Ickworth long circular walk
The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 5QERoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
A long circular walk starting and finishing at the car park, passing various areas of interest such as the Fairy Lake, Canal Lake (which is a haven for wildlife), and Walled Garden.
- Bus stop
Start: Ickworth main car park, grid ref: TL810610
From the car park (1), head towards the front of the play area and turn left (2). Follow the path and turn right at the gate marked Albana Walk (3). Follow this path and at the first T-junction (4) turn right.
The Albana Walk is worth exploring as a separate walk on its own, with spectacular views over the River Linnett valley. The Linnet is in no way a major river, but it provides water for a variety of species, and also provides what is known as a 'corridor', allowing different species to use the river to cross the estate in relative safety, using its vegetation as cover.
Follow the path past an old shelter on your right (5) and take the right fork (6) by the sign for the Trim Trail. Follow this path downhill. This area is good for snowdrops (7) in late winter and early spring. At the bottom of the hill (8), bear right at the orange arrow.
Snowdrops are very evident around the Ickworth Park in late winter and early spring.
This path will bring you to the edge of a field. Follow the field downhill to a wooden bridge over a stream (9), then turn right and follow the path over a stile (10) (keep dogs on leads as there may be sheep in this field). After crossing a second stile turn right (11) onto the track until a left turn (12).
At the left turn go into a field to the the left of the hedge and up the grassy slope (again a possible area for sheep). Bear left at the top of the slope (13) and follow the path across and then around the edge of the fields to the main Ickworth entrance gate (14).
Cross to the gate marked 'Adkins Wood', cross the stile and follow the path until it forks (15) then keep right. A little further on at the T-junction, bear right again (16) and then take the next right (17) by the sign for Fontainebleau Grove. Follow the path round a sharp corner to the left (18) (another good area for snowdrops) and past a pond until you reach a sign for Lady Hervey's Wood.
Adkins wood on a bright winter's day
Go straight on by the sign for Lady Hervey's Wood (19). Follow the path until, shortly after, it crosses a wooden bridge (20). Continue on, until reaching a post with red and white markings (21), then turn right. Follow the path past a row of oak trees (22) and keep straight on by another post with a red marker (23).
After going up a slight incline, at a red post (24) turn left and follow the path to a T-junction. At this point turn left and then left again (25) to view the Fairy Lake at (26). Continue over the dam, and take the next turn to the right (27), following the river valley.
The Fairy Lake was dug between 1842 and 1866 as a boating lake, but now is more a haven for wildlife. With ever-encroaching reed and reed-mace reducing the open water, we're looking at ways to balance the nature conservation value of the lake with the need to clear silt and reeds to ensure the lakes future. You might see a heron here, if you're lucky.
Walking along this path there are good views (28) of the Rotunda and church, to your right. At the next intersection (29), take the left fork, keeping beside the river. At the end (the area to the right is another good place to find snowdrops), turn left through the gate (30) (shutting it behind you). You've now reached another lake (31) known as the Canal Lake.
The canal was dug, and the kitchen garden and summerhouse built, by the 1st Earl of Bristol shortly before 1717. It's a real haven for wildlife and you might be lucky to see a buzzard in flight.
On the opposite shore is the walled garden, with what used to be the vineyard behind it. Keep to the edge of the Lake, cross the wooden bridge (32) and go up the slope to an area of buildings known as the Bothy (33). You'll find toilets here too.
From this point either follow the road past the family church, or cut diagonally across the field towards the Rotunda and back to the car park (34).
End: Ickworth main car park, grid ref: TL810610
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 6 miles (10km)
- Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 155
Path is mostly woodland floor with roots and grassland; will be very muddy after rain so suitable footwear necessary. Some stiles. Dogs welcome under close control, but please don't allow your dog to foul on and around footpaths and/or picnic areas.
- How to get here:
On Foot: 4.5 miles (7.2km) via footpaths from Bury St Edmunds
By Bike: Near route 51, which goes through Bury St Edmunds. See Sustrans website
By Bus: Burtons 344/5, Bury St Edmunds to Haverhill route, passing close to Bury St Edmunds Railway Station
By Train: Bury St Edmunds 3 miles (4.8km), then taxi or bus to Horringer and Ickworth
By Car: In Horringer, 3 miles south-west of Bury St Edmunds on west side of A143. From A14 take exit signposted Westley, junction 42
- Car Park
- Food and Drink: West Wing restaurant, Porter's Lodge Outdoor Cafe
- WC's : West Wing basement and car park (2014)
- Plant and Garden Shop in car park (2014)
- NT Gift Shop
- Second-hand book shop (in West Wing basement)
- Children's Play area
- Contact us