There is an extensive network of circular walks throughout Thurston, and a free map is available from the Parish Council offices at the New Green Centre, where each walk starts and finishes.
Circular Walk One (takes about 2 hours)
Leave New Green, heading left down Station Hill and right along Barton Road past the Fox and Hounds and Post Office to Heath Road. Turn left onto Heath Road and continue to the railway crossing. Follow the lane to Bury Road, turn right and keep close to the hedge, take the first right turning to East Barton, go over the railway bridge past the farm on the left and on towards the cottages on the corner. Take the right hand track alongside the cottages and follow GB3 to Barton Road where you can enjoy some lovely views across Great Barton and Thurston). A Barton Road turn right, then left onto GB10 continue to the cottage then bare left along TH21 around the edge of Barton Mere*. Take the wooden footbridge over the ditch at the cottage – PK15, then a sharp right along the track and past the pumping station. At Ixworth Road turn right, walk up the hill and turn left into Sheep Lane proceeding to the signpost and stile on the right. Go over the stile, through the meadow to the spinney and follow the pathway to Meadow Lane. Walk past the cottages on the right to Norton Road, cross over Norton Road to Sandpit Lane and back to the New Green.
* The Mere is a haven for many types of wildfowl, wildflowers and the occasional roe deer.
Circular Walk Two (takes about 2.5hours, and suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs)
Leave New Green, heading left down Station Hill and right along Barton Road past the Fox and Hounds. Turn right at Mill lane and continue left onto Ixworth Road towards Pakenham (do take care as this is a busy road), turn right into Home Farm Lane PK14 – this is a rough track, but manageable, and enjoy the lovely views of Nether Hall and grounds. Turn right into Pakenham High Street past the Fox Public House and at the end of the street turn right up the hill past the church. With Nether Hall and Sheep Lane on the right, Pakenham and Thurston Churches can clearly be seen. Turn left into Orchard Lane, continue to the end and turn left onto Norton Road (being very careful as this is a busy road). Take the first right onto Oak Road and continue to the end turning right into Barrells Road and continue down Stoney Lane towards the Church. Cross over Church Road and take the footpath along School Road back to the New Green.
Circular Walk Three (takes about 2 hours)
Leaving New Green on the TH2, turn left into Sandpit Lane, walk to the bottom, cross the Norton Road by the Victoria pub and walk down Meadow Lane. Two thirds of the way down Meadow Lane, on the right hand side is a wooden footbridge over a ditch, take this route and walk diagonally across the field to the spinney, Follow the footpath through the woods until you reach the stile/kissing gate into the meadow, turn left and walk towards Sheep Lane, turn right onto Sheep Lane and approximately 100m down on the left hand side is a kissing gate into a large meadow on the TH8. Continue across the meadow to PK12 and the road, then right up the hill past Pakenham Church, until you reach the signpost on your left, this is TH9 - follow this route, with the church on your left to PK13. Stick to the field edge until you see the way marker signs, keeping the field edge on your right, turn left and continue along the edge until the signs direct your right (around the paddock) turning left at the bottom. Stay on the TH15 and onto Norton Road, turn left at the cottage, then right into Oak Road, 350m past the farm entrance by the large Oak, turn right over the ditch and onto TH16. With Green Farm on your right, continue along the path, passing diagonally through the spinney. Walk to the bottom of the track, turn left and walk towards Thurston Church crossing over the plank on the ditch. Cross Church Road onto TH6, walk to Norton Road turning left past the Victoria and left again into Sandpit Lane back to the New Green.
Circular Walk Four (takes about 3 hours)
Leave New Green on TH2 along School Road, turn left onto School Lane (TH3) by Cavendish Hall, walk past the church and turn right onto TH16 beside the churchyard. Walk straight across the field, over the ditch via the planks and turn left remaining on TH16 track to Green Farm enjoying the views of the surrounding countryside. At Oak Road turn left and continue to TH14 found on the right. Walk down TH14 to Gypsies Lane, cross over Barrells Road and continue up Gypsies Lane to where NO14 and TH12 meet. Head South across the field on TH12 to Wyards Lane. ** Turn right and return along Wyards Lane turning left onto Tostock Road, continue along the road, go over the railway bridge and continue to the footbridge for TO11. Take this path to Hollow Lane, bare left and then right along the sandy track which leads towards the A14 and into TH10, after 200m on the right is a stile for TH5. Go over the stile, skirting the spinney. At the end of the field go over another stile by a large oak tree and cross the paddock/airstrip. Cross over Hollow Lane, go over the the ditch and down beside the cottage and along the edge of the field to Birds Road. TH5 and TH11 meet here (an alternative route is over the railway line and through the paddock out onto Barrells Road), turn left down Birds Road to Stockhold Green, turn right along Barrels Road, over Spiteful Bridge*** and left down Stoney Lane. Cross over Church Road and take the footpath along School Road back to New Green.
**Here it is worth turning left onto TH13 through the kissing gate, and crossing the natural water meadows, enjoying views of the River Blackbourne. Proceeding diagonally across the meadows you will come to a stile, which will take you through a spinney, over the river to Norton.
**Turn right to follow the way marking to a kissing gate and a footbridge leading to Coopers Wood on the left. Planted in 2002, the wood is in memory of Mrs Cooper who lived at Grove Farm and bequeathed the land to Suffolk Wildlife Trust. The path leads to Tostock Road where you have the choice of TO11, TH11 or just turn right to pick up Barrells Road back to Thurston.
***Spiteful Bridge was so named after a railway worker was decapitated on a foggy day and which meant he did not see the bridge.
Circular Walk Five (takes about 1 hour)
Leave new Green on TH2, turning left into Sandpit Lane, cross over Norton Road and walk down Meadow Lane. At the last cottage, turn left onto TH1 and walk along the field edge for approximately 100m to TH18 (signpost on the left). Follow the path and at Mill Lane turn right up the hill, take the first right, passing houses, stables and a pond which according to legend had gallows. Cross Ixworth Road, head down Sheep Lane to TH7 signpost. Cross over the stile and across the meadow and through the spinney into Meadow Lane. Cross Norton Road once more and head back to New Green along Sandpit Lane.