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Tim MoorePhotos The Ickworth

The Ickworth

Photos - click to enlarge.



The Ickworth

The hotel is to the left in this photo

It is not very often that you can stay as a guest in a stately home surrounded by manicured lawns, beautiful gardens and grounds stretching to almost two thousand acres, unless, of course, you are invited by the owner.

Now, just outside the historic town of Bury St. Edmunds and surrounded by the famous Suffolk countryside, nestles Ickworth House. Construction on the house commenced in 1795 but was not completed until 2006. Home to the Hervey Family since 1467, the whole estate was given to the National Trust in 1956 with the exception of the East Wing which was sold to the National Trust in 1998. It is this wing which is now The Ickworth along with the former Dower House currently known as The Lodge.

The Sitting Room

Now we have our historic facts in place, let’s investigate this rather special hotel. One of the first things that hit you about the ground floor is the height of the ceilings and the decorative columns and cornices. Also, where you would have expected a rather stiff and formal atmosphere there exists, instead, it has a nice laid back and comfortable feel.

The hotel features an elegant formal restaurant, ‘Frederick’s’ which is adult only. This was the former dining room for the Hervey Family and overlooks the Italian Gardens. For the children and adults wanting to snack or grab a quick lunch, there is the beautifully restored Conservatory. This lovely, bright and white eatery offers simple dishes for the whole family.

The Conservatory

Don’t think for one minute that this classic former residence is not family friendly – it is an absolutely super place to bring your children, whatever their age. If you’re feeling energetic they’ve got tennis courts and bikes for hire, a swimming pool, a spa, a crèche plus a games and cinema room. On top of that, children stay free when sharing their parents’ room but there is also the option of booking interconnecting rooms.

Since I’ve just mentioned the bedrooms, this is where you are in for a delightful surprise. The originality of the beds and furniture are breathtaking and yet they blend beautifully with the modern but carefully selected white wear of the bathrooms.

If, of course, you are planning a large family get together, such as a wedding or an anniversary, The Lodge is just what you were looking for. It has 11 one, two and three bedroom apartments and can be reserved in it’s entirety.
Surrounded by four acres of garden, It is just half a mile from the main hotel.

The Lodge

The Lodge’s Garden Room is an ideal family and games room but, at weekends and during school holidays, it also doubles as a breakfast room where you can order the ubiquitous ‘Full English’ to keep your energy levels high for a great day cycling in Ickworth Park or investigating the fascinating historic ruins of Bury St. Edmunds’ Abbey.

The Garden Room set up for breakfast

Did I mention that, as a guest at this illustrious establishment, you get a complimentary ticket to the National Trust Rotunda and formal gardens of Ickworth House itself as well as exclusive access to the magnificent Italianate gardens.

It is very difficult to convey the majesty of this monumentally impressive hotel and lodge. As mentioned previously, it surrounds you with decorations sympathetic to it’s grand past while cocooning you in relaxed comfort. It is not cheap to stay here but, regardless of how much it costs, you will leave this hotel knowing that you had excellent value for money.

My special thanks to Daniela who opened up the vistas of this fine establishment to me and had to put up with my inane banter and attempts at humour throughout.

Yes, I loved it and would have no hesitation in recommending it.

Getting There

The nearest International Airport is London’s Stansted Airport which is 55 minutes away by road. If you are arriving by ferry from Holland or Denmark, it is about a 50 mile journey between port and hotel. Bury St. Edmunds has a railway station which is on the Greater Anglia rail network and there are usually taxis available to take you the few minutes journey to The Ickworth.

For lots more information and to book yourself and your family into this lovely hotel, please visit .

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