The best National Trust gardens in East Anglia
The National Trust has just announced that they are going keep many of their gardens and parklands open for free. Here's our pick of the best of the bunch in Suffolk & Cambs if you fancy some fresh air and a walk in the great outdoors.
There’s plenty of space to let off some pent up energy at this National Trust property with a whole range of different length walks and terrains all centred around the impossibly pretty Rotunda that forms the centrepiece of Ickworth House. If you’ve got buggies and dogs in tow, you’ll love the Albana Walk, which also has a trim trail for anyone who’s missing their daily gym session.
National Trust walks don’t get much more idyllic than the beach and heath at Dunwich near Southwold. The heathland is next door to RSPB Minsmere too, so keep an eye out for wonderful wildlife, plus Dunwich has a fascinating history with an entire city buried below the waves. With both soft sandy beach and paths through the heathland you can walk for miles without getting bored. Plus, well-behaved dogs are welcome everywhere!
Is there anywhere more picturesque than Constable Country to escape to in these troubled times? We think not. If you want to remember how lovely to world is, this is a good place to start. You can do a moderate 4 – 7 mile walk along the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley with views that look like they’re straight out of Constable’s The Hay Wain.
Want a bit of silence after all the doom and gloom that you hear in the news? The walk at Kyson Hill is an idyllic slice of Suffolk coast where the only sound is that of the birds chirruping. Get some fresh air on a short walk, where you’ll find the typical upper estuarine landscape within a very small area.
Let the sight of boats bobbing on the waves relax you in turbulent times at Suffolk’s Pin Mill on the River Orwell. As well as those delightful water views there’s also plenty of woodland and heathland with walking trails winding throughout.
Wicken Fen is The National Trust’s oldest reserve and England’s most famous fen, so a trip here is always wonderful, and even more so when you’ve been cooped up inside for a while. There are plenty of short walks around the Sedge Fen, while The Adventurers’ and Octavia Hill trail are ideal for anyone looking for a longer stroll.
The gardens around Anglesey Abbey are particularly enchanting in spring when they are full of snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils. You can walk along to Lode Mill and along the river for a nice long distance and the terrain (as long as it hasn’t been raining) works well with buggies.
Houghton Mill is a wonderful starting point for a walk along the river towards St Ives, Huntingdon and Godmanchester. With meadows, pastures and views of pretty Cambridgeshire villages, there’s plenty of bucolic loveliness to enjoy here.
You might not be able to access the house, farm or visitor centre at the moment, but the gorgeous gardens and parkland at Wimpole are still worth a visit, plus you might get a glimpse of the first lambs of spring gamboling about. Now, if that doesn’t lift your spirits…