The Suffolk coast and countryside offer some truly breathtaking views, and whether you’re a keen runner or starting out, running in Suffolk won’t disappoint. In fact, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to run.
The team at OnVenture, an active adventure company based in the county town of Ipswich, has put together their top six running routes, helping you to make the most of the Suffolk scenery on your run. So, pop the kettle on and start planning your Suffolk running routes.
Thorpeness to Aldeburgh
Terrain – Mix of road and off-road (mud and sandy paths)
Landscape – Coast & Country
Distance – 7.5km
Starting point: The Kitchen
Starting in the fairy tale village of Thorpeness, this route takes you on a loop of Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, taking in some of Suffolk’s most iconic sights, such as Maggi Hambling’s Scallop, situated on the beach in Aldeburgh and Thorpeness’ famous Meare and House in the Clouds.
Starting at one of Thorpeness’ popular eateries, The Kitchen, follow the coast road to Aldeburgh, before heading inland along Victoria Road, take a right onto Leiston Road and then pick up the public footpath at RSPB North Warren, heading cross country in a north-easterly direction until you hit Thorpeness Golf Club, skirt round the south-side of the club and arrive back at The Kitchen or grab a table at The Dolphin for some well-deserved hearty pub grub.
The beach, the sea and the heathland it’s a coastal run that will have you wishing it was longer.
Terrain: Off-road (mud, stone and sandy paths)
Starting point: Alton Water Visitor Centre
Alton Water, a manmade reservoir sitting in the Suffolk countryside, offers a great location for some off road terrain running, and it’s great for a bit of wildlife spotting too.
Starting out at the visitor centre and café, head east along the road, until you reach the Dam Wall and join the circular route around the reservoir that is signposted throughout until you return to the café. Enjoy the endless nature and wildlife as you wind your way along the foreshore and through tree-lined woodland. And, as it’s a circular route, you can do as many laps as you desire.
Ipswich Waterfront and Christchurch Park Loop
Terrain – Road (with a little bit of off-road in the park)
Landscape – Town
Distance – 6.10km
Starting point: University of Suffolk
You can’t come to Suffolk without a run in its county town, Ipswich. Starting out at the historic waterfront, savour the shimmering sun coming off the water as you navigate the waterfront and boat yards before taking in the green and pleasant parkland at Christchurch Park.
This run starts at The Question Mark sculpture at the University of Suffolk. Head west along the waterfront until you reach Dance East and join St Peters Dock towards the Last Anchor restaurant. Join the path following the waterline, past the various boat yards until you reach the lock gate, at which point do a 180 and head back on yourself. Once you reach Dance East, head north up through the town centre, heading towards Christchurch Park, and as you reach the park enjoy the circular route around the perimeter of the park and then head back through the town centre back to the waterfront.
A favourite route of locals, it offers a lovely buzz run in the morning with a bit of everything to keep you focussed.
Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail
Distance: 5km (add another 5km If you add on the Phoenix Trail)
Starting point: Rendlesham Forest
Situated in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths Natural Landscape, Rendlesham Forest offers a great location for anyone who loves off-road running surrounded by nature.
Starting at Rendlesham’s main car park, head east, following the well-marked trail through the forest. Ziz-zagging your way along the sandy trails as you hunt out the famous alien craft famed to have once crashed in the forest. Winding your way West amongst the pines before heading back to the car park and the end of the trail. If you fancy doubling your KM’s, add the Phoenix Trail to your run, as it starts and finishes at the main car park, too.
It's a great, fun run, but don’t underestimate the energy sapping sandy trails beneath your feet.
Orwell Country Park to Levington
Terrain: Trail, Off-Road & Road
Landscape: Coast & Country
Starting point: Orwell Country Park Car Park
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, the Orwell Country Park to Levington run offers a fabulous, varied, and tough run, with beautiful scenery throughout. However, make sure you check the tide times so that you have plenty of beach to run along.
Starting at Orwell Country Park Car Park, follow the footpath south-west towards the waters edge of the River Orwell. Following the beach south-east along the river, pass the Ancient Oak Tree and follow the river right to Levington Creek. Head north up into the village, following the road past The Ship Inn on Church Lane. Run along the undulating Levingston Road until you reach Nacton village, head south to Nacton Shores and rejoin the beach heading north-west back towards Orwell Country Park Car Park.
Melton Riverside to Woodbridge Loop
Terrain: Trail with a bit of Road
Starting point: Melton Riverside
The Riverside market town of Woodbridge offers another great running route. Run along the river Deben, taking in the many sights, from the moored boats to spotting wildlife and iconic buildings. It’s a nice, steady and flat run that’s perfect for beginners or those wanting to take in some beautiful scenery during their run.
Kicking off at Melton Riverside, join the hardstanding riverside path towards Woodbridge, passing HMS Vale before arriving at Woodbridge Tide Mill, before a sharp right turn and picking up the road. Head east along Quayside Road, take a right onto Deben Road as you cross the railway track and pick up the river path again to head back towards Melton Riverside.
For more running inspiration or to plan your active break, visit OnVenture's website https://www.onventure.co.uk/