Ickworth - Albana and trim trail walk
Ickworth, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 5QERoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
A circular walk through some of the woodlands around Ickworth. If you have the energy then take a detour to the Trim Trail (suitable for adults and children) and try your hand on various fitness objects, ranging from pole climbing to ladder walks and leap frog.
- Bus stop
Start: West Wing reception, grid ref: TL810610
Start at the West Wing reception. Head back towards the car park, then take the first left turn. Continue straight on this path, past the toilets sign. Take the second left, heading towards the garden entrance.
Look out for this pollarded oak. It's thought that this tree is at least 500 years old and hasn't been pollarded for at least 300 years. Known as a 'lapsed pollard', pollarding was a traditional management method of cutting back the branches of a tree and allowing re-growth, which in time would again be harvested for firewood or timber, giving the tree a short, squat appearance.
Turn right at the stone archway, heading away from the house and gardens. Follow this trail through the wrought iron gate. When this trail forks, head left and continue straight to pass through two more gates. Please remember to shut them behind you.
If you have the chance, it is well worth looking at the Italianate garden, though unfortunately you can't take your dog into the garden, unless it is a guide dog.
Continue straight. The trail divides at a large tree with a small, grave-like stone beneath it that reads 'Albana Walk'. Head to the right and you'll shortly pass a small shelter. It's a good place for a break.
Carrying on, follow the trail as it curves first to the left and then to the right. As you continue on the trail, you'll pass by a large green sign for the Trim Trail. Here the trail splits. To continue on the Albana walk, stay to the left. Shortly the trail again forks, continue heading to the left.
As you continue on the trail, you'll pass on the left both an oak and a yew grove near a thatched roof hut. Take a break in the hut and feel free to explore these beautiful groves, or enjoy the view to your right across the Linnett Valley. Don't worry about wandering off the trail. The groves connect to both sides of the trail and can be used as short cuts.
The Linnett is in no way a major river, but it provides water for species, and also provides what is known as a 'wildlife corridor' - different species use the river to cross the estate in relative safety, using the fringing vegetation as protection from predators. You may notice a higher number of small birds along the Linnett where it's surrounded by arable fields. This is due to its properties as a 'corridor'.
Continuing straight past the groves, follow the path as it curves through the woodland. You'll eventually reach a fork in the path. Turn sharp left to head back to the start point.
To exit, continue to the right, passing once again through the double gates. Take the opportunity to look across the deer park to your right, with a view of the now restored family church. Continue straight on to get back to the main path, on which the reception centre and car park are located.
The old deer park is now used as a sheep enclosure. The sheep in this picture are Suffolks. They follow the usual husbandry (farming) practices and will go to market. Also, look out for fallow deer (first introduced to Ickworth in 1706), the occasional roe deer and muntjack. It's important to manage the numbers of these deer to ensure both a sustainable population and the health of the woodlands, to which they can have a very damaging effect.
End: West Wing reception, grid ref: TL810610
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 2.5 miles (4km)
- Time: 1 hour (2 hours if detour to Trim Trail)
- OS Map: Landranger 155
Partly gravelled; suitable for pushchairs in non-muddy conditions. Gradients on the Trim Trail may make this part of the trail unsuitable for wheelchairs. Dogs welcome on leads.
- How to get here:
On foot: 4.5 miles (7.2km) from Bury St Edmunds, via footpaths
By bike: View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network. We're 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 away, then taxi or bus to Horringer and Ickworth
By car: In Horringer, 3 miles south-west of Bury St Edmunds on the west side of the A143. Signposted as Westley from the A14, junction 42
- Car Park : 200 yds free
- Food and drink : West Wing restaurant. Porter's Lodge selling snacks and refreshments.
- WC's : Toilets adjoining Porter's Lodge and in West Wing basement
- Shopping : NT Gift shop in West Wing.
- Children's play area
- Contact us