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A photograph of the River Linnet
Relax in amongst the beauties of nature out on our Estate | © National Trust Images / Ray Dale

Ickworth Estate | Linnet Valley Trail

This route forms the first ½ of the Multi-use track (the 2nd is the Monument Walk). Taking you past Ickworth Lodge and along the River Linnet and up past the Walled Garden and St. Mary’s Church. Buzzard and Kingfishers frequent this area of the park; Roe Deer can be seen at Dawn and Dusk.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Car Park, grid reference TL 814616

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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)

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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.

Step 10

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.

Step 11

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.

Step 12

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.

End point

West Wing grid reference TL 815061385

Trail map

An OS map of the Linnet Valley walking trail
The Linnet Valley Walking trail at Ickworth Estate, Suffolk | © Ordnance Survey

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