7 miles of varied landscapes from riverside paths, open glades and woodlands to viewpoints
An introduction to the Gainsborough Trail
Welcome to the Gainsborough Trail website
The Gainsborough Trail is an ongoing project to link all the wildlife sites and major green open spaces around the town of Sudbury in Suffolk (UK) into one continuous walkable path.
When complete, the Trail will connect Sudbury’s beautiful Water Meadows with riverside walks to nearby Great Cornard Country Park, the Shawlands Wood Nature Reserve, across an entirely new path which will be part of the yet-to-be-built Chilton Woods development and then down through Woodhall to re-unite once again with the Water Meadows.
Once completed, the trail is expected to be approximately 12.4 miles in length and open for long walks, short walks, dog walks, sponsored charity walks and sections available for bike and horse riders.
The terrain is very varied, but where ever possible access for suitable wheelchairs and pushchairs will be provided and in some cases alternative routes will be indicated that are more easily negotiable.
Linking wildlife sites and open spaces together not only benefits people by encouraging healthier recreation and lifestyle opportunities and the chance to re-connect with nature, but also facilitates the easier movement of wild animals, birds, insects, fungi, wild plant seeds and friendly bacteria.
All of this will greatly strengthen biodiversity in the local area, enhance the environment generally and leave an enduring legacy for generations to come.
The Gainsborough Trail is named after Thomas Gainsborough, the famous portrait and landscape painter, who was born and educated in Sudbury. The whole of the Trail would have been a landscape he would have known and loved and often painted and sketched.
The first part of the Gainsborough Trail, the Meadow Walk, was opened by local Paralympian Jonathan Adams on March 16th 2013 together with Sudbury’s Mayor for 2012/2013, Jack Owen. Click on the Meadow Walk logo to find further information, directions and a map.
The second part of the Gainsborough Trail, the Cornard Walk, was opened by local historian, Ashley Cooper on May 7th 2022 together with Sudbury’s Mayor for 2021/2022, Sue Ayres and members of the Gainsborough Trail Group. Click on the Cornard Walk logo to find further information and directions.