As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of walking, cycling and river cruising in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in south east England.
There is a wealth of activities here on the Suffolk Coast for the whole family, and the best way to experience it is simply to head out on two feet or two wheels.
For walkers, there are trails for every level whether you’re taking a short stroll to the pub or tackling one of three long distance routes, The Suffolk Coast Path, The Stour and Orwell Walk and The Sandlings Walk.
There are miles of coastline and rolling countryside to discover, and Suffolk’s big open skies give you a wonderful sense of freedom. For cyclists, there are challenging off-road trails to try in Rendlesham Forest as well as more laid back, winding rural lanes that will take you to some of the AONB’s most picturesque villages.
Alternatively, why not have a go at learning something completely new such as foraging and bread making, or even explore your creative side on a weekend artists retreat? This tranquil part of Suffolk offers plenty to do for anyone who wants to come and immerse themselves in its varied landscapes and get up close to the abundant wildlife.
Walking in the UK - Secret Suffolk
Relax on a leisurely self-guided village-to-village walking holiday along the beautiful Waveney Valley in Suffolk, brimming with nature, history, traditions, delicious grub and real Suffolk character. inntravel.co.uk/walking-holidays/uk/secret-suffolk
Electric Bike Hire
If you're looking for the best way to explore the beautiful Suffolk coast without spending half your holiday driving and the other half trying to park, then why not try an electric bike. Electric bikes look just like conventional bikes but come with a rechargeable battery and electric motor which make light work of hills and headwinds. There are various places along the Suffolk Coast where you can hire these Sparta e-bikes, or the company will drop one off and pick it up from your door. There are also lots of recharge points, and you’ll be given a map of charging points to make it easy to plan your days out. justebikes.co.uk
Suffolk Cycle Breaks
Cycle Breaks have been offering self-guided cycling tours in Suffolk since 1991, and take all the hassle out of a holiday on two wheels. Choose from their delightful range of itineraries including Castles and Vineyards, Steam Trains and Gardens, or Woodbridge Tudor Treat, and just follow their detailed maps whilst they take your luggage on ahead to your accommodation. cyclebreaks.com/tours/suffolk-tours
The Lady Florence
This River Cruise Restaurant sails year round, offering brunch, lunch, dinner and sunset cocktail cruises for up to 12 passengers. The Lady Florence is a 50ft, wooden ship with a long history going back to World War II. As you cruise the calm waters of the Rivers Alde and Ore, keep an eye out for several historical landmarks and well known wildlife spots including the National Trust’s Orford Ness conservation area. rivercruiserestaurants.co.uk
This small and friendly kayak centre is based on the upper reaches of the Alde Estuary. Hire a canoe or kayak with all the necessary safety equipment for two hours, a half day or a full day, and explore the quiet creeks, flood waters and mud banks which are teeming with wildlife including birds, otters and seals. ikencanoe.co.uk
Orwell River Cruises
Take in the Port of Harwich and the historic locks on the River Orwell aboard Orwell Lady. Groups and private parties can charter the boat for cocktail evenings or picnic lunches, weddings and meetings; you can also climb aboard for theme nights and afternoon tea cruises where you can indulge in a spot of tea and cake whilst taking in the panoramic views from the top deck. orwellrivercruises.com
Food Safari is the brainchild of Polly and Tim Robinson, who wanted to bring people closer to the origins of their food. They started the business in 2009 and now offer a packed programme of wild food forays, fishing trips, cookery courses, butchery workshops and visits to artisan producers from bakers and brewers to cheese makers and smokehouses. As well as trying a new skill and enjoying some fantastic food and drink, you’ll be inspired by the passion and knowledge of the farmers, foragers, fishermen, butchers and bakers who lead each Food Safari. foodsafari.co.uk
For information on local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our