15 Best Walks In Bury St Edmunds (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Bury St Edmunds (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

I absolutely love exploring the great outdoors and I’m so lucky to live close to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, UK.
It’s a great area with plenty of fantastic places to explore on foot.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there’s something for everyone.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my top 15 best walks in Bury St Edmunds – all of which offer something unique and provide amazing views.
So, grab your walking boots and let’s get outside!

Bury Abbey and the River Lark

Bury St Edmunds: looking down the River Lark at the Abbey Gardens
Photo by Christopher Hilton

Take a leisurely stroll through history and explore the stunning Bury Abbey, located along the River Lark – it’s not one to be missed!

This ancient abbey is believed to have been founded in 1020 by the Anglo-Saxon Earl of East Anglia, Uvius, and is considered to be one of the oldest places of worship in the UK.

The abbey is set upon the banks of the beautiful River Lark, making it the perfect setting for a peaceful and tranquil walk.

As you meander along the picturesque river, you’ll be surrounded by nature and wildlife, with a stunning view of the abbey in the background.

The grounds of the abbey are also home to a variety of plants and trees that were planted over the years, including a variety of fruit trees that produce delicious apples and plums in the summer months.

Whether you’re looking for an invigorating hike or a leisurely stroll, the River Lark and Bury Abbey are the perfect place to start your exploration of Bury St Edmunds.

West Stow Country Park

Country Park
Photo by Gordon Griffiths

At West Stow Country Park, you can explore the picturesque Suffolk countryside and take in the breathtaking views. The park boasts a wide variety of activities, with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a family-friendly excursion, or a challenging hike, West Stow Country Park is the perfect destination.

Take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside as you explore the park, with its plethora of flora and fauna. The park also features a variety of trails to suit all levels of walkers, including a family-friendly loop around the lake.

The park also offers a range of activities, such as fishing, bird watching, and canoeing, making it a great destination for a day out. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an invigorating hike, West Stow Country Park has something for everyone.

Thetford Forest Park

Thetford Forest Park
Photo by Geographer

Discover the beauty of Thetford Forest Park, a tranquil oasis of nature that offers something for everyone.
Nestled within the Brecks – an area of heathland, grasslands, and woodlands – it is one of the largest lowland forests in England.
With over 8,000 acres of forest, heath, and parkland, there is plenty to explore.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a challenging hike, or a spot of cycling, Thetford Forest Park has something for you.

Thetford Forest Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, red foxes, badgers, and herons.
There are plenty of birdwatching opportunities, with over 200 species of bird, including the rare and endangered nightjar.
For the more adventurous, there is a network of trails for mountain biking, with different routes to suit all abilities.
There are also plenty of picnic spots, for those who want to take a break in the great outdoors.
Thetford Forest Park is the perfect escape for a day outdoors.

Nowton Park

Enjoy a peaceful stroll around Nowton Park, a stunning green space located in Bury St Edmunds.

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With over 80 acres of grassland, woodland and gardens, this park is the perfect spot for a leisurely walk.

The entrance to the park is located off Nowton Road, and the car park offers plenty of parking spaces for visitors.

The grounds of Nowton Park are filled with a variety of interesting sights.

Visitors can explore the arboretum with its collection of two hundred and fifty species of trees, or visit the walled kitchen garden which is home to seasonal vegetables and herbs.

There are also colourful flower beds, a pond with a fountain and a wildflower meadow.

Plus, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park for visitors to enjoy.

Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve

Explore the beauty of Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve, located in close proximity to Bury St Edmunds.

With a little over five hundred acres to explore, it’s an ideal destination for nature-lovers and avid hikers alike.

The nature reserve is owned and managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and is home to a multitude of flora and fauna.

This is a great place to come and observe some of the unique wildlife that inhabit the reserve.

The landscape is filled with various habitats, such as wetlands, grasslands, and woodlands, which make up the perfect environment for a variety of species.

There are also a number of bird hides located around the reserve, making it ideal for bird-watching.

