The beautiful Suffolk Coast has always been a favourite destination for dog lovers with its lush green countryside, coastal paths and miles of glorious beaches.
In the height of the summer months when most beaches are off limits for our four legged friends, there are still some ‘tail waggingly’ good walking trails to explore…
National Trust Dunwich Heath
National Trust Dunwich Heath is a real treat for dogs and owners alike. Look out for the free of charge forestry car park on the Westleton Road just before you arrive in Dunwich. The paths here take you through glorious woodland as well as open areas of heath where you might be lucky enough to spot a few of the rare Dartford Warblers who are resident this time of year.
You’ll find an abundance of picnics spots en route to recharge and refresh – This is ‘dog heaven’ and not too bad for humans either! For more information, Dunwich Heath have put together this helpful guide to taking your dog: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunwich-heath-and-beach/visitor-information/dogs.
Bungay's Bigod Way
For something less rural, the quintessential Suffolk market town of Bungay and the surrounding area offers three great circular walking routes to choose from.
There's a selection of free and pay and display parking available, allowing you to start from the Earsham Street Café for the shorter option; a two and a half mile stroll around Outney Common.
For the more ambitious, take on the five and a half mile 'Bigod Way' walk around Bungay, Earsham and the Bath Hills.
The Suffolk Coast's church trails
Probably a walk for the more experienced walkers among us, requiring sturdy boots and a copious supply of water!
Westleton Heath is at its best during summer months and in August you’ll find it carpeted with a blaze of fragrant, purple heather.
There are paths galore here, winding through woodland glades, across fields and moorland and along trickling streams. In summer, parts of the trail need to be on lead, but there are plenty of areas for off lead walkies as well.
This part of the county is home to some of Suffolk's prettiest churches too; follow the Angels & Pinnacles church trail from St Andrew's Walberswick to St Peter's in Westleton (6.5 miles) or for shorter routes, try the Walberswick to Blythburgh or Southwold to Walberswick routes.
Download the map and trail here:
Seaside Strolls at Aldeburgh
If your idea of a stroll with your canine chum is rather more laid back, Aldeburgh may be the answer. Break up your walk with a stop off at one of the dog friendly drinking establishments in this pretty coastal town.
The White Hart Pub greets dogs with open paws and even allows well-behaved ones inside if the weather leaves a little to be desired. Or, check out the mouth-watering refreshments on offer at The Brudenell Hotel where your pooch is welcome to chill out on the outside terrace.
Felixstowe and the Deben Peninsula
Taking in fields and riverside paths, along the sea wall and over stiles, the 6.4 mile walk commencing at Felixstowe Ferry is for the seasoned dog walker. The walk takes at least 3 hours, but is worth it to take in views of the Deben estuary.
For a slightly easier stroll, walk along the River Deben, and enjoy views of the UK's last working tide mill in Woodbridge. Free parking is available at The Avenue car park, so you can enjoy the walk and finish the day with a meander round some of the shops in the historic market town. Take a look at our guide to the Deben Peninsula for more things to do and walks.
Whatever your plans, make sure you are well equipped with plenty of water for man and dog and take regular breaks out of the full sun, but most of all have lots of summer fun with your best friend!
For more walking routes and inspiration take a look at our Walking Guide