Downs Wood Walk and Footpath

  • 30 minutes
  • easy
  • 1.2 miles


This walk takes you through the Downs Wood and on the far side takes you round some beautiful paths with views of Rougham Church before returning to the Blackthorpe Barn through the wood again. If it’s been raining recently, the paths through the woods may be muddy and slippery in places and there may be some branches across the path if it’s been windy.

The walk starts at Blackthorpe Barn where you can find plenty of free parking as well as Roots Café and the new Garden Room shop. Please remember that the gates to the avenue entrance are locked after the Cafe and Shop close. More details here.

For more general information about this and other walks, see Walks around Rougham Estate. We hope you have a lovely walk.

Use the Google Map below on your phone to follow the path shown or print the route out, if you prefer, using the Download button near the top of the page.

If you can’t access the map through the image above, use this google map link

Go on the Downs Wood and Footpath Walk with George and Bolly in this video, where George Agnew narrates the walk covering interesting information along the way:




Step 1

From Blackthorpe Barn turn right and pass through the carparks along the concrete road until you reach the Downs Wood on your right.


Step 2

A path leads into the wood shortly after you reach its boundary. Follow this path, past some old air raid shelters on your right which are left over from the old airbase located here in Rougham during the Second World War. Shortly after the second air raid shelter, bear left and then turning left after about 50 metres. Follow through the wood to the far end.


Step 3

At this point turn right at a T junction. Follow this path out of the wood with a hedge on your left. You will see Rougham Church appear through the hedgerow. Follow this path until it meets a path crossing your path.


Step 4

Turn right down this path and follow it between the fields until you meet the public road in front of you. Here you will find a poop bin, which might prove useful!


Step 5

Turn right here and follow along the edge of the field, with the road on your left until you reach the end of the field.


Step 6

Here, turn slightly left and onto the pavement as you approach some houses called The Downs and named after the wood behind.


Step 7

Follow this pavement round to the right as you walk down the roadway between the two rows of houses. After passing a pair of semi-detached bungalows and then a pair of semi-detached houses on your left you will find an entrance to the wood on your left behind a garage.


Step 8

Enter the wood here and follow the path straight ahead. The path forks as you continue after 50 metres.


Step 9

Take the right fork and continue. You then reach an island in the path ahead and can pass either side of it but continue in a straight line further on until you see a small path lead off to the left.


Step 10

Follow this small path to the left, out of the wood. You will now have reached one of the further carparks of Blackthorpe Barn.


Step 11

Walk slightly right as you approach the road through the carparks. Turn left onto the road and follow through to the end where you will see signs directing you to the Roots Café for some well-earned refreshment.

Important information

Must my dog be kept on a lead?

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 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 who would also like to walk.

Finally, you will not be able to see where they poop 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!

Can I do this walk with a wheelchair?

The Rougham Estate walks, starting from Blackthorpe Barn, are largely based on existing Estate paths and public rights of way. They mostly pass through woodland and along field-side paths.
Each walk is given a difficulty rating ranging from “easy”, which are the most accessible, to “hard”, which are the most challenging and may include stiles, kissing gates, steps, steep slopes and meadows with cattle.

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 than 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.
The Estate cannot accept responsibility for accidents or injuries incurred during visits or walks on the Estate, though every effort is made to make them as usable as possible.

What about dogs and 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 the Garden Room shop. It is so important that you clear up after your dog and then take the bag away with you.
You will find poop 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.

What are the difficulty levels?

We have given each walk a difficulty level, as a guide to the potential walker as to what to expect, from “easy” to “hard”.

The Rougham Estate walks are largely based on existing Estate paths and public rights of way, at times passing through woodland and along field-side paths.

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 between the two.

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.

What should I wear for these 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.

Are all these walks on Rougham Estate land?

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.

Roots cake landscape

Start your walk with a coffee, end with a cake.

Experience a charming and cosy spot located in the heart of the beautiful countryside. The café boasts a tranquil and serene atmosphere, making it the perfect place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.



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