The reserve also offers a variety of trails that are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

With its stunning views, Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve is the perfect destination for a peaceful and tranquil walk.

Pakenham Water Mill and Nature Trail

Take a peaceful journey through the gorgeous Pakenham Water Mill and Nature Trail, located near Bury St Edmunds, and be enchanted by its natural beauty.

This nature trail is situated in the Suffolk countryside, and it’s a great place to spend a lazy afternoon or a full day. The trail is a circular route that follows the stream from the water mill, and it takes you through the picturesque rural landscape of the area.

You’ll pass through fields, woodlands, and meadows, and you’ll have the chance to spot a variety of wildlife. As you follow the trail, you’ll come across the mill’s ponds, which have been restored to their former glory. These ponds are home to many different species of fish, birds, and other animals.

You’ll also be able to explore the ruins of the old water mill, which is an interesting reminder of the history of the area.

The trail is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, and it’s a great way to experience the best of the Suffolk countryside.

Brandon Country Park

Nestled in the picturesque Suffolk countryside, Brandon Country Park is a stunning destination for an outdoor adventure.

Measuring around eight hundred acres in size, the park is a nicely landscaped area filled with nature trails, woodlands, and meadows. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and take in the stunning surroundings.

It is home to a variety of animals including badgers, hedgehogs, and foxes.

The park also features a variety of attractions, such as a restored windmill, a lake, and a garden centre. The windmill is a great spot to take pictures and it’s also possible to take guided tours of the park.

There are plenty of picnic areas and benches to relax and take in the beautiful views. Brandon Country Park is a perfect spot for a pleasant afternoon walk, and it’s sure to be a memorable experience.

Upper Norwood Country Park

Moving on from Brandon Country Park, Upper Norwood Country Park is another great option for a walk in Bury St Edmunds. I love visiting this park for its stunning views and peaceful atmosphere. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and just relax.

The park itself is made up of rolling hills and meadows, with plenty of trees and wildlife. There is a lake and several footpaths, which make it perfect for a nice leisurely walk. The paths are well-marked and easy to follow, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

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The views from the top of the hills are incredible, and you can even spot some wild birds if you’re lucky. You can also find some benches along the way, if you want to take a break and soak up the scenery.

The park is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends or family, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Hardwick Heath Nature Reserve

Experience stunning views and peaceful nature at Hardwick Heath Nature Reserve! The reserve is located just a few miles from the centre of Bury St Edmunds and is a great place to enjoy a peaceful and enjoyable walk.

The heath is a mosaic of habitats, with areas of grassland, heathland, scrub, and woodland, which makes it a great place to explore and observe the local wildlife. The footpaths are well-maintained, making them easy to traverse, and the views across the landscape are simply breathtaking.

Birdwatchers can also enjoy the variety of species that can be found here, including hawfinches, nightjars, woodlarks, and tree pipits. You can also explore the ancient and semi-natural woodland areas, which are full of interesting wildlife, such as foxes, badgers, and roe deer.

Hardwick Heath Nature Reserve is a great place to explore and relax, with plenty of opportunities to observe the local wildlife and explore the stunning views.

Ickworth Park Nature Trail

Take a stroll through Ickworth Park and explore its wonderful nature trail! This beautiful park is located on the western edge of Bury St Edmunds and is part of the National Trust. With its rolling parkland, gardens, woodland, and lake, Ickworth Park is a great place to take a leisurely walk and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

The nature trail is especially popular among visitors, as it offers a peaceful and enjoyable walk around the park, passing by some of its most stunning features.

The nature trail runs for two miles in total, with each area of the park having its own unique beauty. From the lake side, one can observe a variety of wildlife, including ducks, swans, and other waterfowl. Further along the trail, there are several wooded areas with a variety of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

The trail also passes by the walled gardens, which are full of vibrant colors and fragrant scents. Finally, visitors can enjoy the breathtaking views of the park from the top of the hill, where they can take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

High Lodge Forest Centre

Located just a few miles from Ickworth Park, High Lodge Forest Centre is a great place to explore the beauty of nature in the English countryside. It’s a great spot for families and people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors.

