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Somerleyton Hall pergola (c) Visit England

14 SUFFOLK GARDENS YOU SHOULD VISIT THIS SUMMER

There are few things as quintessentially British as a Suffolk garden in summer. If the idea of wandering among hedgerows, trees, water features and thousands of flowers puts a smile on your face, you should visit one of these 14 Suffolk gardens this summer:
Bury St Edmunds Abbey Gardens (c) Visit EnglandThe Abbey Gardens stand at the centre of historic Bury St Edmunds
Photo (c) Visit England

CHRISTCHURCH PARK, IPSWICH

Christchurch Park is a 70-acre park of rolling lawns and woodland, with a botanical garden of beautiful trees that’s home to over 100 species of bird. At the park’s centre, next to a rippling pond, is Christchurch Mansion: a museum and art gallery that holds the largest collection of works by Constable and Gainsborough outside of London. Until January 2016 the collection is even larger than usual, featuring paintings on loan such as Constable’s masterpiece, Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows. Christchurch Park is free to enter and open all year round, so if you don’t get a chance to visit this summer, fear not: it’s just as magical on a cold, frosty day in winter.

HOLYWELL'S PARK, IPSWICH

Nestled near the banks of the River Orwell in Ipswich, Holywells Park is a 67-acre haven of greenery in the centre of Suffolk’s historic county town. A recent £3.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund Parks has meant the renovation of Holywells walled garden, which is now awash with colour and scent, and of the garden’s Victorian conservatory. A new visitor centre and café have also been built, meaning you can get a bite to eat after a walk in the park. There’s even a shop selling refurbished donated bicycles! For more information, visit www.ipswich.gov.uk
or call 01473 433990.

RIVERSIDE HOUSE, CLARE

This private garden is set beside the River Stour in the charming village of Clare, and opens on a few select days throughout the year. Riverside House’s garden is bordered by flowers and slopes downwards toward the water, where rowing boats bob gently up and down. You might want to combine your visit to Riverside House with a walk around historic Clare following the Suffolk Threads route. For more information call the Clare Bulb Company on 01787 277441.
Ickworth House The National TrustIckworth House in Horringer is surrounded by exquisite Italianate gardens

ICKWORTH HOUSE & GARDENS, HORRINGER

Ickworth House offers a slice of classical Italy in Suffolk: its neoclassical rotunda houses treasures collected from tours around 18th century Europe, while its Italianate gardens are the earliest in England. Special highlights include a magical stumpery made from dead trees, and a seasonal meadow whose flowers change naturally depending on which month you visit. The gardens are generally open from 9am to 5pm throughout the year; entry costs £7 for adults and £3.50 for children during summer, and £4 for adults during the winter.

THE PLACE FOR PLANTS, EAST BERGHOLT

Set in the heart of Constable Country, East Bergholt, The Place for Plants is a 20-acre garden and arboretum full of rambling roses, unusual flowering trees, fruit trees and wildflowers. The garden is open to the public from April until late September, and entry costs £6 for adults. After a tour of this sprawling, beautiful place, you can enjoy a bite to eat in the café, and pick up some seeds of your own in the plant centre.

GLEMHAM HALL, LITTLE GLEMHAM

Built circa 1560, and later given a Georgian façade, Glemham Hall is a picturesque place with an air of history. As well as the hall itself, you can explore the 300 acres of parkland surrounding it, including a walled rose garden, some 600-year-old oak trees, topiary, classical urns and a sculpture garden. You can book a tour of Glemham Hall and its grounds for £12 per person.
Helmingham Hall Gardens (c) Visit EnglandThe gardens at Helmingham Hall were created by award-winning garden designer Lady Xa Tollemache
Photo (c) Visit England

HELMINGHAM HALL, HELMINGHAM

Just as impressive as its glassy moat are the gardens of Helmingham Hall, designed and maintained by award-winning garden designer Lady Xa Tollemache. Populated by a herd of red deer, Helmingham Hall’s spectacular gardens are made up of roughly twelve different areas – some containing fruit; others flowers, vegetables or herbs – all elegantly interconnected by bridges and walkways. Open from May till late September, entry to the gardens costs £7 for adults and £3.50 for children.

