Find some peace and tranquillity in these beautiful Grade 1 listed gardens at Helmingham Hall. Spend the day taking in the sights and smells of the gorgeous flowers, the exquisite manicured hedges and borders, stroll through the orchard and bask in the heady scents of the rose garden.
As well as a treat for keen gardeners this is also a nature lovers paradise, with a wildflower meadow attracting birds, bees and butterflies as well as the red deer that live on the estate. Take afternoon tea in their Coach House Tearoom and if the weatheris kind enjoy it outside in the courtyard, which is naturally full of flowers.
With its three-sided tower, Orford Castle can be explored from the basement right up to the roof. Climb the 91 steps to the top and you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the village of Orford, the harbour and surrounding areas. Roman artefacts can be seen in the museum, which is also at the top of the tower and you can explore the passageways that lead to the old kitchens, chapel and turrets. Audio tours are available and there is a gift shop too but there’s no tearoom so if you’re not eating in Orford itself pack a picnic and enjoy it in the grounds of the castle.
Orford, Woodbridge, IP12 2ND
15 miles away
As spectacular inside as it is from the outside, this period mansion is set in 5,000 acres of wonderful gardens. Explore the elegant rooms inside with its magnificent ballroom and sweeping staircases. The gardens are a real treat to explore. Visit the pleasure gardens for a relaxing stroll, or the 70 ft long pergola and take in the scent of the wisteria and roses and for lovers of architecture delight in the Joseph Paxton iron and glass greenhouses within the walled garden. The highlight of the gardens though is to try and solve the yew hedge maze dating back to 1846, which has foxed many a visitor to the hall.
Ickworth Park is a fine example of an elegant English stately home with a classic central Rotunda and east and west wings stretching out to either side. Now owned by The National Trust, it was built in the 18th century for the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his art collection.
Today it is home to an extensive museum full of paintings, ceramics, furniture, silver and antique books. The stunning Italian style gardens feature several walks and with the surrounding parklands are ideal spots for a picnic.
The Rotunda Horringer,
Bury St Edmunds, IP29 5QE
44 miles away
In the middle of the lovely Suffolk town of Framlingham lies its 12th century castle rich in British history and now owned by English Heritage. It’s the castle’s Tudor history that is its most fascinating being the place Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England. For the best views of the town, mere and castle grounds take the Wall Walk, which will afford you a better view of the castle’s 12th century and Tudor chimneys. Inside the castle is an exhibition of its history and there’s also an audio tour on offer to accompany you around the building. Pack a picnic to have in the grounds, the now grassed-over moat is the perfect place for children to run and play.
Church Street, Framlingham, IP13 9BP
9 miles away
Every July the Country Fair & Concours d’Elegance takes place against the magnificent backdrop of Heveningham Hall. The event is a real community cause as all the money raised goes to local charities. You can get involved yourself by trying your hand at clay pigeon shooting, go off road in a Land Rover or have a go at a bungee jump. Afterwards, calm down with a browse around the many local food, drink and craft stalls on offer. The Concours d’Elegence, inaugurated in 2016, brings together 50 of the world’s finest cars on the Kim Wilkie-designed grass terraces. In the winter months the hall hosts a spectacular fireworks display Christmas market and Santa’s Hell Run.
Heveningham, Halesworth, IP19 0PN
1 mile away