If you like history, architecture or just enjoy a good old walk, then we’ve got the perfect activity for your stack that combines all three! Visit Ickworth in Suffolk, Italianate Palace full of fascinating history, formal gardens and over 1800 acres of parkland to explore and enjoy nature.
Ickworth’s beginnings start all the way back in 1432 when the wealthy Hervey family acquired the land and transformed the deer park into his own aristocratic paradise. The famous Rotunda building that stands in the heart of the site today was the first of its kind, in its time, and took a whopping 47 years to build! The Hervey family days came to an end in 1956, when the 4th Marquess passed on ownership to the Treasury, who then gave it to the National Trust to be enjoyed by everyone.
In the Hervey family home, you’ll find their magnificent showcase of treasures collected from around Europe by the 4th Earl of Bristol! The Hervey family continued to add their own treasures to the home, where you can admire the intricate craftsmanship of French Huguenot silversmiths. Dive into the compelling history of the Hervey family and take a look at portraits through the generations, commissioned by famous artists including Gainsborough and Hogarth. Head underground to the servant’s basement, where you’ll experience the history from the perspective of the people who kept the home running, through a series of real stories and memories from its staff.
Head outside to the Italianate gardens, the first of their kind in the UK, giving you a taste of classical Italian gardens while still enjoying the familiar touch of England. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the tranquil Erskine walk, making your way down paths that meander through a variety of beautiful plant life that explode with a range of colours all year round.
Discover and explore miles of parkland that will reward you with breathtaking views across the estate, choosing from a range of picturesque routes. Enjoy the wildlife encounters along the Ickworth River, or take a brisk walk along the Lady Geraldine’s route that weaves through carpets of beautiful flowers. If you’re looking to make a day of it, then take the Ickworth Monument trail in a 3 hour’s walk that will take you to the monument erected nearly 200 years ago.