20 of the best spring walks near you
It's National Walking Month! What better way to celebrate than striking out on one of these lovely lockdown-friendly circular walks across Suffolk & Cambs.
We’ve kept things relatively easy and lock-down friendly in length for these spring walks (hikers we are not), which makes this round-up perfect for families and couples wanting to enjoy a little socially-distanced stroll.
Midloe Grange and Southoe 5.5 mile circular walk
This lovely walk starts in Hail Weston, a small village outside St Neots, with a pretty church dating back to the 13th century. Although charming The Royal Oak pub isn’t open at the moment, they have a list of three walks that start from the door including a 5.5 miler that goes through fields, copses, and the village. Find the route here.
Devil’s Dyke circular walk, Reach. Moderate, 5.5 miles
The views from the up-to-10-metres high Dyke are stunning across the vast swathes of flat fenland that this area is famous for. The majority of this walk is along the intriguing ancient Anglo-Saxon defensive structure known as the Devil’s Dyke and the route takes in pretty Swaffham with its two windmills and two churches. There are information boards dotted along the route explaining the archaeological importance of the Dyke, so you can come away feeling like you’ve learned something too. View walk here.
Gog Magog Hills walk. Moderate, 6 miles
There’s a lovely short circular walk at The Gog Magog Hills with fabulous views over Cambridge. If you want to extend the walk though, you can incorporate the Stapleford to Wandlebury Roman Road that’ll take about 3 hours and includes the River Granta valley, The Gog Magog Hills and beautiful Wandlebury. Find the route here.
Cambridge Backs Walk. Easy, 4 miles
Use lockdown to re-appreciate the stunning historical city we call home with this circular city walk that takes you around the highlights of Cambridge, visiting The Backs and taking in all the best architecture including St John’s College, King’s College and the beautiful bridges over the River Cam. View the route here.
Grantchester Meadows to Cambridge. Easy, 4 miles.
There’s a lot to love about Grantchester, one of the prettiest parts of Cambridge. It’s rather lovely just to mooch around the village and pretend you live here, but if you want to stretch your legs, spring walks don’t get much nicer than a there-and-back stroll along the river or a circular walk to Cambridge and back, which is around four miles. View the walk here.
Holme Fen circular walk. Easy, 6 miles.
You’ll find the largest silver birch woodland in lowland England on this walk which takes in the lowest land land point in Great Britain, as well as 657 acres of grassland, heath, raised bog, mere and woodland so plenty to keep you interested for 6 miles. There are also several bird hides so don’t forget your binoculars. Here’s the route.
Barrington to Shepreth riverside walk. Moderate, 5 miles.
Being closet twitchers we love this walk for the wildlife potential, such as kingfishers that you might be lucky enough to spot darting into the river. It’s great for variety too if you’re bored of your daily stroll, as it goes through some of the county’s prettiest villages as well as woodland, a nature reserve and along the river. View the walk here.
Fleam Dyke Circular Walk. Moderate, 4.3 miles.
Take a yomp across an area of chalk grassland, woodland, and farmland along this Roman Road and Fleam Dyke. The walk is along well-maintained footpaths, bridleways and byways and through gently undulating countryside around Fulbourn, Great Wilbraham and Balsham. Find the walk under ‘Walk 7’ in this guide.
Wicken Windmill and Fens. Easy, 4.2km
This circular walk starts in Wicken and takes you through farmland and through a beautiful area of fenland with waterways, reed-beds and great views over flat open stretches of protected wildlife habitat. It’s lovely and flat of course being fenland As you would expect being in the fens, the walk is almost entirely flat, but there’s plenty of insta-worthy sights including the pretty windmill. Find the route here.
The River Great Ouse and Roswell Pits. Easy, 2.6 miles
This walk is a good one for families, both distance-wise and in terms of the terrain. It starts in beautiful Ely and heads along the River Great Ouse along an ancient track to flooded clay pits. There’s plenty of water birds to spot and of course Ely Cathedral is a constant and incredible sight. Route here.
Constable Country at Flatford Mill. Moderate, 3.75 miles
This is quite possibly the most beautiful part of Suffolk according to yours truly and John Constable. It’s English countryside at its very best (different opinions are welcome in comments below!). All of the surrounding villages from East Bergholt to Dedham are picture-postcard pretty and this riverside walk covers field paths and riverside meadows. There are 5 stiles (what is this the hurdles?), but otherwise there’s very little climbing to be done. View the walk here.
Clare Castle Country Park. Easy, 2 – 4.5 miles.
There are six different circular spring walks to choose from starting in the town’s park, but for a guaranteed nice stroll choose the intermediate Clare Loop, a 2 – 4.5 mile loop that’ll take you up to two hours. View the walk here.
Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail. Easy, 3 miles.
Anything is possible in this strange new world we live in… perhaps including seeing a UFO. Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk is famous for the 1980 UFO sighting and there’s a whole trail through forest, heathland and wetlands dedicated to it. Just follow the purple markers and keep your eyes peeled for unusual lights! More information here.
Knettishall Heath woodland trail or long riverside trail. Moderate, 2.5 miles
This small area of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust heathland feels beautifully remote and is an idyllic spot for a woodland or riverside walk. There four trails to choose from through woodland and heath near the Little Ouse River. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the Woodland Trail that takes in the Bronze Age burial mound of Hut Hill. See the routes here.
Framlingham Circular Walk. Easy, 2.31 miles
Framlingham is a gorgeous place for a walk, because around every corner is the view of its incredible castle. The walk to the north of the town takes in The Mere, fields and woodland. Find the route here.
Bradfield Woods Circular Walk. Moderate, 6.64 miles
If you like long walks, but want to avoid roads where possible, this is the one for you as the majority of the 6.64 miles is through ancient woodland and fields. The woods are managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and are particularly gorgeous in early spring when all the bluebells are out. Route here.
Brick Kiln Wood and Desning Hall, Dalham walk. Moderate, 5.75 miles
This walk starts along the Icknield Way that runs from Norfolk to Wiltshire and takes in Brick Kiln Wood, The Lawns at Dalham Hall Estate, farmland, and Leipsic Wood, an ancient woodland full of oaks, beech and elms. The route, plus two others in the area are here.
Lavenham historic walk. Easy, 2.8 miles
A great one for families (especially kids who love Harry Potter as the town was Godric’s Hollow in the films) with lots to see including the Lavenham woodland Community Project, part of the old Lavenham to Long Melford Great Eastern Railway line, and the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. In spring there are 24 species of butterflies fluttering around too. Find the directions here.
Minsmere and Dunwich loop. Easy, 5 miles
Coast, countryside, cute villages, waterways and awesome wildlife. There’s a lot to love about this 5 miler near Leiston. In pre- and hopefully post-lockdown times this is a lovely pub trail as it starts at The Eel’s Foot in Eastbridge and Dunwich is also home to the fabulous Ship Inn. Anyway enough about pubs… the walk takes you along Suffolk’s Heritage Coast, through Minsmere Nature Reserve and through woodland and Dunwich Heath. Find the details here.
Hawkedon and Somerton circular walk. Moderate, 4.83 miles
Thought Suffolk was flat? You’ll think again after this surprisingly hilly ramble from Hawkedon to Somerton and back again that skirts around some rather glorious houses, including Hawkedon House and Thurston Hall as well two lovely village churches. Find the route here.