An increasing number of folk are rising early on a Saturday and joining others who are making a commitment to health and wellness. Parkrun is a free community initiative which takes place all over the UK, and with one of Suffolk’s park runs recently finding itself on a list of the most beautiful routes, we thought it was high time we celebrated some of the most picturesque places you can get your exercise adrenaline rush on the Suffolk Coast.
Commencing on Lowestoft’s sweeping promenade with glorious sea views across the outstretched golden sandy beach, you and your running pals will take to the iconic seafront and make your way along the 5k route, past the rows of colourful beach huts and up the incline at the CEFAS hill.
The starting spot can be found outside the East Point Pavillion and you’ll finish on the Royal Wellington Esplanade at Claremont Pier. You can grab a coffee and a rewarding slice of cake at either the Pavilion or the Claremont, alternatively, you can take your weary legs along to The Hatfield Hotel and enjoy breakfast on the terrace with a seaview. Choose from an omlette, pancakes or the full English to satisfy that post-run appetite.
This 5K course takes place entirely on sandy, grassland paths, starting in the sand dunes of Sizewell’s wild beach and heading past the Power station and onto the gorgeous coastal nature reserve of RSPB Minsmere, where you might even spot a rare bird or two.
After your run, head inland for a few miles, past Leiston and satisfy your sweet tooth at PINCH, a specialist pastry and gelato shop where you can try a Cruller with your coffee- this cloud like choux pastry doughnut is the perfect way to get your energy levels back up!
This mixed terrain route takes participants around one lap of the Tangham area of the atmospheric Rendlesham Forest, the leafy backdrop acting as a stunning backdrop to your run and ensuring some real mindfulness to boot. The route takes you past the sculpture trail, along the upper section of the forest and past the old airfield.
If you like to run with your dog, this will be a pooch paradise with a plethora of sniffs and smells along the way. As a reward, head to local Orford and to the Pump Street Bakery for a well-deserved coffee and sweet treat, this family owned bakery and cafe is renowned for its luxury pastries, bread and award-winning chocolate.
This grassy route trundles along from the Millenium hall in Kesgrave and winds along the playing field before turning on Bell Lane and tracing back along the hedgerows to Dobbs Woods. This flat route finishes outside the Pavillion where you can congratulate your fellow runners before heading into nearby Woodbridge for lunch. Why not try The Unruly Pig- a multi award winning gastro pub with a delicious and changing menu of ingenious dishes created using local ingredients from Suffolk.
Felixstowe has seaside charm in abundance and you can immerse yourself in the jolly atmosphere with the promenade parkrun. Make your way all the way along to the Martello tower before returning triumphant with the wind in your face!
Afterwards, take a seat at The Alex Cafe Bar and Brasserie where you can choose from a menu of breakfast, brunch, cafe meals and bar snacks- all crafted with passion in the busy open kitchen of chefs. Enjoy the stunning panoramic views and a sense of satisfaction at a run well done.
A one-lap, multi-terrain course to test your stamina, the Ipswich Parkrun starts and finishes outside the cricket pavilion and takes you on a looping journey around Chantry park, past football pitches and tennis courts, trail paths and grassy slopes.
Afterwards, pay a visit to The nearby Suffolk Food Hall, beneath the Orwell Bridge with its panoramic views out over the Orwell estuary. The restaurant offers breakfasts and light lunches as well as heartier lunches if you’ve worked up an appetite. As well as the restaurant there is a well-stocked food hall to pick up some well-deserved treats to take home.