Ickworth Pink Cycle route, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
A long circular route heading towards the monument at the southern end of the park, taking in most of the perimeter of the estate with some spectacular views of the Rotunda. The route is extremely well way-marked and there are plenty of opportunities to explore other tracks and paths as you go round.
Ideal for active cyclists....
Ickworth main car park, grid ref: TL810610
This cycle route is very well waymarked. Starting from the main car park, proceed back down the main drive towards the village of Horringer and main gates.
Follow the pink way-markers which you'll find on all the junctions and at regular points along the route.
Just before you reach the main gates, turn right off the drive and follow the pink way-marker through the gate into Adkins Wood. Cycle through the wood and at the next two junctions continue straight on following the pink way-markers. If you look right here, you'll find information on tree tags and tree health inspections.
When you arrive at Fontainebleau Grove, turn right and then follow the path to the left. As you cycle through the wood, look right at two small ponds which have some dead wood in them, excellent habitat for insects and pond life.
Small ponds like this are a real haven for wildlife. A great habitat for frog and toad spawn and even a drinking hole for the deer, rabbits and badgers.
Turn right at the entrance for Lady Hervey's Wood and follow the route with arable land to your right and the wood to your left. You'll catch a glimpse of the Rotunda to your right. Turn left at the end of the field and continue past the Fairy Lake.
Constructed in the late 19th-century by damming the river Linnet. It was originally much larger but the reeds have gradually taken over and it's been encroached upon by trees, notably Silver Birch. On the bank a few yards to the side are the remains, barely visible, of a small boathouse used by the Hervey Family
You will pass the Round House on your right, once a gamekeeper’s house intended as a shelter for shooting parties, and now National Trust holiday cottage. Shortly after the Round House, turn right at the sign for Lady Katharine's Wood over the wooden boarding covering a ditch. As you cycle through the wood you'll see mostly evergreen trees on your left and deciduous on your right.
The house is indeed perfectly round. It was built in 1850 and used as a gamekeeper's house intended as a shelter for shooting parties. The Round House is situated in an idyllic woodland glade and after full restoration is available as a holiday let.
Continue to follow the pink waymarkers and look out for charcoal burning in process. Charcoal is sold on the estate. At the end of Lady Katharine's Wood, turn right back out into the open, and look right for a fabulous view of the Rotunda.
Take a look
There are many magnificent views of the park and the distant Rotunda, all deliberately built into its astonishing design. So as you meander in and out of forest tracks take a moment to drink in the view. Why not take a picnic with you and choose your spot?
Bear right into Lownde Wood, keeping the edge of the woodland on your right, and look out for the monument on your left.
Lownde means grave and is based on an old Norse word 'lundr' and is Ickworth's largest and most important area of woodland dating back to 1585. It supports a wide variety of flora and fauna
Follow the route round a sharp left hand bend hugging the monument field. The path can get a little narrow in places here but continue to follow the pink waymarkers through the wood.
The monument was commissioned by the 5th Earl and erected 1817 in memory of the 4th Earl of Bristol, the Bishop of Derry, by grateful parishioners from his estate in Derry. It was said that, to the anger of the King, he allowed Roman Catholic Mass to be held in his property at a time when this was illegal. The obelisk is 100ft high and made of Ketton stone and is erected on the highest point in the park.
Exit out of Lownde Wood and turn right through iron gate posts. Pass Downter's Wood on the right and Stoney Hill Wood on your left. Follow the road round to open countryside and down a steep hill, which is known as Stoney Hill. The land next to this section of the route down Stoney Hill was ploughed up for Dig for Victory. The farmland is now tenanted and continues to be working land.
Iron Gates and Stoney Hill views
The ornate iron, gate piers were damaged by tank training in the Second World War. They are positioned on the ancient road into Bury St Edmunds that was forcibly closed in 1823 by a lake that was created to prevent locals going through the park
At the bottom of the hill, go over the cattle grid and turn left on to the pathway. Go past the White House on your left and through the gateway.
Looking to your right you can see the Albana wood. The bridge here was constructed in 1823, but was poorly constructed and collapsed in 1842.
Continue through the next gateway onto open fields. At the next gateway, opposite Mordaboys Cottage, turn right and proceed up the hill. At the top of the hill turn sharp right and you will now be on a tarmac road. In a field to your right there are the remains of a Victorian ice house.
Ickworth Ice House
You'll need to walk a little way into the field to see the ice house. Now derelict, it has not been used since Victorian times. It was placed in an existing pit and was designed to take ice from the lake that was created to close the road.
You will now be on a tarmac road; continue past the Ickworth Lodge (originally called the Dower House) on your right and follow the road back to the main car park.
The Hervey family owned the estate from the 15th Century, residing in Ickworth Hall, a Tudor manor house which was demolished in about 1702. Thereafter the family moved to the Lodge (The Dower House), until 1829, when the new Ickworth House was habitable, having commenced construction in 1795, although not finally completed until 1841. It is now part of the Ickworth Hotel.
Ickworth main car park, grid ref: TL810610
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