High Lodge Forest Centre is home to the East of England’s largest woodland, and it’s surrounded by meadows, heathland, and a variety of wildlife. There are a number of trails that are perfect for leisurely strolls, as well as more challenging hikes.

You can also take part in a variety of activities such as cycling, orienteering, horse riding, and more. The centre also has a restaurant, cafe, and shop. You can even stay overnight in one of the woodland lodges or a camping pod.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk in the woods, or a more adventurous experience, High Lodge Forest Centre is sure to provide a great day out.

King’s Forest

After exploring the High Lodge Forest Centre, the next best place to visit for a nice walk is King’s Forest.

This area of woodland is a large site located just to the south of Bury St Edmunds, and is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll through nature.

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From the moment you enter the forest, you’re surrounded by tall, towering trees, creating a peaceful atmosphere.

The paths are well maintained and, even on busy days, you still feel like you have the forest all to yourself.

As you walk, you’ll come across a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes and other small animals.

There are also plenty of birds to admire, from the majestic buzzard to the smaller wrens and tits.

As you make your way through the forest, you’ll find several clearings and open spaces, ideal for picnics or just taking time to appreciate your surroundings.

There are also several benches along the paths, perfect for taking a break and enjoying the scenery.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare adders that inhabit the area.

All in all, King’s Forest is an excellent destination for those looking to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing walk in Bury St Edmunds.

Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve

Experience a tranquil journey through nature at Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve, located just west of Bury St Edmunds.

Covering 800 acres, the reserve provides a peaceful and calming atmosphere with a variety of landscapes to explore. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, Knettishall Heath has something for everyone.

The reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including foxes, hares, owls, and even bats. You might also spot a variety of birds and plants.

One of the main attractions is the Knettishall Heath pond, a great spot for bird-watching. The reserve is also a great spot for fishing, as it is home to a variety of fish species.

No matter what you’re looking for, Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve is a great choice for a peaceful and calming walk. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while you explore the many landscapes available.

West Stow Heath

Nestled in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, West Stow Heath is an idyllic retreat, perfect for those seeking a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

This unique heathland is a must-see for anyone looking to enjoy a pleasant stroll in a picturesque setting.

Visitors will be able to take in a variety of flora and fauna, as well as a diverse array of wildlife. The area is also a great place for birdwatching, with many species of birds often seen in the area.

In addition, the heath offers a range of scenic trails and paths for those wishing to explore the surrounding area. West Stow Heath is a great place to enjoy a leisurely walk, or even a more strenuous hike.

There is something for everyone here, making it an ideal destination for both nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape.

Santon Downham Nature Reserve

Santon Downham Nature Reserve provides a stunning backdrop for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take in the beauty of the Suffolk countryside. It’s a great spot to explore the flora and fauna of the area and enjoy some of the most beautiful views in the region.

The reserve covers an area of over 500 acres, with a variety of habitats ranging from lush meadows to ancient woodlands. There are several marked trails and pathways, ranging in length from 1.5 miles to 5.5 miles, that take visitors through the breathtaking landscape.

The reserve also offers the chance to spot a variety of birds, such as woodpeckers, treecreepers, and jays, as well as other wildlife including badgers, foxes, and deer. It’s a great spot to visit for a leisurely walk, a picnic, or a more adventurous hike.

No matter the length of your stay, Santon Downham Nature Reserve is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Conclusion

Exploring the countryside around Bury St Edmunds is a great way to experience the beauty of East Anglia.

There are lots of wonderful places to explore, from the majestic Bury Abbey to the vibrant King’s Forest.

Whether you’re looking for a short walk or a long hike, there’s something for everyone.

I’ve had some great days out in the area, and I’m sure you will too.

So get out there and enjoy all the wonderful sights that Bury St Edmunds has to offer!

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.