Which National Trust sites in Suffolk are staying open during second lockdown?
- Credit: Archant
Getting out and enjoying some green space is so important to get through this next lockdown, so which of the National Trust’s parks, gardens and countryside sites are staying open in Suffolk?
Luckily there are plenty of beautiful National Trust locations that are ready to discover in Suffolk, from Flatford in the heart of Constable Country to the stunning grounds of Ickworth.
Following the government’s announcement of a four-week lockdown in England, the National Trust has reassured customers it will be keeping as many of its gardens, parks and countryside sites open, but it must close houses, shops and holiday accommodation.
The charity’s director general Hilary McGrady said: “We know how important access to green space, nature and fresh air are to people, and we’ll do everything we can to provide them during the next phase. Our priorities will remain the safety and well-being of visitors, staff and volunteers.”
The Trust said where possible visitors will still be able to get take away food and drink and outdoor play areas will remain open in line with government guidance.
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The National Trust is recommending that you book in advance for visits to Ickworth, Sutton Hoo and Dunwich Heath, especially at busy times such as weekends.
So which sites will be staying open?
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Dunwich Heath and Beach
Tucked away on the Suffolk coast is a rare and precious habitat, called Dunwich Heath, offering you peace and quiet and a true sense of being at one with nature.
The Heath is home to special species such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, ant-lion, adders and much more and will be open dawn to dusk throughout the lockdown.
The car park is open 10am to 4pm daily, and is locked at all other times. You don’t need to book but parking spaces are limited. The tea room will remain closed until further notice but the kiosk will be open weekends only, from 10am to 3pm.
The hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben, is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.
Its High Hall exhibition, Tranmer House, shop and bookshop are now all closed in line with restrictions, however the stunning estate walks will be open every day from 10am to 4pm and are a perfect escape during lockdown.
You can walk around the Royal Burial Ground and discover the story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king.
There will be no need to pre-book on weekdays but booking is essential at weekends to avoid disappointment.
Sutton Hoo will be offering a takeaway catering outlet opposite Tranmer House from Saturday between 11am and 3pm.
From Monday, November 16 car park machines will be in operation. Members can scan their membership cards for free parking, but if you are not a National Trust member PayByPhone will be in operation.
This stunning part of the Woodbridge countryside is a great place to get out to over the next four weeks.
With its grassy slopes, specimen trees and views over the estuary, it is a favourite destination for walking or relaxation. It is a great place to try if you are looking for somewhere different to take the dogs.
Another beautiful part of Suffolk’s landscape is Pin Mill, near Chelmondiston. With stunning views of the River Orwell it is a lovely place to go for a winter’s day walk.
You can look out for wrecks beached along the foreshore of the River Orwell, which were once sailing cargo vessels. Some of these boats are lived in as houseboats, but others have been abandoned as dramatic wrecks and are slowly being reclaimed by the forces of nature.
Discover the views of the charming hamlet that John Constable painted, in the heart of Dedham Vale.
Wandering beside the River Stour or looking at Flatford Mill and Willy Lott’s House you can feel as if you are actually walking through one of his paintings.
The car park, tea room and toilets at Flatford are open from 10am until 4pm each day. You don’t need to book parking, but space is limited. The Gift Shop, Constable Exhibition and Bridge Cottage Exhibition will remain closed until further notice.
Fen Bridge between Flatford and Dedham is closed for safety reasons. However, you can still walk between the two villages using the paths beside the river Stour.
Described as “an Italianate Palace in the heart of Suffolk”, Ickworth has over 1,800 acres of parkland and gardens to enjoy.
The National Trust has introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing, while avoiding any disappointment at weeekends. However, where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary.
Entry is free for members, however non-members will need to pay.
Tickets are currently paused for the Ickworth Light Nights, which were due to take place this month, following the government’s announcement.