Ickworth is a National trust property located near to Bury St. Edmunds in suffolk. A Georgian Italianate property set in acres of parkland.
The last day of the school holidays we were blessed with a beautiful Autumn day and were keen to spend it outside. With a picnic packed we headed off to Ickworth to explore.
We’ve been to Ickworth many times in the past, however we haven’t been here in a while, which meant the children were exploring the grounds with fresh excitement.
Apparently there’s lots to see inside too but we’ve only ever nipped in to use the bathroom and coffee shop (mmm cake). For us it’s always been about the outdoors. Of course!
Arriving at lunchtime the priority was settling down for a picnic. There is a designated area with picnic benches by the car park and children’s play area but what’s the point of having a stunning view if you aren’t going to enjoy it?! We found a beautiful pond (or is it lake!?) side location with only the company of numerous dragonflies. Ahh bliss!
After lunch we headed off to explore the parkland, we headed past St Mary’s church which has been considerably restored since we were last here…no wonder the children can’t remember being here! Then it was down past the kitchen gardens and beautiful wildflower meadow to the quietest part of the estate, the lake and folly. It’s always so quiet and peaceful here, the children were happily hunting for wildlife and would have spent hours watching the sheep in the neighbouring field. In the spring the estate is full of lambs and it’s a lovely time to visit.
Heading back to the main building the children were keen to explore the formal gardens, again there is so much to explore here but more importantly one of my favourite places. It’s tucked away in the Italianate garden and could so easily be missed but really is a must see. What is this special place? The Stumpery! As names go it doesn’t exactly inspire but trust me it’s enchanting. A small, shady, secluded area of the garden it has a magical feel to it, just the kind of place where you might bump into a fairy or two. Features are made of old tree stumps by turning them upside down, the results are stunning and the children were totally captivated by this garden.
Next was the playground, a good mix of wooden play equipment with plenty of felled trees for the children to explore natural climbing challenges and take moderate risks on. Exciting!
We also found an old hollow tree, the children were thrilled with this discovery and soon scampered inside like a trio of squirrels to climb and explore – going wild with nature at it’s best!