Glorious Gardens of Suffolk
Published: Wednesday 19th Jul 2017
Written by: Chloe Baker.
Not only does Suffolk offer fantastic coastlines and beautiful countryside, but here in East Anglia, we have many glorious gardens. From the grounds of stately homes, acres belonging to halls and gardens created with wildlife in mind, Suffolk has a wonderful selection of flora and fauna. We have been exploring and discovering what we believe are just a few of the best gardens to visit while taking a holiday in Suffolk…
Helmingham Hall, Helmingham
Helmingham Hall can be found in the heart of Suffolk near Stowmarket. Winning the 2017 Garden of the Year Award, Helmingham Hall’s gardens are undoubtedly stunning and an asset to the county. The Grade I listed Tudor House is surrounded by a moat and the draw bridge is still used today. Guests will be wowed by the immaculate grounds and tasteful colour palettes that the gardens present. With ten different gardens and areas, plant enthusiasts can explore the likes of The Apple Tree Walk, The Knot Garden, Bridges, Seats and Tunnels and much more. Along with the guests, many animals enjoy the tranquillity of Helmingham Hall’s grounds. Rare butterflies and bumblebees can be seen relishing in the nectars from the array of flowers and with an abundance of wildlife arriving and departing during the seasons, Helmingham Hall is one of the most diverse sites in terms of wildlife in the UK. Thyme and Sage, our holiday cottages with a difference, are two shepherds’ huts which are perfect for pairs and are located in Framlingham which is just a twenty-minute drive from Helmingham Hall.
The RSPB: Flatford Wildlife Garden
Flatford Wildlife Garden is a garden with a difference and a fantastic message. Designed by The RSPB to teach and inspire young and old to help wildlife in their own gardens, Flatford Wildlife Garden has been created solely with wildlife in mind. Nestled in Constable Country, the garden can be found on a south facing slope by the River Stour. It is an outstanding haven for wildlife with flower borders, a wild flower meadow, woodland gardens, an apple orchard and a kitchen garden. The garden hosts many events and activities and is free to enter. Make sure to leave enough time to explore the gardens beautiful surroundings including the historic Flatford Mill. Suffolk Secret’s holiday cottage The Dairy is a newly refurbished holiday cottage surrounded by breath taking countryside and is only twenty minutes from Flatford Wildlife Garden.
Somerleyton Hall & Gardens, Somerleyton
Open to the public from April to September, Somerleyton Hall and its 12 acres of Gardens is regarded as one of the most beautiful stately homes in the UK. The garden’s 800-yard maze has immaculately trimmed yew hedges and a man-made hill centre piece that isn’t particularly easy to find! George Carter, Norfolk’s premier garden designer has led the team of gardeners and volunteers to create the haven that is the hall’s surroundings. When strolling around the grounds, guests will discover greenhouses designed by Joseph Paxton, the architect of Crystal Palace, a walled garden, a 70-foot long pergola, roses, giant redwood, azaleas and much more. Suffolk Secret’s property, 4 Wellington Esplanade, is just twenty minutes from Somerleyton Hall, accommodating up to ten people in a luxurious grade II listed property facing one of Suffolk’s sandiest beaches.
Glemham Hall, Little Glemham
Built in 1560, Glemham Hall is surrounded by 3000 acres of stunning Suffolk parkland. The traditional setting has some 600 plus-year-old oak trees and an extra special rose garden which the head gardener and volunteers from the nearby Otley College have worked tirelessly on. The gardens also include wide lawns celebrating traditional English symmetry, a summer house, a lily pond and a topiary and an avenue of Irish yew trees. Guests will feel as if they are stepping into the secret garden as they ponder through an iron gate, surrounded by an original wall dripping with flowers. Glemham Hall is also home to a small selection of sculptures by world renowned artists Philip King RA, Simon Hitchens, Anthony Gormley RA and John Moore to name just a few. They can be found scattered effectively amongst the greenery, adding something a little different to the traditional stately home garden. River Cottage in Iken, Aldeburgh is an outstanding Suffolk Secret’s property in an area that has been awarded both SSSI and AONB. The natural surroundings and views across the River Alde from River Cottage’s floor to ceiling windows make it the perfect place for horticultural lovers to stay.
National Trust, Ickworth House & Gardens, Horringer
Last but not least in our pick of glorious gardens in Suffolk is the National Trust’s Ickworth House & Gardens. Designed as pleasure grounds for his friends and family to enjoy by the 1st Marquees, Ickworth’s Garden brings a slice of Italy to England as it hosts one of the UK’s first Italianate gardens. Guests will walk amongst a Mediterranean haven as the garden tantalises the senses all year round and the blossom trees are, “like walking through lace…” quote Lady Mary MacRae, granddaughter of the 4th Marquees. The naturally changing meadow will be a different experience depending on which month you visit, and the enchanting stumpery has a magical aura. The immaculate gardens, full of muted green tones, complement the architecture as they encircle the Rotunda houses that have been restored to their 1930s states. In their early days, the gardens were enjoyed by ladies and gentlemen who would stroll along the winding paths, ponder on the raised terrace and play croquet on the impeccable lawns. For adventurers, the grounds offer many walking and cycling trails spanning over the 1800 acres. The gardens have fantastic visitor facilities including a café, a golf buggy service, ample parking and a National Trust gift and plant shop. Number 5, Lavenham is a beautifully romantic cottage retreat with bright and airy rooms and is just a stone's throw away from Ickworth House.
We could continue to boast the choice of gardens we have here in Suffolk, however, the list would be longer than an Echium. Whether you’re visiting Suffolk on a grand garden tour or planning to visit only one, the gardens guarantee a wonderful day out and Suffolk Secrets has an abundance of holiday cottages which are the perfect places to rest after days out exploring them.