Travel

From sedate strolls to picturesque pubs — take in painter John Constable’s Suffolk


FAMOUSLY flat, Suffolk is not much good for a hardcore hiking holiday.

But for those who prefer Sunday strolls to clambering over mountains, this stretch of East Anglia — just 136 metres above sea level at its highest point — is a walker’s paradise.

Suffolk is not much good for a hardcore hiking holiday as it's so flat

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Suffolk is not much good for a hardcore hiking holiday as it’s so flat

Visitors to where Suffolk-born landscape artist John Constable painted his most famous works will find secluded woodland tracks, meandering river trails and breezy coastal paths.

And with picture-perfect pubs, you can reward your ambles with a hearty meal and well-earned pint.

Here, Jacob Lewis chooses five (almost) flat Suffolk walks, perfectly paired with a cosy spot to eat.

Visitors will find secluded woodland tracks, meandering river trails, breezy coastal paths and Thorpeness golf course, pictured

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Visitors will find secluded woodland tracks, meandering river trails, breezy coastal paths and Thorpeness golf course, picturedCredit: All rights reserved. Any unauthorised use, publication or copying will constitute an infri

Cookhouse Restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall, Wherstead

Cookhouse’s all-glass front boasts a superb panorama of the river and the locally sourced menu’s signature ingredient is East Anglian red poll beef

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Cookhouse’s all-glass front boasts a superb panorama of the river and the locally sourced menu’s signature ingredient is East Anglian red poll beef

Park for free at Suffolk Food Hall for a two-hour circular stroll that takes you downstream along the wide expanse of the River Orwell before crossing a narrow brook and entering Freston Wood.

From here you will pass St Peter’s Church in the tiny village of Freston.

For a halfway pitstop and pint, visit The Boot at Freston with its expansive new beer garden before finishing the loop as it leads back towards the river and Suffolk Food Hall’s restaurant.

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Cookhouse’s all-glass front boasts a superb panorama of the river and the imposing arch of Orwell Bridge.

The locally sourced menu’s signature ingredient is East Anglian red poll beef served in steak dishes or Sunday roasts.

Don’t leave without a proper dessert of golden syrup sponge and custard or stewed apple and sultana cinnamon crumble.

See suffolkfoodhall.co.uk.

The Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe Ferry

The 15th-century Ferry Boat Inn offers great local pub fare and has open-hearth fires

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The 15th-century Ferry Boat Inn offers great local pub fare and has open-hearth fires

Pull in at the seafront Cliff Road car park then walk north along the coast, keeping Felixstowe’s links golf course to your left and the sea to your right.

You’ll pass two Martello towers — the small coastal forts built during the 19th century French Revolutionary Wars — before reaching the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry.

A popular crabbing spot with families, there are views across the estuary to Bawdsey Manor where radar was first used to detect enemy aircraft in 1935.

Stop at the 15th-century Ferry Boat Inn for local pub fare and open-hearth fires.

Or if the weather’s nice head to James Hunt Fisheries’ seafood shack for dressed crabs.

Then follow a footpath up the River Deben and through the golf course to complete the loop.

See ferryboatinn.org.uk.

The Ramsholt Arms, Ramsholt

Reward yourself at the Ramsholt Arms with deep-fried whitebait or local ham steak, eggs and chips

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Reward yourself at the Ramsholt Arms with deep-fried whitebait or local ham steak, eggs and chips

On the north shore of the Deben is the dog-friendly Ramsholt Arms, where scenes from 2019 rom-com Yesterday were filmed in the garden.

Park here and head north west following the river upstream past historic barges, wading birds on the mudflats and even the odd seal.

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When you reach family-run Simper’s fisheries, the only mussel-producers in Suffolk, turn inland and follow the road towards the medieval Norman church of All Saints Ramsholt for views down to the banks of the Deben and beyond.

Back at the Ramsholt Arms, reward your efforts with deep-fried whitebait with smoked paprika aioli or local ham steak, eggs and chips followed by stem ginger pudding.

With the only south-facing beer garden on the river, be sure to stay until the sun sets over the water.

See theramsholtarms.com.

The Fox Inn, Newbourne

The Fox Inn is a dog-friendly gastro pub in the village of Newbourne

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The Fox Inn is a dog-friendly gastro pub in the village of Newbourne

Traditional dishes and international pub favourites will please families at this dog-friendly gastro pub in the village of Newbourne.

A great walk for young kids, take a short stroll out of Newbourne village and into the peaceful wooded valley of Newbourne Springs nature reserve.

Following a spring-fed stream through the 21-hectare woodland is best done in April and May when alive with wildflowers.

A marked trail takes you around the reserve, which can get muddy in places, while narrow boardwalks, and kissing gates add to the fun.

See debeninns.co.uk/fox.

Aldeburgh Fish and Chips, Aldeburgh

Sample award winning grub at Aldeburgh Fish and Chips and if the queue is long the pub next door will serve you an outdoor pint while you wait

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Sample award winning grub at Aldeburgh Fish and Chips and if the queue is long the pub next door will serve you an outdoor pint while you wait

Arrive in the town of Aldeburgh with time to browse all things boutique or antique in its fashionable seaside high street, before following the coastal path north to the village of Thorpeness.

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You’ll soon pass The Scallop, an art installation and selfie-magnet by Suffolk-born artist Maggi Hambling.

A huge metal shell on the stony beach, it was conceived as a memorial to composer Benjamin Britten, who founded the annual Aldeburgh Festival in 1948.

From here it is a peaceful 40-minute coastal walk by a nature reserve, where reed beds provide a home to warblers and marsh harriers. You’ll pass The House In The Clouds, a holiday cottage built on the top of a water tower.

A model town built in the 1920s in mock Tudor style, Thorpeness was originally a private holiday resort, which still boasts the original boating lake and golf course.

Return to Aldeburgh the same way for award-winning fish and chips. The queue is long but the White Lion Inn next door will serve you an outdoor pint while you wait.

A fisherman proudly displays his colourful catch at Aldeburgh, Suffolk

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A fisherman proudly displays his colourful catch at Aldeburgh, SuffolkCredit: 2012 photolibrary.com
Over 200 dead crabs wash up on the shore of the River Orwell in Suffolk

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