Hotel review: The Ickworth, Suffolk

The closest of the Luxury Family Hotels group to London offers a place to stay within the National trust just a two-hour drive from the capital.

ickworth hotel review

The Ickworth hotel review

Rooms & facilities

There are 38 bedrooms at the Ickworth, with a range of prices and occasional offers to suit most budgets, including options that fit couples on a cosy break, families that require interconnected rooms, or even those that are bringing the beloved pet pooch. We recommend going for the Italianate

Garden view when booking, if possible, as it’s a beautiful site to open the curtains to in the misty mornings. For those wanting a bit of privacy, however, there are also apartment options in the Lodge, located a short walk from the main building but far enough away that you feel a touch of seclusion.

If you can tear yourself away from your room’s large bed, bath overlooking the gardens or reading nook by the window, the Ickworth has a lot to offer. If you came here to relax, then booking a spa treatment at their on-site facility is essential (don’t be afraid of those hot stones; they will melt your muscles to butter). There is also a beautiful pool to bathe in at your leisure, with lounge chairs on the deck in case you want to settle in for the afternoon.

ickworth hotel review

Perhaps most importantly for a family hotel is activities for the kids, and not just the little rable-rousers who might burn energy in the Games Room. The on-site creche, The Den, can also take the tots for 90 minutes (included in the room price) while the parents take a little time for themselves. And the family can come together every night at 6pm for a movie in the cinema room to wind down after a full-on day. Popcorn is made fresh- just get there quick!

Food & Drink

The conservatory hosts fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner made with local ingredients, with outside seating in the garden when the weather holds. Though most will go for the classic full English for breakfast, when it comes to dinner, and thoughts turn to recommendations, the Ickworth burger was a delicious choice when one might have considered something a bit more decadent to suit the surroundings.

Though you may be impressed with the cocktail menu, the most colourful option is of the non-alcoholic, very sweet kind – the Matilda Afternoon Tea. With opinions for adults and children, this is a very generous serving that even the most hearty may struggle to finish. With delightful finger sandwiches, sweet macaroons, banana bread and ‘newt’  juice (for those that know the film)  on your stand, the huge slice of Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate fudge cake at the very top of the stand will no doubt be your final delight. Just remember to save some room…

ickworth hotel review

What to do nearby

Anyone on a break for even a few days won’t need to get back in the car. The Ickworth Hotel actually sits within the Ickworth National Trust site. The main house, which is open to visiting and right next to the hotel, was previously the residence of the Marquess of Bristol. Walking through here brings you to the aforementioned, and impressively maintained, Italianate Garden. There is also a well-curated National Trust shop full of essentials and the books you didn’t know you needed, which follows through into the West Wing cafe if you need more coffee and cake for your stay.

But don’t worry, all those calories can be walked, or cycled, off along the miles and miles of routes around the estate, whether heading over the river, through the woods, across the fields or past the Walled garden. There are 1,800 acres of green space here, enough to explore over several days, all at a very leisurely pace. You will wish you could stay an extra day. We did!

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