Despite the county being relatively low-lying, you can find some great walks in Suffolk. In fact, there is tons of green space for you and your dog to explore across the county. From small hills in the west to beaches in the East, Suffolk is an area that really does offer a dog walk for any pooch and their owner.
There are plenty of dog-friendly places in Suffolk, from lakeside strolls to forest hikes. You’ll also find that most of these walks are fairly quiet throughout the year as Suffolk seems to be a bit of a hidden gem for exploring the countryside!
We’ve rounded up five of the best dog walks Suffolk has to offer. There are so many woodlands and meadowlands to visit in the area but we’ve had to narrow it down as well as mix it up a little!
1.5 miles to 8 miles (circular)
This walk has a little bit of everything: a large lake, ponds, woodland, and marshes. There are lots of paths to follow, with easy terrain over paths and gravel.
There’s lots to do at Alton Water as it’s also an active watersports centre. Look out for boats out on the lake! There are plenty of facilities, with a picnic area, toilets and a cafe open during the daytime. You’ll also find plenty of pubs en route to and from the area so you could always treat yourself to a mid-afternoon walk and tea at the pub!
There are plenty of shorter walks here, going through the woodlands but our favourite has to be the walk around the perimeter, which is 8 miles long. If you don’t think you could manage on foot, you could bring bikes or spend the day fishing on the lake instead. You’ll find so many different activities going on here so be sure to keep an eye out whilst you’re visiting.
Why not take an evening trip here some time? It’s particularly scenic at sunset, looking over the lake. What’s not to love about that?
One thing to note about this walk is that they have requested that dogs be kept on leads at all times as well as out of the water. If you have a particularly energetic pooch, it might not be the recommended walk for you. However, if you have a pretty chilled dog who’s happy to follow your lead, it’s perfect for you both!
1 to 2.5 miles
If you’re looking for a shorter walk or you simply don’t have the time for a longer trek, Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve is a great option for you and your dog. It’s one of the few dog-friendly nature reserves in the UK. Dogs must be kept on leads during nesting season but can be let off-lead on the pine trail all year long. There’s a mixture of woodland and heathland, making it an adventure for your pooch!
If you want to become a regular, you can even join Hounds of the Heath. This is a local walking group who visit the reserve frequently with one of the park rangers, perfect for socialising and getting out of the house regularly. However, it’s just as fun on your own or with the family!
There aren’t many facilities here so be prepared before you turn up. There are toilets but no eateries, apart from an ice cream van during the summer and school holidays. This summer, there is a food van between 11am and 3pm but it might be best to pack up a picnic before visiting if you plan to spend longer than an hour or so there.
0.75 miles (the yellow trail) to 3 miles (the pink trail)
Rendlesham Forest is the British Roswell after ‘sightings’ of unexplained lights near the local RAF base back in the 80s. There’s even a UFO trail in the forest so maybe you'll meet some alien friends along the way! This route is particularly popular during the summer holidays
Here, there are lots of off-lead areas to explore here for your dog so if they’re getting a bit restless, this could be the perfect walk for you. It’s a very popular park run spot so do check to see if there will be one on if you plan to go on a weekend morning.
You can make a trip to Rendlesham Forest into a day-long outing. There’s a play area, picnic tables, a BBQ area, and a small cafe, with plenty of facilities to last the day. It can be a great free or cheap activity during the school holidays, perfect for the kids to let out some energy in the play area!
There are longer routes of up to 11 miles but they have been designed for cyclists. If you’re looking for a longer walk, just be aware of anyone around you and stay off to the sides.
Hadleigh Railway Walk
The old railway line is no more; it was lifted out of place and replaced with a soft path for this countryside walk. Start off in the town of Hadleigh at the old railway station, follow the trackbed before circling back around. The town itself has plenty of facilities, including multiple pubs, cafes and coffee shops. Whilst it is a quieter walk, most people you come across will probably have a coffee cup or flask in their hand!
This is one of the quietest walks in the area so there are tons of tranquil spots to just stop and think. Dogs will love the mixture of woodlands and meadowland on this route and can even be off-lead for the most part. They might even fancy a dip in the stream to cool off on a warm summer’s day too!
For the full route, follow the track up to the old Raydon Wood railway station. You can park at either end of the walk so start from whichever end is easiest for you. However, if you want to stop off somewhere, Hadleigh has more amenities. You’ll come across other dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders yet it never feels crowded on this walk.
It can get muddy throughout the woods and farmland areas so definitely get those walking shoes on. Although it’s an easier, flatter walk, you’ll need the extra tread for navigating puddles and wet ground.
Brandon Country Park
1 mile to 5.5 miles
With four different trails of varying lengths in one place, Brandon country Park is a great day out option for your dog and/or family! The shorter walks all have firm paths, ideal for wheelchair users, those with mobility problems, or pushchairs.
Start off any of the four walks from the Copper Beech Tearoom and you can always use it as a rest bite when you’ve finished. They do some of the best homemade cakes in the area so treat yourself to a cup of tea and a slice! You can make it into a day trip if you want to explore the arboretum, the ‘haunted’ mausoleum, the walled gardens and the play area. It’s another great spot for a free activity for the summer holidays or a spare weekend day.
Dogs must be kept on leads in the trails and in the park but can be let off-lead in the forest, provided they are under control. However, be aware of other dogs or families in your surroundings. The park flows in Thetford Forest, perfect for if you’re looking for a longer walk, or you could follow the cycle path instead to really stretch your legs.
Suffolk has plenty of walks to explore, especially those of easy to moderate level. It’s a beginner’s paradise with choices throughout the area. It really is a great spot for a dog walk if you live in the surrounding area, with so many open green spaces to explore as well as plenty of dog-friendly towns.