With the clocks springing forward, the sun shining and government restrictions changing from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay local’, things are definitely looking up. Luckily for residents local to Framlingham College, the area is packed with incredible walking routes and beautiful natural scenery to explore. Here are our top five walking routes in the local area that might give you a change of scenery and will definitely give walkers plenty of exercise, fresh air and stunning photo opportunities.

Fields of flowers between Dunwich and Walberswick

Historically, the villages of Walberswick and Dunwich were trade rivals until the River Blyth was redirected and engineered to flow out into the sea at Walberswick. Now the route between them, through the forest, currently in Spring bloom, and over the marshes is one of the most tranquil and naturally beautiful walks in our region. We suggest parking at the large beach-front car park near the café in Dunwich before walking back through the village along the road, past the church on the left-hand-side and turning right at Dingle Hill Tearooms. There you’ll see the entrance to a track which runs through the forest, past some stunning woodland houses, and out onto the marshland paths. The raised tracks run alongside the creek waterway, past the old, abandoned mill and into Walberswick village. Once you reach the village you can grab a coffee from Everyday’s Sundae café on the Green before heading back to Dunwich along the beach, which leads directly back to the car park.

St Mary’s Church along the Deben to Woodbridge

One of Suffolk’s hidden gems is the stunning walk from St Mary’s church, just outside Martlesham, towards Woodbridge along the River Deben. We suggest parking at St Mary’s Church, where there is a small donation box whereby parking fees go towards supporting the church’s maintenance, before cutting across towards the River Deben where there is a footpath which follows the river all the way round to Woodbridge. The path brings you in at the Southern tip of Woodbridge, where you can head through the park and into the town to buy a takeaway coffee from Honey and Harvey if you choose to do so, or simply return to the car via the quiet roads to Martlesham. Alternatively, you can go back the way you came.

Shell Spotting between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness

Our second coastal walk runs between two of the most beautiful seaside settlements in our area. We suggest parking at the car park on the seafront near The Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh before walking along the sea wall northwards, past the Moot Hall and out of the town. Once you get out of Aldeburgh, you will see the ‘House in the Clouds’ building out in the distance, ensuring that the small village of Thorpeness even has a skyline. Head in that direction, past the Maggi Hambling Shell Sculpture, until you reach the first few houses of Thorpeness Village. You will know you’re in the village centre once you reach the Meare. We suggest grabbing a coffee from the Thorpeness Kitchen opposite if you want refreshments. For variety on the way back, carry on up towards the golf club and turn left just before you reach the clubhouse – there is a footpath which runs parallel to the coast which will take you back into Aldeburgh. Or simply head back the way you came if you prefer.

College and Castle Framlingham Loop

Framlingham’s most famous landmark became an international tourist attraction when Ed Sheeran sang about the ‘Castle on the Hill’ in 2017. While the stunning view over the valley of Framlingham College sadly didn’t feature in his lyrics, we think it’s worth a mention as part of this walk, where you’ll get to view each landmark from the other. We suggest starting at the College and walking down towards the town and cutting along the path called ‘Pigs Meadow’ through the allotments. You can then stroll through town, grabbing a takeaway coffee from the bakery if you so choose, and then walking up the hill through town and around the bend where you’ll glimpse the castle. You can then walk back to the College using the footpath which runs along the old castle moat and out over the meare and back towards the College.

Halesworth to Spexhall Church Footpath

Another path less trodden is this exceptional route to the quaint Spexhall church, which feels, to most people in the area, a long way from the village of Spexhall. We suggest parking along Chediston Street in Halesworth and taking the footpath through the woods near the river; you’ll know you’re in the right place when you cross over a small wooden footbridge. Once you reach the quiet farm road at the end of the footpath, follow it into the village of Wissett, and cross over near the Plough pub. Walk up the hill along Buntings Lane. At the end of the gravel lane, you’ll reach another tarmac road called Gray’s Lane. Turn right and walk along the road until you come across a footpath sign next to a gate with a pathway cut into the grassy field turning left. Simply follow the footpath down the valley, across the stile at the bottom, and up the hill on the other side over the field until you reach the small, wooded area at the top of the hill, over the fields. Within that small thicket is Spexhall Church, where you can sit on one of the benches before taking the roads back towards Halesworth, or back the way you came if you’d rather.

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