Suffolk Steps: Paths to the Past on your Doorstep
If you’re looking to stay active and find fun ways to explore your local area this summer, get your walking shoes on and start exploring with Suffolk Steps.
Suffolk Steps is a collection of local historic walks and trails developed by museums and partners throughout Suffolk. The free walks are designed to help all ages stay active and uncover hidden history in the towns and Suffolk countryside.
Keeping active is a key theme for Suffolk Steps partner, Keep Moving Suffolk, a local campaign aimed at helping people stay active during the Covid-19 pandemic. Keep Moving Suffolk aims to inspire and encourage people to stay active, move or move more, by sharing ideas, tips, useful links and positive stories during these unprecedented times, using the hashtag #KeepMovingSuffolk.
Walking is a simple, free way of exercising and is one of the easiest ways to stay active and become healthier. A brisk 10-minute walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Whatever your age, increased physical activity is linked to helping people lead a healthier and happier life with lower incidences of chronic illness.
You can explore Suffolk Steps by downloading the trails to your phone, or printing if you have access to a printer. Take the historic trail at Dunwich, a once great medieval port that disappeared beneath the waves to become the scenic coastal village it is today. Walk around the friary ruins and picture yourself in very different surroundings.
Follow the trail around Thomas Gainsborough’s Sudbury and walk in the footsteps of the 18th century master of portrait and landscape painting. Travel back in time to height of the silk and weaving industry as you pass the historic houses and production centers of wealthy merchants and clothiers.
There is so much to see, from the 125 acres of serene countryside at West Stow County Park, to strolling along the famed ‘Sailors Path’, a well-worn route initially used by sailors and smugglers. You can also take in the largest Millennium Green in England in Halesworth along the historic Malt trail or go off the beaten track with Orford Museum’s Elizabethan map of the village.
As with any form of outdoor exercise, please follow the current Government guidelines on staying safe outside your home. This includes keeping at least a 2m distance from those outside your household, washing your hands often, (and not touching your face), and avoiding crowds. Please view the current Government guidance at www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing, before undertaking any form of outdoor exercise.
Visit the Suffolk Museums website at www.suffolkmuseums.org, and look for Suffolk Steps, to download the trails. Share your walk stories and pictures under #SuffolkSteps.