A Year of Walking, Suffolk Walking Festival

 A feature from the May 2016 issue of Suffolk Norfolk Life magazine
Suffolk Norfolk Life May 2016Click to view this issue »
77 Ways to Explore Suffolk

As bluebells and blossom put on their annual floral display all around us and summer slowly beckons, now is the perfect time to get out and about in Suffolk; to ramble through its gentle landscapes and explore the nooks and crannies of its market towns and exquisite medieval villages. One way to do this is to take part in the Suffolk Walking Festival, which kicks off on Saturday, 14th May and continues for three weeks until Sunday, 5th June.

The annual event is a partnership project supported by all of Suffolk’s local authorities and is spearheaded by the Discover Suffolk project at Suffolk County Council. The packed and varied programme of 77 guided walks across the county range in length from a gentle stroll of one mile, to a challenging 60 miles in 24 hours, with everything in between.

All the walks are themed and include, among others: a series of nine challenge walks; two stress-busting mindfulness walks; a ‘prambling’ walk for parents with prams; photography, birdwatching and Pilates walks; a gentle stroll for sufferers of dementia and their carers; a walk which includes views of early marsh orchids; a speed-dating ramble and the ever-popular ‘Horrible History For Families’ walk in Ipswich.

Some include a cream tea or other refreshments and all are an informal and sociable way to explore the county, meet like-minded people and indulge in a leisure activity which benefits both body and soul.

Suffolk’s Year of Walking

This year’s launch event of the walking festival will take place at RSPB Minsmere on the Suffolk coast, and it will also mark the start of Suffolk’s Year of Walking, from May 2016 to May 2017.

The year long county council initiative will celebrate walking in Suffolk, promote walking events and encourage people to make walking the default mode of transport for journeys of up to 20 minutes.

“The Year of Walking will be celebrating two of my very favourite things: walking and Suffolk,” says Lesley Dolphin from BBC Radio Suffolk and patron of the festival. “The aim is to inspire people to build more walking into their everyday lives and to discover what fun it is!”

Read the full article in the May 2016 issue of Suffolk Norfolk Life Magazine
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