Ickworth South Pleasure Grounds walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Walking trail

The South Pleasure Grounds perhaps have the most to offer for a great walk. With gently rising ground, it offers some magnificent views of the Rotunda and the rest of the parkland. It's a wonderful mixture of open parkland and woodland glades taking along its route the church, Walled Garden and obelisk monument to the 4th Earl of Bristol.


This walk can be enjoyed in all seasons offering the perfect opportunity to discover the changing landscape. Perfect for adventurous families, and also for your four-legged friends whom, away from the main visitor areas surrounding the house, can explore to their hearts content, but on leads please.


Ickworth South Pleasure Grounds map 2018 edit


Porter's Lodge visitor reception grid ref: TL815616


Starting at the Porter's Lodge visitor reception take the path to the right of the Rotunda, through the 5-bar gate, and continue down the hill towards the church and Walled Garden

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St. Mary's Church in Ickworth Park


Just past the church, go straight ahead, turning off the hard road onto the grass path that leads to the left of the Walled Garden. Go through the five- bar gate and immediately bear left on the grass path veering away from the brick wall. Within a couple of minutes you'll see our bird hide on your right.

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Picture of the Bird Hide near the Walled Garden at Ickworth


Continuing along this path past the bird hide, cross over the wooden foot bridge and taking the right hand fork in the path, climbing a short slope bringing you to the Fairy Lake.

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Ickworth Fairy Lake


Turn right at the Fairy Lake and continue along the footpath and take the second right turn marked Katharine's Wood.

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View of the Round House holiday cottage sitting in the Ickworth parkland


In Katharine's Wood continue to the end of the path until you reach a cottage called Ivy Cottage. Turn right at the cottage and follow the path until reaching the beginning of Lownde Wood.

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A view of the Rotunda across the fields from the South Pleasure Grounds Ickworth


Enter Lownde Wood on the patch between the Lownde Wood and red footpath way marker.

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View from Lownde Wood Ickworth


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. Follow the dirt track which will lead you to a small brick bridge at the corner of the field. Keep following the path, passing a rusty, corrugated and ruined metal cabin on your right.


At the next junction turn right and follow the path until you reach a T junction where you'll see an observation post. 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 Rotunda in the distance ahead of you.


Leave the wood-line and head across the field towards the Rotunda, passing laid-down tree trunks and through a gate on your way. You're heading for a kissing gate, which is lined up with the centre of the Walled Garden just beyond it.


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 lake.

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Footbridge over the Canal Lake at Ickworth Walled Garden


Having crossed the foot bridge, keep the Walled Garden to your right and continue up the slope to the hardened footpath. Turn right and retrace your steps past the Church and back towards your start point at the Porter's Lodge, having a look at the Italianate Garden on your right just past the 5-bar gate.

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Italianate Garden steps at rear of garden


Porter's Lodge visitor reception grid ref: TL815616

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Ickworth South Pleasure Grounds walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk


Mainly footpaths and cross country field paths. Rough terrain buggies may be possible in drier conditions. There are some short gradients and a number of gates or stiles to cross. Not suitable for buggies and/or wheelchairs.

Ickworth South Pleasure Grounds walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Contact us

Ickworth South Pleasure Grounds walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

How to get here

Ickworth House, The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 5QE
By train

Bury St Edmunds 3 miles away, 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 South Pleasure Grounds walk, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Facilities and access

  • Car Park: 200 yds free for NT members
  • Food and drink: West Wing café. Porter's Lodge café (very dog friendly) selling snacks and refreshments.
  • WCs: Toilets in main 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 First floor gallery (during house opening-times)
  • Children's play area: to rear of car park.