Ickworth Off the beaten track walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Walking trail

This route takes you off the beaten track to explore areas away from the main visitor routes. The route takes you through diverse habitats and scenery including open parkland with some great views. The remote areas and ancient woodland provides likely spots for deer sightings while closer to the house, you pass the Walled Garden and church. Visit Lownde Wood; Dairy Wood; Horsepool Wood and look out for the wildlife to be seen.

Remoter areas

The remote areas and ancient woodland provides likely spots for deer sightings while closer to the house, you pass the Walled Garden and church. Ideal for families who like to walk.


Off the beaten track OS route map


Porter's Lodge visitor reception, grid reference TL815617


From the Porter’s Lodge visitor centre take the path opposite towards the Albana Wood, and follow the path going through two 5 bar gates. Just after going through the second gate take the path to the right at the small ‘Albana Wood’ stone. Stay on this path until you reach the large green Trim Trail sign, and then turn right following the trim trail

Start of the Ickworth Trim Trail


As the trim trail goes down a left hand slope and you reach a junction, turn right off the trim trail, leaving the woods and go into an open field. Follow the path down the side of the field with the trees on your right and cross the brook on the wooden bridge.


Once across the brook, turn right on to the wide track, and then shortly through a 5-bar gate. Follow this track until you reach the next 5-bar gate, where you will see a cottage beyond the gate, and a bridge to your right. Do not go through the gate but turn left and walk up the hill until you intersect the main track and turn left towards a cottage known as Dairy Wood Cottage, one of 19 on the estate.

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A view over a Five-bar gate on the Ickworth Off the Beaten Track walk


As you approach the cottage, turn left across the grass and go through the gate in the corner of the field into Dairy Wood. Stay on this track and don’t take any turns or junctions. You will exit the wood briefly and keep on the track as it re-enters near the edge of the wood. The next paragraph covers the loop into Twist and Horsepool wood, so if you wish you could carry straight on, missing out step 5 and re-joining the walk just a few metres further on at the start of step 6.


Very soon after you have re-entered the wood look for a barely discernible track/fork to your right. Follow this track (which has a ditch on your left), as you go gently up hill. Just before you exit the wood cross the ditch to your left and follow the track through the woods. Take the right fork when you intercept another path and you will eventually meander next to some stagnant ponds to your left (great habitat). Keep going until you reach the main path cross roads; turn left for a short distance and left again on a ‘main path’ effectively doubling back into the same woods. Keep on this path until you exit the woods.

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A field in the Ickworth estate full of deer


As the path leaves the wood, you will see a clear path between the cropped fields going downhill. Follow the path between the fields to the wide track at the bottom and then turn right. Stay on the wide track for a while. Shortly after passing the ‘White House’ on your right you come to a cross roads. Go straight across the cross roads (stone bridge to your left/cattle grid to your right) and follow the grass track.

Ickworth White House; one of the 19 cottages on the estate.


With the Walled Garden and Canal lake on your left, turn right through the gate approximately at the centre line of the gardens (opposite the summer house), and head up the hill towards the wood-line of Lownde Wood. On reaching the wood, turn left and walk along the front of the wood with the Canal and gardens at the bottom of the slope and to your left.

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Ickworth Walled Garden in July


After approximately one third of a mile, you will reach the meeting of a number of fences and gates; go through the gate into the field beyond and then immediately left into the adjacent field. Go diagonally across this field to the opposite corner and cross over the stile onto the path and turn left back towards the Walled Garden.


Follow this track until you reach the Walled Garden and turn right keeping the wall of the garden to your left


At the end of the Walled Garden take the main road past the church and back up yhe estate road towards the Rotunda and gardens. Go through the 5-bar gate at the top, turning immediately right, and enter the Italianate gardens. Enter the West Wing via the orangery and stagger to the café where you definitely deserve a cake or pudding or two, not to mention a coffee.

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Coffee and cake after a good walk


West Wing, grid reference TL815614

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Ickworth Off the beaten track walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk


A mixture of hardened tracks, woodland, open footpaths and cross-country grass fields with some moderate inclines. This route is unsuitable for wheelchairs or buggies. Suitable footwear necessary during wet weather

Ickworth Off the beaten track walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Contact us

Ickworth Off the beaten track walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

How to get here

Porter's Lodge visitor reception, grid reference TL815617
By train

Bury St Edmunds 3 miles, then taxi or bus to Horringer and Ickworth

By road

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

By foot

2km from Bury St Edmunds, via footpaths

By bus

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

By bicycle

View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network. We're just off Route 51, which goes through Bury St Edmunds

Ickworth Off the beaten track walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Facilities and access

  • Parking: Free for National Trust members.
  • Food and drink: West Wing café. Porter's Lodge (very dog friendly) selling snacks and refreshments
  • WC's: Toilets in the car park; West Wing basement and near Bothy outside Walled Garden.
  • Shopping: NT Gift shop. Plant centre in the car park. Second-hand books for sale in various locations including Porter's Lodge Visitor Reception.
  • Childrens play area at rear of car park