If you enjoy country walks and admiring nature, Windmill Lodges is within easy reach of some of Suffolk’s best kept parks and gardens. Our log cabin holiday accommodation is right in the heart of East Anglia, and just a short drive away from a selection of manor houses and grounds that are open to the public. Whether you want some inspiration for your own garden, or just want explore the great outdoors, many of these parks and gardens are open spring to summer, and others all year round. Here, we put the spotlight on seven of the best a 50 minute drive or less from our exclusive country cabins.
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Seven Suffolk Parks and Gardens
The National Trust run Ickworth House in Bury St Edmunds is one of the most visited attractions in Suffolk, and is just a 47 minute drive from our holiday accommodation. You can enjoy a tour of this splendid country house, see the impressive art collections, and find out what life was like for the servants ‘below stairs.’ It offers a wonderful family day out, made complete by a stroll in the 70 acres of parkland. Some of the main outdoor sites include a walled garden, the superb 19th century Italianate garden, and a magical hidden stumpery* set to stir your family’s imagination. The gardens are open year round with late and early opening times in the summer.
*Fashionable in the Victorian era, a stumpery consists of artistically arranged wood made from parts of dead trees.
Haughley Park, Stowmarket, a historic Jacobean mansion set in 200 acres of grounds (including parkland), is a 30 minute drive from Windmill Lodges. The house has recently been restored, and work is still ongoing, but you can see inside the property by appointment only. However, the grounds and parkland are open to the public, without prior appointment, on Tuesday afternoons from May to September. Among the attractions include a woodland garden, a walled kitchen garden, various glass sculptures, and ancient woodland.
Helmingham Hall in Helmingham, just a 15 minute drive from our log cabins, is a stunning moated stately home owned by the Tollemache family. The superb gardens are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons from May to September, and evoke beauty and tranquillity. Among the sights are a pretty rose garden, knot and herb garden, an orchard, and tunnels and bridges that are always fun to explore.
Otley Hall Garden
You can combine a visit to Helmingham Hall with the 16th century Otley Hall, which is just a 20 minute drive from Windmill Lodges. This appealing moated hall is privately owned so you can view the house by appointment only, although you can visit the gardens on Wednesdays 11am-5pm, between May to September. These incredible gardens have been ranked sixth in a poll by The Independent on 50 Top British Gardens to visit and include nutteries, a moat walk and rose garden.
Blakenham Woodland garden
Based in Little Blakenham, a thirty minute drive from our timber lodges, you can see well-established exotic trees and flowers, some of which have come from a variety of famous names in gardening. The gardens were founded by John Hare, a former MP for Sudbury and Woodbridge, who later became Viscount Blakenham and treasurer of the Royal Horticultural Society. After his death in 1982, the gardens are run by a charitable trust and are open daily, March until June, from 10am-5pm.
Henstead Exotic Garden
A 45 minute drive from Windmill Lodges is the incredible Henstead Exotic Garden in Beccles. These fantastic gardens were rated by ITV’s Alan Titchmarch in 2015 as Britain’s Best Garden. Once described as akin to an ‘exotic rainforest’ you can expect to be dwarfed by towering plants. All the more surprising as the gardens were designed and created only a decade ago. It’s open Wednesday afternoons, May to September, 2-5 pm and on May 25 Bank Holiday Monday 11-4pm.
Wingfield Old College and Gardens
Based in Stradbroke, a 15 minute drive from the holiday cabins, the Medieval Wingfield Old College is linked with famous names throughout history such as Mary Tudor and The Black Prince. It is of architectural significance and has an incredible galleried Great Hall. The gardens are just as fascinating and include a William and Mary walled garden, topiary garden and woodland walks. The house and gardens are open for pre-booked tours on set dates only.
About Windmill Lodges
Windmill Lodges is a quiet haven set right in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, near Woodbridge and Framlingham. Our luxurious four and five star log cabins are designed to be a home from home and have some excellent facilities including a private hot tub. For more information and to book our log cabin accommodation, just click on the link above.