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Five places for a festive walk in Suffolk to help you burn off the excesses of Christmas

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 December 2016

Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Christchurch Park, Ipswich


After the over-indulgence of Christmas, you may fancy donning some warm clothes and boots and heading out for a refreshing walk with the family. Here are five places in Suffolk where you can enjoy a festive family walk.

Mabel the owl in Christchurch Park, Ipswich Mabel the owl in Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Needham Lake Needham Lake

Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Alton Water Alton Water

This beautiful green space in the heart of Ipswich offers 33 hectares of park to explore. Spot ducks, geese and swan in the two ponds, and look out for Mabel the tawny owl in her tree towards the top of the park. Admire the well-kept arboretums then, if you have the puff, race up the big hill and finish off your visit at the children’s play area.

Aldeburgh beach Aldeburgh beach

Rendlesham Forest Rendlesham Forest

Needham Lake, Needham Market

A great place for a walk with all of the family. A walk around the surfaced path will only take between 20 and 30 minutes – with further grassy paths to explore if you fancy – plus there’s play equipment for children to go on. Angling and model boating are available by permit too. If the River Gipping is flowing freely on the day, play Pooh sticks from the bridge over the weir.

Alton Water, Stutton

For those looking for a longer walk over the Christmas break, head to Alton Water, where you can enjoy a ramble of up to eight miles. The area hosts an interesting variety of waterfowl to look out for, especially at this time of the year. If you park at the Stutton car park, and the weather is fine, there is an outdoor play area that children can enjoy.

Aldeburgh beach

For a bracing winter walk, head to Aldeburgh beach. Wrap up warm and prepare for a bit of a tough walk across the shingle. Those with younger families might want to choose to follow the path for some of the way. Look out for Maggi Hambling’s sculpture The Scallop, which is dedicated to Benjamin Britten, the composer who regularly used to walk along the beach in the afternoons.

Rendlesham Forest

The forest has two circular walks to choose from – the ‘blue’ easy trail, which is just over a kilometre long, and the longer ‘red’ trail which is 5km. Both of the trails will take you through plantations, heathland and wetlands. If you dare, take on the UFO trail, which will take you to some of the areas connected to the UFO sighting in December 1980.

Forecasters have warned of strong winds of around 65mph that are expected to sweep into the county this evening, as a wet and windy night is expected to continue into the morning.

Suffolk is in the final five for BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Holiday Destination of the Year 2018 – and needs your vote to scoop the prestigious award.

I was proud to be the first woman ever to be elected as an MP for a Suffolk constituency in 2010, writes Dr Therese Coffey.

The first Folk on a Boat concert of 2018 is being held in Ipswich on Friday, with Suffolk singer/songwriter Holly Johnston performing.

Award-winning crime author Elly Griffiths will be visiting three Suffolk libraries next month as part of a tour promoting her latest book.

The family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

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