Ickworth - the Monument walk

Ickworth, Horringer, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 5QE

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Parson’s Pond in Ickworth park © Michael Graham

Parson’s Pond in Ickworth park

Ickworth Canal Lake © Raymond Fleming

Ickworth Canal Lake

Blue Tits feeding in Spring at Ickworth © Raymond Fleming

Blue Tits feeding in Spring at Ickworth

Ickworth Fairy Lake © Raymond Fleming

Ickworth Fairy Lake

The Round House holiday cottage, Ickworth © National Trust

The Round House holiday cottage, Ickworth

Ickworth monument © National Trust

Ickworth monument

Horsepool Farm © Raymond Fleming

Horsepool Farm

Fallow deer © Chris Phillips

Fallow deer

There are some lovely sweeping views across the estate on the Albana walk © Michael Graham

There are some lovely sweeping views across the estate on the Albana walk

Route overview

A long circular walk heading towards the monument at the southern end of the park and passing many highlights on the way including Parsons pond (pictured),  Albana Wood, Walled Garden, Canal Lake, Family church and Fairy Lake at Ickworth.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Ickworth Monument Walk Map
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Ickworth main car park, grid ref: TL810610

  1. Heading towards the main house, take the right-hand fork heading towards the former vineyard and walled garden. Go through the gate (if animals are grazing please shut behind you) and follow the road down the hill towards the old St. Mary's family church (now open for visitors), passing Parson's pond on your right. On the horizon you may well be able to see the top of the monument.

    Show/HideParson's Pond

    A view of Parson's pond in summer. In days gone by there was a parsonage in the vicinity.

    Parson’s Pond in Ickworth park © Michael Graham
  2. When you reach the church, leave the road and head towards the wall, behind which is the walled garden. Go through the five-bar gate (shutting it behind you). Follow the wall to the end and turn right, through the black metal gate into the walled garden beside what is known as the Canal Lake. Look out for bees in summer.

    Show/HideCanal Lake

    The Canal Lake was dug, and the kitchen garden and summerhouse built, by the 1st Earl of Bristol shortly before 1717. You might be lucky to see a buzzard in flight here.

    Ickworth Canal Lake © Raymond Fleming
  3. After exploring the walled garden, return the way you came; exit through the black metal gate, and back-track up the path beside the wall to the five-bar gate. Just before the gate, turn hard right, and after a few yards stop at the bird hide.

    Show/HideWalled garden and Blue Tits

    In spring look out for great and blue tits feeding at the hide. The walled garden is now home to several beehives, which have been installed on the other side of the right-hand wall. This is part of our project to restore this area to how it would have looked 100 years ago, and part of the nationwide 'conserve bees' initiative; Ickworth honey will hopefully be on sale in the shop soon.

    Blue Tits feeding in Spring at Ickworth © Raymond Fleming
  4. A few yards down, follow the path straight along the valley, enjoying views of the Rotunda to your left. Cross the wooden bridge and walk through a sometimes muddy section, then climb the small set of steps; you're now at the Fairy Lake.

    Show/HideFairy Lake

    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 lake's future. You might see a heron here, if you're lucky.

    Ickworth Fairy Lake © Raymond Fleming
  5. Turn left and follow the dam. Following the red and blue marker posts, turn right at the other side of the dam. After a few yards keep straight on, following the path at the edge of the woods close to the field. Follow it to the top.

  6. At the crossroads, turn right by the sign for Lady Hervey's Wood and then by the next red marker post keep straight on.

  7. Pause and take a look at the Round House to your right. When you get to the end of the path, turn left and then right, following the red marker posts for a fairly long way. This path can be very muddy.

    Show/HideRound House

    Built around 1850 the Round House was originally used as a shooting lodge and gamekeeper's cottage. It's recently been completely restored and is now a holiday cottage.

    The Round House holiday cottage, Ickworth © National Trust
  8. At the end of the field (with spectacular views of the Rotunda to the right), keep right, still following the red marker posts. Now look out for the monument in the field to your left (8a on the map). When you get to the stile, cross into the field and walk across to it.

    Show/HideThe monument

    The monument was erected in 1817 by the people of Derry as a memorial to Frederick Hervey, the 4th Earl of Bristol, who was also the Bishop of Derry and creator of Ickworth House. His remains are buried in St Mary's, the Ickworth family church.

    Ickworth monument © National Trust
  9. From the monument, return to the stile and turn left back on to the red-posted muddy path and follow for quite a long way. As you cross Chevington field plantation, you might be able to see Chevington church in the distance, to your left. Now follow the path to the gate where it meets the road. Turn right and follow the path past Stoneyhill Wood on your left and Downter's Wood on your right.

    Show/HideViews

    There are some stunning views on this walk. This view of Horsepool Farm just outside the perimeter of the Park would make a brilliant painting.

    Horsepool Farm © Raymond Fleming
  10. Continue until reaching a cattle grid. Cross the grid and turn left; this is known as the Old Deer Park. Follow the path along the valley to the wooden footbridge, over the stream to your right.

    Show/HideOld Deer park

    The 'old' Deer Park was the first part of the estate converted to parkland. Evidence of the original medieval strip cultivation of the land (called “strip lynchets”) can still be seen. The outline of long, narrow fields going up the hill towards the Albana Wood can still be seen in the way the oaks are positioned in lines, having been retained from the lynchet boundaries. Deer were first introduced to Ickworth in 1706, and currently we have a large population of Fallow Deer on the wider estate, and the occasional Roe Deer or Muntjac.

    Fallow deer © Chris Phillips
  11. Cross the wooden bridge and follow the edge of the field to the top, then enter the woods by the orange marker post. Turn right and follow the path past views to the right over the valley; the monument can be seen in the distance.

  12. You're now entering part of the Albana walk. Follow the path, without turning off anywhere, and shortly after the 500-year-old oak tree, turn right. Upon reaching the gate, turn left and then right into the car park. Head towards the West Wing restaurant if you're hungry or fancy a drink.

    Show/HideAlbana walk

    The Albana walk is worth exploring as a separate walk, with spectacular views over the River Linnett valley. The Linnet is in no way a major river, but it provides water for many species, and also provides what is known as a 'corridor'. Wildlife can use the river to cross the estate in relative safety, using the fringing vegetation as protection from predators. You may notice a higher incidence of small birds along the Linnet where it's surrounded by arable fields. This is due to its properties as a wildlife 'corridor'.

    There are some lovely sweeping views across the estate on the Albana walk © Michael Graham

End: Ickworth main car park, grid ref: TL810610

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 5.8 miles (9.4km)
  • Time: 3 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 155
  • Terrain:

    Path is mostly woodland floor, with roots and grassland, some stiles. Will be very muddy after rain; suitable footwear advised. Dogs welcome under close control; please do not allow your dog to foul on and around footpaths and picnic areas.

  • How to get here:

    On foot: 4.5 miles (7.2kms) via footpaths from Bury St Edmunds

    By bike: Just off 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 road: In Horringer, 3 miles (4.8km) south-west of Bury St Edmunds on the west side of A143. Signposted as Westley from A14, junction 42

  • Facilities:

    • Car Park
    • WC's : West Wing basement and adjoining Porter's Lodge.
    • Food and Drink : West Wing restaurant, Porter's Lodge outdoor café
    • Plant and Garden shop
    • NT Gift Shop
    • Second-hand book shop (in West Wing basement)
    • Children's play area

     

  • Contact us