Ickworth 'off the beaten track' walk
This route takes you off the beaten track to explore areas away from the main House and out towards the wider estate. The route takes you through diverse habitats and scenery including a wonderful mixture of open parkland with some great views and woodland glades such as Lownde Wood and Dairy Wood. The remote areas and ancient woodland provides likely spots for deer sightings. With its gently rising ground, it also offers some magnificent views of the Rotunda.
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 those wanting a challenge.
Porter's Lodge visitor reception, grid reference TL8154161537
From the Porter’s Lodge visitor centre take the path opposite towards the Albana Wood. Continue along through the Walnut Paddock 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 around the Albana.
On your right there is a wood path which leads you through the Yew Tree Avenue, past the children's Den building enclosure. At the end of the avenue turn right back onto the Albana path passing the Fawn Summerhouse, giving you a beautiful view across the Linnet Valley to the woods opposite.
Carry on down the Albana path and trim trail, past exercise equipment, to the path on your left which leads you out of the Albana, along the edge of the field to a small footbridge crossing the River Linnet. You are now on the River Linnet trail, so turn left. The Linnet Valley is a wildlife haven, you may hear buzzards and kestrels, or spot the odd badger or hare on your journey!
Shortly you will take a path between the arable fields heading up to the Woods (Horsepool Woods) on your right. This was an ancient track which ran from Chevington to Hargrave. The path takes you up to the edge of the Park and turns back through Horsepool Wood. You will pass some of the many ponds found on the estate, some are naturally formed whilst others were produced for livestock. This path leads you into Twist Wood and Dairy Wood where there is an ancient wood which existed prior to 1600. Oak predominates with Ash, Hornbeam, Poplar and Hazel also.
Arriving at the five bar gate go through onto a track walk past Dairy Wood Cottage (this track leads to Coachroad Lodge and onto Little Saxham and this estate exit was used by the Hervey’s traveling by horse and carriage, when going to Newmarket races) and turn right walk down the hill to the five bar gate and the Linnet Valley trail. Follow the road up to the hedge, stop at the five bar gate on your right and you can see the old Ice House.
Just as you come out of the hedge line road turn left and go into the field, Horringer Park. On you right you will see the cricket pavilion and pitch run by Horringer Cricket Club. The path follows the edge of the field arriving at the Horringer Park Gates (NT Holiday cottage) at the entrance to Ickworth. Cross the road and past the five bar gate taking you into Adkins Wood. This walk is part of the Lady Hervey walk with Pink way markers.
Shortly the path splits bears right and where the path turns left you will see the old Adkins Wood stone marker. Keep walking along this windy path until you re-join the main path. When you arrive at the Fontainebleau Grove sign bear right. Keeping to this winding route following the Pink way markers you will come to a wide crossroad. At the crossroad continue straight across onto a smaller path which takes you into Lady Hervey’s Wood and winds its way around the back of Fairy lake.
Your path now joins the Monument trail. Go through the two five bar gates and the over the stile opposite into Downter’s Field and go diagonally across the field. As you travel through Downter’s Field you will have a wonderful view across to the Walled Garden and beyond. Reaching a number of gates take the left gate and walk alongside the wood to another five bar gate.
Going through the gate onto Monument trail bear right and then right again by the Green way marker and into Lownde Wood. In Lownde Wood follow the path, firstly bearing right and then bearing left. On your left you will pass an observation post before coming to a clearing. Cross over the clearing and enter the wood again. On your right hand side you will come to a metal fence, continue on the path to a Y junction and take the right grassy footpath.
At the crossroads turn left and you will cross a small wooden bridge, keep following the path. Small blocks of woodland are coppiced to encourage new growth. National Trust Rangers keep these areas fenced off to keep deer out, the fences are then removed once the trees have regrown. At the next junction turn right and follow the path until you reach a T junction. Turn right and go through the gate into the field. When through the gate turn right, and follow the wood-line for a short time keeping it to your right, until you can see the Walled Garden and Rotunda in the distance ahead of you.
Leave the wood-line and head across the field towards the Walled Garden, passing laid-down tree trunks and through a gate on your way. Go through the kissing gate and turn left. Walk by the side of the Canal Lake and cross over the decorative foot bridge at the end of the Canal and walk up the side of Gardens Cottage (NT Holiday cottage) and onto the gravel road. Turn right past the Church and through the five bar gate, take the second gravel road on your right which leads you to the front of West Wing. Alternatively stays on this road go straight past the Porters Lodge on to the car park.
Where to go next
In West Wing you will find our gift shop alongside the Café serving hot and cold meals and drinks. To the rear of Porter’s Lodge you will find a dog friendly Café which serves hot and cold snacks and drinks.
West Wing, grid reference TL81061385
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