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Festive Winter Walks

Get outside and enjoy the fresh crisp winter air with one of these walks in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond!

As we head into the colder months, bright clear days invite us to wrap up warm and head out for a brisk winter walk in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond.

We've picked a few of our favourite routes for you to enjoy this upcoming festive season...

1. Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Circular Walk

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Duration: 30 minutes at a medium pace.

This enjoyable stroll takes you around Bury St Edmunds' historic town centre. Starting at Risbygate Street, head east towards Looms Lane before turning right on to Lower Baxter Street, heading south. You will then pass along Abbeygate Street before turning on to Athenaeum Lane and onto Chequer Square.

Turn left onto Tuns Lane, and after 100 metres, turn left onto Tuns Lane and then right onto Crown Street heading south. After 40 metres, turn left onto Honey Hill and then left onto the footpath heading north carrying on to Vinefields. Turn left on to Eastgate Street and continuing on to Mustow Street. Turn right on to Northgate Street and then left back on to Looms Lane to complete the walk.

2. Bury St Edmunds Landmark Walk

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Photo: Tom Soper

Duration: 2 hours at a leisurely pace

This two hour walk will take you past some of Bury St Edmunds historic landmarks and streets including Mustow Street, the Abbey Gardens and Abbey Ruins, the Martyr's Memorial and the Charnel House.

On to St Mary's Square and Westgate Street to the Theatre Royal and the Greene King Brewery (where you can stop for a tour or a pint in the cafe!). Continuing through Tuns Lane, College Lane and along Guildhall Street into the centre of the Town and the Corn Exchange. Turning right onto The Traverse where you can stop in one of the UK's smallest pubs The Nutshell.

Once refreshed, explore the Town Centre stopping by Moyse's Hall Museum and onto Butter Market, Abbeygate Street and Angel Hill where you will find the lighthouse shaped street sign the 'Pillar of Salt' - the UK's first illuminated street sign.

To the right you will find The Athenaeum and The Angel Hotel; where Charles Dickens stayed in 1859 and again in 1861. And ahead of you lies the famous Abbey Gate; through which you can make your way back to where you started to complete your route.

3. Magna Carta Heritage Walk

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Duration: 8.5 miles (approximately 1/2 day at a strong pace)

This linear route takes you from the Norman castles of Clare to Hedingham. The walk celebrates the two communities connections to the Magna Carta; Robert de Vere, Richard de Clare and Gilbert de Clare were among the rebel barons who forced King John to agree to the Magna Carta on the 15th June 1215. The Magna Carta set up a Committee of 25 barons, of which these three members, became guarantors that John would abide by its clauses.

The walk starts at Clare Castle continuing on to Clare Priory and along Long Lane in Ovington; the ancient trackway is directly in line, north to Clare Castle or south to Hedingham Castle and offers beautiful views to the east of the Stour Valley.

Head through the village of Belchamp St Paul and on towards Belchamp Otten and Belchamp Walter. Explore the ancient woodland of Colliersley Wood and along the footpath through Great Lodge Farm where you can spot large wild deer grazing.

The route completes at Hedingham Castle; set on its Norman motte overlooking the valley of the Colne River, it's the perfect spot to take in the views and relax with a flask of tea at the end of your walk.

For more information and full route, download the guide from the Clare Walkers website.

4. Lavenham to Long Melford Railway Walk

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Duration: 4.5 miles - 2 hours

This route takes you along the route of the Old Great Eastern Lavenham to Long Melford Railway, with lots of opportunities to see birds and animal wildlife in their natural habitat. A great walk for families, dogs are also allowed at all points along the route too!

Starting at Lavenham Guildhall, head down Market Lane to the High Street where you will find a sign saying 'Lavenham Walk'. Follow this walk until you reach a pair of metal gates and continue on until you reach Bridge Street railway bridge.

At the end of the road, you will reach a fence, which marks the end of the Lavenham Walk section, and carry on towards the old railway cutting, passing through Lineage Wood and Paradise Wood, before you reach the site of the 1891 railway accident.

The route then takes you through woodland and fields before joining the footpath which sits alongside the main A134 Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds Road (a point to pop the dog back on it's lead perhaps!). Turn left of the footpath and you arrive at the grand gates of Melford Hall.

Take the route back or hop on the return bus (Chambers 573) to return to Lavenham.

For more information and the full route, visit Lavenham Guildhall website.

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