Whatever the time of year, walking in the Suffolk countryside is like stepping into a living postcard, and here at Rougham Estate we are pleased to offer 18 miles of public footpaths, cycling routes and permissive pathways for you to enjoy.

Over the coming months more walks will be added to the website, but for now here are a few walks for you to enjoy, all starting at Blackthorpe Barn. Each walk has been designed by George Agnew, whose great-grandfather bought Rougham Estate in 1904, and all have been tested with Bolly the cavapoo, who has given them his seal of approval.

Roots Café and the new Garden Room shop are now open all year around (not necessarily every day – please check for the latest opening times), so you are welcome to visit Blackthorpe Barn throughout the seasons.

Please note the important and useful information about the walks below.


Don’t get locked in

The car parks at Blackthorpe Barn, where all these walks start and end, are closed and locked when the café and shop are closed.
If you think you will be walking beyond the time the café and shop close, please park outside the Blackthorpe Barn area.

Important Information


Difficulty levels

We have given each walk a difficulty level, as a guide to the potential walker about what to expect.
A difficulty rating of “easy” means the path is most accessible.
A difficulty rating of “hard” means the path is one of the most challenging possibly including stiles, kissing gates, steps, steep slopes and meadows with cattle.
A difficulty rating of “medium” is somewhere between.
The route information for each walk includes photos of the walk, a google map and, in most cases, a video, so that you are able to assess whether you would like to take the walk or not.

None of the walks are very hard as we live in Suffolk, not the Lake District, however some people are looking for something very gentle and others, something a bit more challenging.


Footwear and dress for walks

These walks lead through the Suffolk countryside and so expect to find muddy patches, nettles and thistles. It is important to remember that the weather may change during your walk too, especially if the walk is a long one. Remember to wear sensible boots and take something waterproof along as well. A sun hat for warmer weather is important too.


Dogs on leads

Here at Rougham we love dogs and really appreciate the importance that they hold for people in their lives and on their walks and outdoor adventures together. We would ask that you keep your canine friends on a lead when you are walking in Rougham. It is safer for the dog and much safer for wildlife. Ground nesting birds and other wildlife are seriously threatened by dogs running loose. They can also frighten other people who are less comfortable with dogs, but would also like to walk. Finally, you will not be able to see where they poo and so will not be able to clear it up and leave a hazard for future walkers. Some of the walks shown here include sections on public rights of way over land owned by other people. As a courtesy to them too, please always keep your dogs on the lead. Thank you!


Poop bags

Please ensure that you carry poop bags with you on your doggy walks. If you don’t have any with you, you can buy some in our shop. It is so important that you clear up after your dog and then take the bag away with you. You will find poo bins located near Blackthorpe Barn and Roots Café. Finding abandoned poop bags hanging in the branches of trees or just left on the ground is very unattractive for future walkers on the route so please do take them with you. Thank you so much.


Negotiating stiles with a dog

Stiles enable people to cross stockproof fences safely. Our stiles are built to Suffolk County Council standards. If you have a dog with you then you should look for a small dog gate at the base and to the side of the stile. This may have a flap on a spring or a sliding door. Encourage your dog through first, then pass the dog’s lead through and take hold of it from above the fence. Then cross the stile yourself. This enables you to cross the stile without taking your dog off its lead.



The Rougham Estate walks shown here are largely based on existing Estate paths and public rights of way. They pass mostly through woodland and along field-side paths.
Each path is given a difficulty rating ranging from 1, which are the most accessible, to 3, which are the most challenging, including obstacles.
All these walks follow existing paths and are subject to mud and puddles in wet weather, fallen branches and trees during and after storms, ice and snow during frozen weather. Brambles and nettles are common anywhere and will overhang the paths during the summer. Stinging insects including wasps, bees and hornets may be encountered and midges and mosquitos are common on summer evenings. Adders are rare but do exist and should not be approached.
The Blackthorpe Barn has a defibrillator available for emergency use.
Rougham is located in a very flat part of Suffolk and as such is more accessible that in most other parts of the country but concepts of accessibility are all relative and the final judgement must be the responsibility the visitor themselves.
The Rougham Estate does its best to make public areas as available as possible; it cannot accept responsibility for accidents or injuries incurred during visits or walks on the Estate although every effort is made to make them as usable as possible.


Meadows with cattle

Our ancient meadows are a wonderful sight and well worth a visit on one of our walks. The reason they remain like this is that they provide grazing for cattle as they have done for many hundreds of years. You must assume that there may be cattle in any meadow that you visit. Leave all gates how you find them and ensure that any dog you have is on a short lead and kept close to you. Cattle are curious creatures and may well approach you to see who you are. They are also herd animals, so they tend to move together with one taking the lead. They are also frightened of dogs. This is an inherited memory linking back to the times of wolves. Just walk steadily through the meadow. Don’t let anyone chase the cattle or make loud noises. If you or anyone in your party is uncomfortable about cattle it may be best to choose another walk.


Not all the land over which these paths run belongs to the Rougham Estate

We have endeavoured to provide a real variety of walks based on land within the Rougham Estate, however some destinations are a little remote and to achieve circular walks rather than walks which just retrace their steps, where necessary use has been made of the extensive footpath network and chosen public footpaths on our neighbours’ land, to complete the journeys in more interesting ways.

Public and Permissive Footpaths on the Estate

Across the Rougham Estate there are over 20 kilometres of public rights of way and an additional 5.5 kilometres of permissive rights of way granted by the Estate for your further enjoyment.

All of the rights of way across the Estate are clearly posted and we mow them on a regular basis to make them more accessible. Outside these ways, we have created important habitats for wildlife and ground-nesting birds.

It is extremely important that people stick to the rights of way, as disturbing the habitats by leaving the paths would be detrimental to the success of the wildlife. We have created a map showing the Public and Permissive footpaths.


Where to find us

Address: Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
SatNav: IP30 9HZ
What3Words: newly.sofas.debating
View Ground Plan

Plenty of free parking on site

Disabled access available

This is a rural location and paths can be muddy

Please Note: The car parks close when Roots Café closes and the entrance gates are locked after this time


Blackthorpe Barn is situated just south of Junction 45 of the A14, three miles east of Bury St Edmunds, in the village of Rougham.
Look out for the entrance gates to a long tree-lined avenue at the White House junction, with the Barn on the right of the avenue.
Blackthorpe Barn’s black and white signs direct visitors from local roads.


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