MELFORD HALL, LONG MELFORD

Another spectacular Suffolk estate is Melford Hall. Home to the Hyde Parker family, this historic hall was frequented by Beatrix Potter, a cousin. She spent many a summer’s day wandering the grounds and dreaming up stories about the animals that lived there. Its landscaped gardens are cared for by the National Trust, and are the perfect place to play a spot of croquet, explore a historic Banqueting house, and watch some summer theatre. Melford Hall is open every day bar Mondays and Tuesday until the start of November, and exploring the garden alone costs £4 for adults and £2 for children.

HAUGHLEY PARK, STOWMARKET

There are six acres of landscaped gardens surrounding the listed barn at Haughley Park near Stowmarket, and beyond that, 100 acres of mixed woodland. Highlights include a tranquil dell, a walled kitchen garden, glass sculptures and a large fishpond. Usually private, you can explore Haughley Park’s woods and gardens from 2pm to 5:30pm every Tuesday from May to September. For more information, call 01359 240701.
Somerleyton Hall and Gardens (c) Visit EnglandSomerleyton Hall boasts acres of lavishly manicured gardens
Photo (c) Visit England

KENTWELL HALL, LONG MELFORD

At first glance, you might expect the gardens of this mansion to be as traditional as its Tudor façade. However, among the gardens of Kentwell Hall you’re likely to find anything from a castle made of yew trees to huge galleon, or even a party of Tudor revelers passing by in full regalia. The hall and gardens are open on various days throughout the year, with many special events to attend, too. On ordinary days, however, entry to both costs £11.90 for adults and £5.40 for children.

FULLER'S MILL GARDEN, WEST STOW

The founder of Fullers Mill Garden has spent over 50 years crafting its 7 acres into a diminutive paradise of woodland, flowerbeds and hedgerows, all intersected by the babbling River Lark. It’s a fantastic place to see rare plants that don’t grow wild in England. The garden is open several days a week from April to late September, and entry costs £4.

SOMERLEYTON HALL & GARDENS, SOMERLEYTON

Set in the picture-perfect village of Somerleyton, north of Lowestoft, this elegant Victorian hall is surrounded by exquisite gardens. You can lose yourself in the yew maze, reportedly one of the finest in Britain, relax in the walled garden, walk through the 90m blossom pergola, or admire the ornate greenhouses, built by the architect of Crystal Palace. Somerleyton Hall & Gardens are open several days a week from April to late September, and entry costs £6.45 for adults and £4.45 for children.
Kentwell Hall in Suffolk (c) Karen RoeReal-life Tudors can often be spotted in the gardens of Kentwell Hall
Photo (c) Karen Roe

WYKEN HALL GARDENS, BURY ST EDMUNDS

The intricate, old-style gardens at Wyken Hall reflect the Elizabethan nature of the house itself. On a wander through the grounds you’ll find a knot garden, herb garden, nuttery, wildflower meadow, traditional kitchen garden and much more, bursting with the colours of an English summer. What’s more, you’ll also find a critically acclaimed restaurant, vineyard and country market, making a visit to Wyken Hall an all-round great day out. The gardens are open every day except Saturdays from April to late September, and entry costs £4 per person.

LANGHAM HALL WALLED GARDEN, BURY ST EDMUNDS

A secret garden of just 3.5 acres, Langham Hall Walled Garden was created in the 18th century, and its Georgian character can still be perceived today. One half of the garden is a rich nursery bursting with campanulas (plants grown for the beauty of their flowers), while the other is a productive kitchen garden where fresh vegetables and herbs flourish. You can buy plants from either side of Langham Hall Walled Garden, or simply look around both for an entry fee of £5 on Thursdays and Fridays, between the months of April and October.

CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS?

If you love being outside, why not plan an outdoor adventure in Suffolk or visit one of Suffolk's many natures reserves, and tell us all about your adventures via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?