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Spring Bucket List

Welcome in the Spring in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond and check off these unique experiences from your spring "bucket list!"

Algernon Charles Swinburne said “Blossom by blossom the spring begins.”

The evenings drawing out, Daffodils blooming, the sun shining (with the warmest February day ever recorded), there's even been sightings of the occasional bumblebee!  Spring is a magical time of year; offering up nicer weather, birds, flowers, butterflies, and best of all, an end to cold and muddy winter days!

To celebrate spring's arrival, put these unique Spring experiences and places to visit on your "must-do" list!

1. Kentwell Hall, Long Melford

The elegant moated Tudor mansion Kentwell Hall in Long Melford is a wonderful attraction at any time of the year but Spring at the stately home’s working farm reveals some wonderful nature moments with their Lambing and Spring Bulb events.

The farm’s flock of rare breed Norfolk Horn sheep begin lambing in mid-March and the gardens and ground are broadly considered to be at their best around this time so – adorn your wellies and follow the map around the Spring bulb walk featuring no less than 35 points to stop and see elements of Spring in full bloom.

The real stars of the show though are the lambs, so head to the Tudor stables to see these cute newborns which will be racing around full of energy when just a few days old and, if you are really lucky, you might catch a lambing!

In addition to all this, the hall have their Spring Storybook Trail – always a popular activity with children and families.

For more information, visit www.kentwell.co.uk or call 01787 310207 (N.B: The house will not be open until Sat 6th April)

2. Nowton Country Park, Bury St Edmunds

Nowton Park is truly a jewel in Bury St Edmunds crown with 200 acres of stunning and manicured landscaped gardens, trees, plants, meadows and much more. The popular site has an annual Spring display featuring over 100,000 daffodils literally carpeting the woodland floor and drawing visitors by the thousands.

There is also so many other things to enjoy in the park so, if you are visiting, allow a bit of time to explore all that is on offer; the arboretum containing trees from around the world, the bird-feeding area, two ponds – each over an acre in size, the lime avenue (where the daffodils bloom) and the maze comprising over 2,5000 hornbeam trees.  

In addition to all this, Nowton Country Park also has a large play area, football pitches, a picnic area and a visitor centre and cafe.

The park is open daily and free to enter (car park charges apply though)

For more information, visit http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/leisure/Parks/nowton-park.cfm or call 01284 757098

3. Fullers Mill Garden, West Stow

Fullers Mill Garden is an enchanting waterside haven and peaceful woodland garden, situated within the Kings Forest at West Stow near the Anglo-Saxon village. 

The site, on the banks of the River Lark, sprawl across 7 acres and are considered one of Suffolk’s best-kept secrets, combining light dappled woodland and a fabulous collection of rare and unusual shrubs, perennials, lilies and marginal plants.

Spring is an exceptional time of year to visit and visitors can explore the magical gardens around the Mill Pond adorned with a fine collection of primulas, displays of lilies in the Top Garden, the Strip and the Low Garden.

Light refreshments are available from The Bothy and plants grown and propagated in the garden are for sale.

The garden is open from April to September with an entrance charge of £4.50 (RHS members go free).

For more information, visit https://perennial.org.uk/garden/fullers-mill-garden/

4. The Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds take Spring very seriously – planting 12,000 plants and a whopping 20,000 bulbs in the autumn ready to flower and bloom in Spring. Their hard work pays off with thousands of visitors enjoying the special displays afforded at the famous gardens.

The gardens are like no other public or historic garden; offering an opportunity to see a variety of time periods sprawled across impressive and inspirational grounds and containing the remains of Bury St Edmunds Abbey; once one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries.

Whether you are strolling through Bury St Edmunds on a shopping spree, looking for a picnic spot in the gardens to enjoy some tranquil peace and quiet among a backdrop of seasonal beauty, there can be fewer places than the famous Abbey Gardens to do so and enjoy beautifully arranged and blossoming flowers including Tulips and Daffodils and clear blue skies.

5. Ickworth Hall, Park and Gardens

Spend a day wandering through the manicured gardens at National Trust Ickworth House, Park & Gardens and see the daffodils and tulips bloom or head out and follow one of the many footpaths around the estate to see over 1000 lambs leaping. 

The 1st Earl's 'Springe' garden is set on a 5 ½ acre site, and is one of the largest of its kind in East Anglia. Heritage fruit and vegetables are grown in the garden, which can be sampled in the dishes served in the West Wing café. 

Spring and summer  are the perfect time to enjoy the walled garden and canal walk; a 1.8 mile circular route taking you to the Ickworth walled garden and canal lake. The view from the far side of the canal lake is one of the best at Ickworth, looking over the seasonal meadow, and sneaking a peek at the church and the Rotunda in the distance. 

For more information visit https://www.nationaltrust.org....

6. Bradfield Woods, Bury St Edmunds

Bradfield Woods is a unique working wood which has been under continual coppice management since 1252, described as “one of Britain’s finest ancient woodlands” and showcases some amazing displays of Bluebells during Spring.

The 80-hectare wood is located in the village of Bradfield St George, about 6 miles south of Bury St Edmunds and is a biological site of Special Scientific Interest managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

There are over 5 miles of pathway, featuring 3 trails of different lengths meandering through the majestic woods where you can expect to see beautiful displays of Bluebell on the woodland floor as well as almost 400 other species of flowering plants. It’s not just plants either – the woodland offers the perfect habitat for butterflies of which there are currently 24 resident species as well as birds and mammals too; the garden warbler and blackcap, stoats, yellow-necked mouse and badgers.

The woods are free to enter with a car park (also free) situated at the entrance. During dry weather, some of the trails are accessible by wheelchair and dogs are also welcome if kept on a lead. 

The woods are open every day of the year and can be found on Felsham Road, IP30 0AQ, map reference TL935581


So, there you have it. Leo Tolstoy famously said that “Spring is the time of plans and projects” so why not extend your visit and plan a spring break! Take a look at our places to stay guide here.