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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!"

Kentwell Hall, Long Melford

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

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.

From February to March, the Shrubbery and Back Wood are carpeted with Snowdrops, with little pockets of Aconites. The rest of the Gardens are charming as their winter starkness is banished by emerging springtime shoots. If visiting during these months, it's recommend that you dress for the weather - pathways can become a little muddy after prolonged rainy periods. However, this is great news for younger visitors, as there are puddles galore!

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.

For more information, visit Kentwell Hall website

Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds

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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.

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

For more information, visit Nowton Park website.

Fullers Mill Garden, West Stow

Fullers Mill Garden resized for blogs c Marcus Harper

Photo: Marcus Harper

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.

You 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.

For more information, visit Fullers Mill Garden website.

The Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

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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 the Abbey of St Edmund; once one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries.

Whether you are strolling through Bury St Edmunds on a tour of the historic town, 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.

Ickworth Hall, Park and Gardens, Horringer

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Photo: National Trust Images

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 at National Trust Ickworth Park & Gardens.

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 National Trust Ickworth website.

Bradfield Woods, Bury St Edmunds

Bradfield Woods Bluebells

Bradfield Woods Nature Reserve 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.

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Haughley Park

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Between late April and early May, six acres of bluebells burst into bloom creating a spectacular blue-carpet effect in Haughley Park Woods, just 15 minutes from Bury St Edmunds.

On two Sundays during this period, the private Suffolk estate opens its gates so people can come and enjoy this wonderful display of natural beauty.

You can take a stroll through the usually-private Haughley Park estate. Enjoy the stunning bluebell display in the woods and delight in the beautiful landscaped gardens around the manor house.

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