Total steps: 12
Total steps: 12
Car Park, grid reference TL 814616
Leaving up the left hand side of the car park, past the bicycles rack and walk through the hedge onto the road keeping a look out for traffic.
Half way along the over flow car park you will see the Tea party Oak. When there are no sheep you can walk up and look at the weird form it has taken.
Tea Party Oak
This is known as the ‘Tea Party Oak’, and got its name from the tea parties that were held for local children from around 1869 until 1907. The tree itself is thought to be among the oldest on the estate and is hard to date as it is hollow, but might be 700 years old. The oak stands out as it has grown into a very strange shape, which shows its age and gives it its own character.
Passing the Ickworth Lodge, (Between 1710 and 1795, whilst the present Ickworth house was being built, the family would have largely stayed in the Lodge (Ickworth Lodge) when on the estate). It is now part of the Ickworth Hotel. Take the right fork heading down to the Linnet River.
As you approach the next junction take the left trail boarded by a hedge on both sides. As you come out of the hedged trail you will see on the left a five bar gate, just up the hill you can see the Ice House entrance. Keep on walking to the T junction ahead of you and turn left and go through the five bar gate.
At the five bar gate look carefully at the top of the hill you will be able to make out the Ice House. The earliest known reference to the Ice House dates from 1804 but little else is known of its origins except that it was formed from what was originally a chalk quarry pit remains can be seen on the other side. Although it seems a long way from the house, this is perhaps because it was built before the current house while the family were still living in the Lodge (Dower House). Originally the ice would have come from the waterways on the estate and have been packed into the underground vault. In the 1930’s ice started to be brought in from Whipps the Fishmongers based in Bury St. Edmunds. According to accounts of local children, the Ice House hill was a favourite place to play in the winter and the best hill for sledging down. Today it is home to some of the nine bat species found on the estate.
This track was once part of a route which went from Bury St. Edmunds to Chevington. It seems to have been a busy road for farmers from the local villages to herd their cattle down to market in Bury. Unfortunately this did not fit into the landscape that the 5th Earl (later 1st Marquess) was trying to create, so in 1814 the road was closed and an Act of Parliament obtained to stop the road being used. This was granted on the condition a new road round the estate was provided. As this added quite some distance onto the journey into Bury St. Edmunds, it seems the old road was still used, so in 1823 the New Canal was built.
Continue along the Linnet Valley to the five bar gate, going through you will see earthworks on your left. These earthworks are all that remain of the dam built to form the New Canal. The detail from the 1850 Tithe Map shows the line of the road being covered by the water of the canal. The dam was only in place for about 30 years before it burst. (The little narrow bridge below takes you up into the Trim Trail and Albana woods, leading to Porters Lodge)
The trail meanders alongside the River Linnet which is a haven for wildlife. Foxes, Badgers, Hares, Dormice complete with a variety of birds. You may hear or see Buzzard or Kestrel soring overhead.
This land was dug up during WW2 as Dig for Victory land on the Ickworth Estate. The river meanders along the valley and Kingfishers enjoy its cover for nesting Early mornings and at dusk Fallow deer can be seen near the woods edge. A variety of crops are grown and the view changes with the season.
Just past the five bar gate is The White House (Tenanted) on the left through the trees in late-winter/early- spring you will find a large swathe of snowdrops.
Walking along the trail until you come to a junction and bridge (The right trail is the Monument Trail). Cross the bridge and walk up the slope, as you reach the top look to your right where you will have a lovely view across the Linnet Valley.
Pass the Bothy, Walled Garden (No dogs are allowed with the exception of assistance dogs.), and St. Mary’s Church drop in and see the 13th century altar with the 14th century wall painting of the Annunciation of Angel Gabriel. The field behind the church is the site of the Ickworth Medieval Hall.
As you walk on you will see a row of Oak trees to your left which is the site of the Hamlet of Ickworth. You will soon pass Parsons Pond which is near the site of the parsonage, burnt down in the 16th century. From the original deeds the parsonage consisted of a 'hall, a parlour, a dairy and buttery, two little lower chambers, and three upper chambers.
Pass through the five bar gate and take the second turn on your right which leads you to West Wing and the Rotunda, or straight ahead past Porters Lodge and to the Car Park.
West Wing grid reference TL 815061385
Firm underfoot, gravel path. Suitable for wheelchair / mobility scooters and pushchairs. The route consists of flat terrain and gentle slopes. Throughout this trail there are five bar gates with ¼ gates to the side that are very easy to open and close. Please ensure the gates are closed behind you.
Ickworth Estate, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. IP29 5QE
4½ miles via footpaths from Bury St Edmunds, please use the main entrance through Horringer village.
Bury St Edmunds 3 miles
Ickworth is on the road between Bury St Edmunds and Clare/ Haverhill. There are regular bus services from Bury St Edmunds town centre including the Number 14 and 15 bus. The bus stop is in the village of Horringer and it's about a 15 minute walk from the bus stop to Ickworth's visitor centre.
4½ miles via the road and cycle paths from Bury St Edmunds, please use the main entrance through Horringer village for access to Ickworth. We have a multi-use cycle trail as part of the estate offer.
from A14 take junction 42 towards Westley; on west side of A143. For all other routes head towards Horringer. Parking: Welcome kiosk situated on the drive for entry, visitor information and direction to the main car park or overflow car parking as applicable when visiting. Please stop at the kiosk and have any membership cards ready. Sat Nav: Please don't use our postcode for your SatNav, the main entrance to the Ickworth Estate is via Horringer Village on the A143 and follow the brown signs. Please avoid routes through Chevington (as this is a no through road).
Normal admission charges apply, free for National Trust members.
Toilets are available by the car park, the West Wing and by the Walled Garden (summer months only)
West Wing Café and Porter's Lodge both serve hot drinks and tasty treats.
Shop selling souvenirs and gifts