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From riverside walks along the Stour, gentle ambles across Sudbury's ancient water meadows, town trails taking in Sudbury's unique history and architecture to fascinating strolls along lost railway lines there is something for avid ramblers, wildlife spotters to curious culture buffs alike.

Sudbury is surrounded by breathtaking landscape accented by the River Stour and ancient Water Meadows that have inspired the some of the world's most celebrated artists - among Sudbury's very own Thomas Gainsborough.

Take a look below for free maps, guides and tips to help you make the most of your Sudbury exploration. If you'd prefer a bit more guidance why not book on one of our guided town tours? Perfect for the first time visitor!

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enjoy some sudbury hospitality

Looking for places to eat, drink, visit or stay in Sudbury as part of you walking trip? Take a look at our dining in Sudbury guide with a wide selection of independent restaurants, cafes and pubs for your mid ramble break! If you're walking on a Thursday or Saturday don't forget to drop in on Sudbury Market en route. Looking for a place to stay? Take a look at our guide here.

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go car free

With excellent public transport links and a range of amentities in the town centre, Sudbury is perfect start or end point for further exploration. Sudbury is the terminus station on the scenic 'The Gainsborough Line', a bus network also connects Sudbury to many nearby rural towns and villages. Cycling to Sudbury? Take a look at this handy cycle route map.

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let us guide you!

You do the walking, we do the talking...Mix up your Sudbury exploration with tales of Sudbury's fascinating history From Saxon settlements, artistic inspiration, peasants revolts to Sudbury Silk. Book on one of our Guided Tours to find out more about Sudbury's unique heritage. 

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walkers are welcome

Sudbury is working towards national 'Walkers are Welcome' accreditation. ​Our WaW committee actively promote walking in Sudbury. We are also a dog friendly town, many of our high street businesses will welcome you and your pooch with open arms (and complimentary dog treats). Local to Sudbury? Pledge your support for Sudbury's WaW accreditation campaign.

sudbury SELF GUIDED trails & stour valley exploration

Walk in Gainsborough's footsteps, discover Sudbury's industrious past and present and the buildings that characterise the wealth of The Wool Towns, walk along lost railways, discover Sudbury's Silk Weaving heritage and the ancient watermeadows - a haven for wildlife. These fascinating self-guided trails are easy going and perfect for anyone who likes a mix of town and country on their walks!

Gainsborough Trail logo


Circular route - 4 miles / gentle 

Start Point:

Kingfisher Leisure Centre Car Park, 

Sudbury, CO10 2SU

The Meadow Walk is the first section of the Gainsborough Trail, named after the famous Painter Thomas Gainsborough who was born in Sudbury and spent much of his formative years as an artist sketching Sudbury's inspiring landscape.

The Meadow Walk features Sudbury’s ancient water meadows, which, having never been farmed, are a rich source of biodiversity for a wide variety of wild flowers, insects, birds and mammals. The meadows are carefully managed by the Sudbury Common Lands Charity who continue the old tradition of summer cattle grazing. Along the route you will also discover remnants of Sudbury’s industrial heritage and stunning views that vary throughout the seasons.

Footage following Gainsborough Trail: Meadow Walk.  Credit: Joe Jackson, LakeDistrick-Walks.co.uk

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cornard walk

Circular route - miles / moderate, hilly in parts

Start Point:

Kingfisher Leisure Centre Car Park, 

Sudbury, CO10 2SU

The Cornard Walk is the second section of the Gainsborough Trail, named after the famous Painter Thomas Gainsborough who was born in Sudbury and spent much of his formative years as an artist sketching Sudbury & Great Cornard's inspiring landscape.

The Great Cornard section of the Gainsborough Trail features 7 miles of varied landscapes from riverside paths, open glades and woodlands to viewpoints overlooking the landscape that inspired Thomas Gainsborough. Discover historic Bakers Mill beside the meandering Stour, ancient Danes Hole where Boudicca’s army defeated the Romans (possibly!), and chalk cliffs that gave rise to Sudbury’s brick-making industry. The views over Sudbury and the surrounding landscape are breathtaking and a rare treat in an otherwise flat suffolk!


Photos following Gainsborough Trail: Cornard Walk.

the talbot trail

Circular town trail - easy / accessible

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Start Point:

Sudbury Heritage Centre, Town Hall (Gaol Lane), Sudbury, CO10 2EA

The Talbot Trail is a series of 14 statues around Sudbury that depict various fascinating episodes in the town’s history over the centuries. The trail is an excellent way to navigate your way around Sudbury with many of the town's ancient natural, historical and architectural gems to enjoy on route.

From peasants' revolting to Elizabethan actors jigging, walk in the footsteps of some fascinating local characters from Sudbury's unique past.

The first statue 'The Town Gaol' and the beginning of The Talbot Trail is situated adjacent to Sudbury Town Hall, in Gaol Lane, near the impressive Victorian doorway that forms the entrance to Sudbury Heritage Centre & Museum.