eXplore... Parks and Areas of Beauty

Parks and Areas of Beauty in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds is a beautiful town in Suffolk, England, home to some of the most stunning parks and areas of beauty. From Abbey Gardens to Nowton Park, there are plenty of places to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of this area.

Abbey Gardens is one of the world’s most beautiful parks, with its lush green lawns and colourful flower beds. It also has a well-equipped play area for children, making it an ideal spot for families. Hardwick Heath offers stunning views over the surrounding countryside while Ickworth Park and Spring Lane Nature Reserve provide plenty of opportunities for nature lovers. The Water Meadows and West Stow Country Park offer outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, and bird watching.

For something more adventurous, Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve is a must-see. This reserve offers visitors a chance to explore ancient woodlands filled with wildlife such as deer, badgers, and foxes. No Man’s Meadows Local Nature Reserve features wetlands that are home to many species of birds and other animals. Tunstall Forest is great for peaceful walks or orienteering or mountain biking.

Finally, Clare Castle Country Park has both historic ruins and picturesque grounds – so whatever you’re looking for – from a relaxing stroll through nature to an exciting adventure outdoors – Bury St Edmunds has something for everyone!

Hardwick Heath

Can anyone else remember the Hardwick Fete that was held in Bury on Whit Monday in the ’60s. I remember Dusty Springfield being the star guest one year.

Sheila Reynolds


Lovely Hardwick Heath in the sunshine today. The trees there are amazing.

Josephine Sweetman


Have you ever thought that Hardwick Heath is not anyone’s idea of a heath? In addition to the short grass, it clearly has non-native trees.

Extracting data from Wikipedia: The extensive grounds of Hardwick House were largely the creation of Sir Dudley Cullum, owner of the manor between 1680 and 1720, a keen horticulturist and the only member of the Cullum family to be an MP.
He worked with English horticulturalists and gardener John Evelyn. The house had a 2-acre (8,100 m2) kitchen garden and several other gardens: an Italian garden with rosery and flowerbeds a lime and sycamore tree-lined avenue and a large ‘pleasure grounds’, with gazebos, and planted with exotic trees and shrubs.

There was also a kitchen garden and ‘Winter Garden,’ with glass greenhouses, and a conservatory and orangery, palm house, peach house and a vinery. The house and its more formal gardens are long gone, but the public heath is not the only part of the pleasure grounds and the planted trees that survive – the West Suffolk Hospital site also has some spectacular trees, like these that I noticed dominate the distant skyline from Baron’s Road this morning.

Note that the Hardwick part of Bury is to be included in Greg’s WLBSE walk next week.

John Goldsmith


Tom Jones opened the fete one year at Hardwick Heath who remembers this I do?

Linda Opheim


Ickworth Park

A HOST OF GOLDEN DAFFODILS. Wordsworth must have been thinking of Nowton Park when he wrote that famous poem

Janet Lester


Must go and see the daffs, the ones in my garden were out five weeks ago and are still looking good, Nowton Park The Daffodils in Nowton Park, are like a work of art, They shimmer in the spring sunshine and are a favourite of mine, Every year we take in the view, of their dazzling yellow hue, It as If Wordsworth had passed near, and wrote his poem sitting here.

Who would not be entranced, as they nod their heads in their gay dance. Over the bridge and up the hill, thousands of dancing daffodils, They fill your heart and your sight, with joy and such delight, So if you should get the chance, go see the daffodils as they dance.

Les Hopton


Had a lovely day at cars on the green at Nowton Park today. Public transport does run on a Sunday. Got all the way from Thetford to Nowton Park, with only a little bit of waiting between buses and some walking. 🙂

Anna A Hradsky


A lovely walk in Nowton Park last night. Ok not quite Bury St. Edmunds but another lovely place none the less…

Diane Clarke

During our last walk, while talking of pillboxes, someone said there was once an underground bunker in Nowton Park.
There is a database of WW2 defensive works, but it’s not very reliable. The only items it shows are these two at the junction of the road from Nowton and the Bury-Sicklesmere road. The lower one was demolished long ago – even the hedge in the photo has gone now. I’ve searched in the wood on the corner of Nowton Park and found nothing.
Any underground works were generally done for protection against bombs and shells of a local headquarters – not for concealment – so the entrances are usually quite obvious.

Does anyone remember the location of the Nowton Park works, and know if they are still visible? (I’m aware of the pillboxes in Bury and Sicklesmere on the other side of the road, and another 2 that have gone)

John Goldsmith



Spring Lane Nature Reserve

Thank you to James Sheen & one of his videos. I had the most amazing walk before work this morning. I took a 15 min stroll around Springfield nature reserve.

I saw some lovely flowers including some amazing hollyhocks, a pair of herons, I think it was a woodpecker, several rabbits.

A fantastic way to start a working day. Thank you James 🙂

Anna A Hradsky



The Water Meadows

Does anyone remember veteran campaigner Doreen Tilley? I first met her at the Green Fair when Greene King was going to build the road across the water meadows and she wanted the wildlife protecting.

She knew there were water voles and kingfisher there and it didn’t look like they were safe. Although the road was built, the wildlife was protected and GK can still make their great beers.

David Bradbury


I was lucky enough to walk over this bridge today – never noticed it before. Y for York.

On the water meadows behind the barrel store. (John Goldsmith)
As a BSE exile I find that people referring to the Butts as the water meadows really grates my nerves, when & why was the name of this place changed? is it politically incorrect to say Butt?

People referring to Peter’s Pit as the college dip is another one that irks me. Are there any other places in Bury that have been colonized & renamed by the posh incomers

Bryan King



West Stow