By Gill Stewart at
Rosie Marler is based near the coast and her Nordic Walking group is even called Promenade! She and her hardy regulars are making it their business to explore as much of the coastline from Pakefield to Southwold as possible. They meet at the Ferini gallery in Pakefield every Thursday afternoon, where they sometimes even have guest speakers, and nordic walk in surrounding areas throughout the week. Click here for more info about Pakefield.
Rosie says ” Promenade East Coast Nordic Walking has grown in numbers despite the most appalling spring, certainly, that I can remember. We have been hit by the elements including, coastal erosion, mist, snow and the most dreadful biting Easterly winds.We walk from 3 East coast venues, including picturesque Pakefield and Kessingland with thier stunning beaches and a mile or two further along, Benacre. We have witnessed the sea creeping ever further forward; the costal path is being lost to the sea and cliff debris is laying on the sands. Finally we walk in Southwold with its beach and expansive common that leads down to Walberwick; all are idyllic places for Nordic Walking particularly in fair weather”
Pakefield to Kessingland circular – 3.5 miles – for more info click here
Southwold to Walberswick 5- 6 miles. We avoid the marshes and stick to the track as it is impassable at the moment. – for more info click here
“On Wednesday 3rd April we took a big Adventure Walk from Pakefield to Southwold. We covered 13 miles in total. It was a real adventure as we experienced very cold conditions and we had to take lots of detours due to recent erosion, high tides and wind. Because of the difficult conditions we took 4.5 hours in total to make it to Tilly’s Tearooms in Southwold where we all sat down to a well earned lunch!”
Kevin says ” Our tuesday group tend to stick to the country paths varying locations each week and on Saturdays we explore the Forests. On Thursday evenings we adore our walks at Ickworth House which has a range of walks, the longest being about 7 miles.There are walks waymarked with coloured posts and theyare constantly changing with the seasons so there is always something different to look at.
“One of our favourite Thursday evening walks is the walk down the main drive to the entrance, from the car park to the main gates is nearly half a mile away! From the main entrance we head off into the woods, which have been here for many years, an engraved stone just off the footpath celebrates the planting of the woodland between 1811 and 1812! Emerging from the woods we come to Fairy Lake, last spring we watched a pair of swans build a nest, incubate their eggs and care for their young here. From the lake we head back through a smaller woodland and then grassy track with great views of the majestic rotunda which is the central feature of the house. On our way back we pass another lake, with the large walled garden on the other side and pass Ickworth church currently being renovated, before heading back up to the car park. A total distance of about 5 miles. A fuller description of the walk can be found by clicking here
A much shorter walk but none the less a walk that offers much by way of variety goes from the very heart of Bury St Edmunds, before heading out into meadow land and returning via a riverside walk with farm land on the other side, the walk finishes in Abbey gardens with the remains of the Abbey, this walk is about 2 miles but a great lunch time or evening stroll. A fuller description can be found here
To celebrate all that Suffolk has to offer, Kevin is organising a ‘doable’ Nordic Walking Charity Challenge event in aid of East Anglia Air Ambulance from Bury St Edmunds to Clare on Sunday 19th May. The distance is 18 miles, everyone walks at their own pace and the goal is to complete the challenge in 8 hours. There will be check points along the way offering refreshments (and transport to the finish if you decide you have had enough(!), a detailed route description will be provided so no one gets lost and a specially commissioned certificate will be awarded to everyone who takes part. Why not join them, see for yourself how great Suffolk really is, raise money for a great cause and set yourself a challenge too! Further details and entry form can be found here
For Rosie’s website click here
For Kevin’s website click here