourful heathland on the cliffs behind.

This is a rare nature reserve that allows dogs to visit, so be sure not to spoil it and be a responsible owner. Pick up after your pup and keep them under close control and put them on a lead near livestock, or during bird nesting season. (There will be signs telling you if you need to keep your dog on a lead.)

In return, your dog can enjoy a visit to this beautiful heath and beach, as well as being welcome in the tea room, shop and visitor centre, where they’ll even be given free treats for their visit.

  • Walk Length: 3.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Information hut

  • Terrain: Heathland, trails, uneven, beach, shingle

  • Free Parking: No (Unless you’re a National Trust member.)

  • Address: Dunwich Heath, Suffolk IP17 3DJ

More information: National Trust, Visit Suffolk, The Suffolk Coast

Orford heritage & pub trail

A few years ago, local brewery Adnams partnered with Suffolk Coasts and Heaths to create several circular walks that celebrated the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Unsurprisingly, the walks would start, end, or visit some Adnams pubs along the way. But what better way to relax after a long walk then by sampling some of the local beer?

Not only will you pass two pubs on this walk, but you’ll also explore the Coasts and Heaths AONB. The first stretch of the walk will take you along through the tranquil scenery beside the river, before heading inland to stroll through the countryside. Here, you can take an optional extra mile to visit the Sudbury Estate.

On your return to Orford, you can paw-se to admire the unique octagonal castle before stopping off at the Adnams pubs, The Jolly Sailor or The King’s Head. Both will welcome your pooch alongside you so there’s no fear of your furry friend being left out.

  • Walk Length: 8.9km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Orford car park

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, fields, trails, uneven

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Orford, Woodbridge, IP12 2NU

More information: All Trails, Discover Suffolk

Alton water

The large lake, woods, ponds and marshes of Alton Water make for a varied and enchanting walk with your pup. The surroundings are tranquil as well as beautiful, particularly at dusk as the sun sets and reflects across the calm water.

You may even be lucky enough to see a barn owl hunting here, as well as all manner of wildlife which you can watch from the vantage point and bird hides. You can also watch the boats sailing across the lake, as it is an active watersports centre.

This walk will be an entirely on-lead affair, but that shouldn’t worry you or your pooch much when you get to stroll a lengthy circuit of the lakes and take in the beautiful surroundings. There is also an accessible route available, meaning everyone can enjoy this idyllic landscape.

There is a picnic area, toilets and seasonal cafe on site. If you feel like pausing for a meal or drink, there are several pubs nearby such as the King’s Head in Sutton and The Wheatsheaf or White Horse in Tattingstone.

  • Walk Length: 2.4km (Easy access,) 13km (circuit.)

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Any of the car parks

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, trails, gravel

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Alton Water, Holbrook Road, Stutton, IP9 2RY

More information: Anglian Water Parks, Discover Suffolk


Despite being eroded away by the North Sea, Covehithe is one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain. It’s popular with fossil-hunters who seek buried treasure in the cliffs and their debris and much-loved by dog walkers. This is because the beach is quiet and secluded, and has no restrictions for pups.

As it is only accessible by foot or bike, you will have to park by the church and take the short walk across the fields and along the path down to the cliffs. The church itself is worth stopping to admire, as the ruins of the large old church remain, while the smaller existing church is housed in its husk.

Given the secluded nature, there aren’t facilities nearby. But this means you are sure to be treated to a quiet relaxing seaside stroll while your four-legged friend can race across the sand and jump in and out of the surf, keeping themselves thoroughly entertained. Just be sure to check the tide before you visit, as the beach near-entirely disappears at high tide.

  • Walk Length: However long you stay for

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: St Andrew’s Church

  • Terrain: Trails, uneven, beach, sand

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Mill Lane, Covehithe, NR34 7JJ

More information: Visit Suffolk, The Beach Guide

More information about Suffolk: Visit Suffolk, Wikipedia, Discover Suffolk, BBC

More dog walks: Hertfordshire, Wiltshire, Surrey