Ickworth Walled Garden and Canal Walk, Bury St Edmunds
This is a circular walk just over a mile in length which will lead you to the Ickworth walled garden and canal lake.
Start off at the West Wing reception and head towards the garden entrance and five-bar gate. Then, follow the signs leading you to the church and on towards the canal lake. From there, take the track to your left which will lead you to the beautiful walled garden, Once finished, you can retrace your steps along the road.
Do check out the view from the far side of the canal lake which frames the seasonal meadow, church and the Rotunda in the distance – it’s considered the best view of Ickworth. You should catch sight of the resident herd of deers and if you’re fortunate, even a buzzard in flight!
The track is mostly surfaced and grass track in places which may offer hard terrain for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
For more information and the route go to:
St Edmund Way
Walking the St Edmund Way, or part of it, is a fantastic way to get outside and make the most of the Suffolk countryside!
The St Edmund Way is a long distance path connecting Manningtree to Brandon following parts of the Stour Valley Path, crossing much of Suffolk.
It honours Saint Edmund, England's original patron saint (before George), covering 80 miles. You can do this over several days or walk part of it during your stay in Bury St Edmunds.
A map can be found here: http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/RoutesLinksWalks/st-edmund-way-walking-route
Clare Circular Walks
This is not one but a choice of 6 circular walks based in Clare - the smallest town in Suffolk! These walks range from 2 to 7 miles in distance, offering something to suit both beginners and veterans alike or somebody looking for a realistic challenge for their young children as well as the couple looking for a full day away from it all.
All the walks have stiles to climb so are not suited to people who have mobility issues but the park and the town have a number of flat paths which are more accessible.
Each walk provides a range of views of Clare, a Walkers Are Welcome Town, set in the heart of the Stour Valley, and the heritage and culture surrounding the town, including a number of magnificent listed buildings and beautiful countryside.
There are toilets at the (reasonably priced) car park as well as the café; Platform One which means you can “fuel up” for the journey or reward yourself afterwards.
Choose from the Clare Loop, Houghton Hall, Cavendish, Long Lane, Claret Hall or Chiton Street at
This walk, which takes in the beautiful and manicured 200 acres of Nowton Park, is described by the Bury St Edmunds ramblers as a fun and exhilarating 4 miler and you can even join them walking the route if you’d like some company or to make sure you follow it correctly and don’t get lost!
Start in the car park of Nowton Park and set off at a leisurely pace on the route which allows for a refreshment stop at the café and facilities in the park.
With so much to see in the park, from the unique arboretum – home to trees from around the world to the bird feeding area, the maze comprising over 2,5000 hornbeam trees and two ponds – both over an acre in size, you may find yourself wanting to take a detour or increase the route in order to take in all these draws. Why not – there are no rules!
For the full route, visit http://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/group-finder/areas/suffolk/groups/bury-st-edmunds.aspx
The Lavenham Walk
Our next walk takes in the beautiful medieval village of Lavenham and links it with the Melford Hall Estate offering a supreme amount of wildlife to enjoy.
The Lavenham Walk follows a 1.5 mile section of the disused railway line that once allowed travellers access between Colchester and Bury St Edmunds and carried the materials that were used in the local coconut mat and horsehair industries.
Starting in the town near the old station, the walk will take you through meadows and paddocks into the pastoral landscape where you might find yourself sharing the track with cyclists and horseriders. Almost certainly you’ll also be accompanied any number of insects, mammals and birds – kestrels and whitethroats are common.
Once you pass through the arched bridge, a strong aroma of mint and ground ivy should be picked up. This particular area has become a haven to a wide range of wildlife including nearly 20 different species of butterfly, orchids, thistles and quaking grass. In Summer, glow-worms are an amazing sight here, you should catch the females emitting light to attract males during early evening and dusk.
A rather more stamina-requiring 6 mile route but along undulating and easy going dirt and grass paths encountering two stiles, two stately homes, typical Suffolk countryside views, crossing the A134 twice and offering plenty of opportunity to see beautiful red poppies during Summer.
Starting at Melford Hall, turn right and follow the pavement up the hill heading towards Kentwell Hall. From there, you can take the wide dirt track up the hill towards Kiln Farm. At the top of the farm track, head for a gap in the treeline and then continue down the hill, crossing over the stile and keeping Chad brook to your right, eventually crossing over a ford.
You will arrive at Cherry Lane Garden Centre on Long Melford High Street, here you turn left until you find yourself back at Melford Hall. Why not stop in the tea-room to reward your activity.
Bury St Edmunds Walking Tours
If you prefer a little entertainment and history provided with your walk, why not join one of the 90 minute walking tours which start in the centre of Bury St Edmunds taking in the Abbey Gate, Gardens and Ruins.
Your Guide will enchant you with stories about the legend of St Edmund, the Magna Carta and its connections to the town, the favourite Bury St Edmunds haunt of Charles Dickens and many many more fascinating pieces of trivia connected to Bury St Edmunds over its 1,000 year history!
The tours run daily between from July to September and can be booked on the day at the Tourist Information Point on Angel Hill (next to St Edmundsbury Cathedral).
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