Walking through our gently undulating countryside is one of the pleasures of visiting the Heart of Suffolk. The Suffolk landscape is varied with many ancient woodlands that are conserved by The Suffolk Wildlife Trust. We are also fortunate to have two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); The Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast and Heaths. These areas are of special interest and a lot of work goes into conserving them for wildlife and the enjoyment of future generations. Please contact one of our tourist information centres for walks leaflets and maps.
The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers the area around East Bergholt, Dedham and Flatford where the artist John Constable was born and which is often referred to as Constable Country. It remains remarkably unchanged since the artist lived and worked there and it is obvious to see what inspired him to paint the Suffolk countryside as he did.
The sites where he painted his most famous works such as The Hay Wain and Willy Lott's Cottage can still be seen today at Flatford, where Flatford Mill is now an education centre. The National Trust has an exhibition, a tea room and gift shop here and the RSPB have a wildlife garden which is open to the public.
You can also hire rowing boats for a trip on the River Stour or you can take a leisurely river cruise on the River Stour Trust boat.
The Suffolk Coast and Heaths covers the pretty Shotley Peninsula, which is a haven for wildlife and a lovely place to walk, cycle and sail. To the north of the area known as the Heart of Suffolk is the Waveney Valley which is also excellent for sailing along the River Waveney and other outdoor activities.
Throughout the whole area are nature reserves, picnic sites and miles and miles of footpaths and don't forget we also have the annual Suffolk Walking Festival, which has nearly 80 guided walks across the county.