Ickworth walled-garden and canal walk

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

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Come and see if you can catch a glimpse of our deer © NTPL/David Kirkham

Come and see if you can catch a glimpse of our deer

Parson's pond in the Ickworth deer park © National Trust

Parson's pond in the Ickworth deer park

Sit and relax by the lake to look over at the dome of the rotunda © Robert Morris

Sit and relax by the lake to look over at the dome of the rotunda

The beautiful view of Ickworth old vineyard and church from the canal lake © National Trust

The beautiful view of Ickworth old vineyard and church from the canal lake

The old vineyard at Ickworth is now a riot of wild flowers in summer © Michael Graham

The old vineyard at Ickworth is now a riot of wild flowers in summer

Route overview

A circular walk taking you to the Ickworth walled garden, and canal lake, which is a haven for wildlife,  The view from the far side of the canal is one of the best at Ickworth, looking over the former vineyard, and sneaking a peek at the church, and the Rotunda.

Route details

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

Ickworth vineyard and canal walk map, Suffolk
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: West Wing reception, grid ref: TL810610

  1. Start at West Wing reception, heading back in the direction of the car park. Take first turn left. Continue past toilets sign and take the second left, heading towards the garden entrance and five-bar gate. Go through the gate and follow the road.

    Show/HideFallow deer

    Keep an eye out for fallow deer in the deer park, a common species of deer in Britain with a spotted coat.

    Come and see if you can catch a glimpse of our deer © NTPL/David Kirkham
  2. Continue straight on, looking out for Parson's pond on your right, then continue on to the private family church on your left. The church has now been restored and is open to visitors. The site of the original Ickworth Hall will be found behind the church. The path bears right and continues downhill to the bottom of the deer park and a bridge.

    Show/HideParson's pond

    This pond is near the site of the parsonage, burnt down in the 16th century. From the original deeds the parsonage consisted of a 'hall, a parlour, a dairy and buttery, two little lower chambers, and three upper chambers.' The original Ickworth village also stood in this vicinity and was home to approximately 100.

    Parson's pond in the Ickworth deer park © National Trust
  3. Turn left at the bridge and follow the grass path for approximately 200 metres to reach the canal lake, which will be on your left. You might be lucky to see a buzzard in flight here.

    Show/HideThe canal lake

    The canal lake is a real haven for wildlife and gets absolutely covered with lily pads in summer. Next to the canal lake is the garden's cottage, which is now let as a holiday cottage.

    Sit and relax by the lake to look over at the dome of the rotunda © Robert Morris
  4. Continue on along the bank of the canal lake, taking the track on your left leading to the entrance to the walled garden (a black metal gate at the bottom of the hill). Take time to explore the garden and summerhouse, continuing to the top of the garden and exit through the gate by the small information hut and the Bothy.

    Show/HideAn estate view

    There are some fantastic views of the estate from this side of the canal lake. This view is taken facing north and captures the walled garden, St Mary's church and the impressive Rotunda.

    The beautiful view of Ickworth old vineyard and church from the canal lake © National Trust
  5. After looking at the former vineyard, turn right and re-trace your steps along the road back to the family church, the House and car park.

    Show/HideFormer vineyard/walled garden

    Table grapes were grown here in Victorian times and were stored over winter in the summerhouse. The east side of the new vineyard was planted in 1995, but the vines have now been removed, and the whole area is now being restored to the estate's former walled kitchen garden, and currently in summer is full of wild flowers.

    The old vineyard at Ickworth is now a riot of wild flowers in summer © Michael Graham

End: West Wing reception, grid ref: TL810610

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1.8 miles (2.9km)
  • Time: 1 hour
  • OS Map: Landranger 155
  • Terrain:

    A circular walk along a mostly surfaced road, though there are also patches of grass tracks. The grass track to the old vineyard and walled garden is not suitable for wheelchairs and may be hard going for some pushchairs.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: 4.5 miles (7.2km) from Bury St Edmunds, via footpaths

    By bike: View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network. We are just off Route 51, which goes through Bury St Edmunds

    By bus: Burtons 344/5, Bury St Edmunds/Haverhill route, passing close to Bury St Edmunds Railway Station

    By train: Bury St Edmunds 3 miles (4.8km) away, then taxi or bus to Horringer and Ickworth

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

  • Facilities:

    • Car Park
    • Food and drink: West Wing restaurant, Porter's Lodge Outdoor Cafe
    • WC's : West Wing basement, adjoining Porter's Lodge and near the Bothy.
    • NT Gift shop
    • Second-hand book shop (in West Wing basement)
    • Plant and garden shop
    • Children's play area

  • Contact us