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Travelling with a baby

Ickworth with kids: heritage family luxury retreat

As culture lovers, gardens addicts and adepts of sustainable luxury – what better way to celebrate my birthday than a week-end with Luxury Family Hotels collection at the Ickworth Hotel within the National Trust Suffolk? Ickworth with kids has been a countryside getaway much needed with lots of pampering for the occassion.

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Once the family seat of the Earls of Bristol, this beautiful 18th century estate spoilt us for 2 days in so many ways: 1,800 acres of Capability Brown designed parkland; magnificent lounge areas with high ceilings and huge Georgian windows looking out over the estate beyond; tones of history and heritage mixed with children’s toys, facilities and lots of options for the whole family.

Ickworth with kids

The Ickworth Hotel’s interiors blend classic furniture with more modern pieces; the walls are styled with a mix of bold, contemporary artwork, portraits and an eclectic collection of Hervey family memorabilia.  The lounges are furnished with roomy, comfortable sofas and designer Eames chairs; perfect for late lunches, a snack, wine or cocktails.

We stayed in De Walden lovely spacious traditional bedroom in the main house. The views over the Italianate Gardens are the most amazing and for my birthday I have been treated with the loveliest breakfast in bed and Elemis massage thereafter 😉

The grown ups loved:

i. The estate’s vast parkland for wandering and cycling. Ickworth parkland is one the finest examples of Capability Brown landscapes – a legendary figure that I got to know and love at Claremont Landscape Gardens,  Wimpole EstateWrest Park, Stowe, Bleinhem Palace, Hampton Court– to mention just a few of London nearby gems. With our monkeys rather young, on this occasion we preferred leaving them to have fun in the Four Bears Den, aka Ickworth Hotel kidsclub and us enjoying some grown up time and escape in the rural stunning landscapes.

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ii. National Trust Rotunda’s – Ickworth hotel guests get complimentary access. Begun in 1795 and completed in 1829, the Rotunda has much to intrigue and amaze; curved floors and corridors, a library with only two walls and plenty of priceless treasures collected over 200 years by the eccentric Hervey family.

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iii. The Italianate gardens – one of the first and finest in England.

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iv. The Elemis spa products at the hotel – a brand that I got to know so well and love over the last 20 years. For a bit of indulgence, the hotel Treatment Rooms offer a range of Elemis treatments including facials, massage and body scrubs.

v. The dinner was superb and it was very handy to use Ickworth baby monitor facilities. There are two restaurants to choose from – either the family friendly Conservatory or the adults-only Frederick’s.

With menus using many local ingredients, including vegetables from the hotel’s own kitchen garden, there is a tempting choice of lighter, simpler dishes, as well as a more fine dining option. We thoroughly enjoyed a sophisticated dinner in the two AA Rosette Frederick’s restaurant: modern-European cuisine, fine wines and candlelit tables.

Heritage hotels 2 hours of London

The kids loved:  a. The fairy playground complete with climbing frames and swings; b. the trampoline set up just outside the tennis courts and the assortment of lawn games; c. The Ickworth hotel’s Four Bears Den – the complimentary Ofsted registered crèche which is packed with toys and crafts for kids of all ages.

d. The Teenagers and older children have a ‘Club Blu’, complete with Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Table football, pool and table tennis.

e. Even on a day with moody skies, the hotel can entertain the most energetic of children with plenty of indoor activities and an indoor heated pool – which grown-ups might just like too!

f. Breakfast in the bright Conservatory, with a great choice of pastries, fruits, yoghurts and cereals.

g, h, i. The flowers, the spring trail, the lambs – Ickworth with kids is a delight. The stories of the bats living inside and very next to the Rotunda also intrigued and fascinated.

Overwhelming conclusions: Ickworth with kids makes a delightful week-end and the hotel is one of the best family friendly and most luxurious heritage retreats 2 hours of London! We will be back!

PS: Many thanks to The Ickworth Hotel for the small press discount and gorgeous birthday goodies champagne and chocolates included.

Heritage hotels 2 hours of London

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32 comments on “Ickworth with kids: heritage family luxury retreat

  1. Pingback: #CulturedKids #22 - zenbabytravel

  2. Tanja
    May 18, 2018

    I’ve visited it years ago but it looks great as a hotel too:)

    • Zen Babytravel
      May 21, 2018

      Indeed Tanja!

  3. Clare Thomson
    May 18, 2018

    We went to the Ickworth when our kids were little. It was a real treat and that part of Suffolk is a gorgeous area to explore. Thanks so much for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • Zen Babytravel
      May 21, 2018

      Hehe Clare, it’s perfect for little kids and parents equally !

  4. The gardens look so pretty! Love the idea of the kids’ creche. The whole place just sounds like pure luxury. What a lovely way to spend your birthday 🎂 😃

    • Zen Babytravel
      May 21, 2018

      Thank you Esther, indeed!

  5. bavariansojourn
    May 19, 2018

    Hope you had a lovely birthday! What a gorgeous place to stay! Making a note to visit as it sounds perfect for those with teens and young children! 🙂

    • Zen Babytravel
      May 21, 2018

      Thank you I did indeed! Hoping you get to go soon as well! X

  6. pigeonpairandme
    May 20, 2018

    Wow – all this history, beauty, AND a massage! What a phenomenal birthday treat. Great post – it looks like a wonderful place to visit. #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      May 21, 2018

      Thank you indeed a proper birthday week-end treat;) x

  7. pigeonpairandme
    May 20, 2018

    Wow – all that beauty, history, AND a massage! It sounds like a birthday treat and a half. Great post – I’ll have to make sure we visit some time. #CulturedKids

  8. pigeonpairandme
    May 20, 2018

    Wow – all that beauty, history, AND a massage! It sounds like a birthday treat and a half. Great post – I’ll have to make sure we visit soon. #CulturedKids

  9. Cultural Wednesday
    May 20, 2018

    We stayed at Ickworth when the teens were 9 months old and loved it! #CulturedKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      May 21, 2018

      Can easily picture why 😉 X

  10. Unfortunate name for such a beautiful place! What a lovely place to spend a birthday celebration with the whole family. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • Zen Babytravel
      June 2, 2018

      Interesting observation Erin 😉 But indeed a lovely place and great choice for bday pampering and getaway kids included!

  11. Diary of a Londoness
    May 23, 2018

    I do love a Capability Brown landscape! And there’s something about a place with bats that makes it even more intriguing! Great post, I will definitely pay Ickworth a visit one day. Scarlett #culturedkids

    • Zen Babytravel
      June 2, 2018

      Fully agreed Scarlett and we’d love to be back and investigate further bats included !

  12. Nicky @Go Live Young
    May 23, 2018

    Sounds like a perfect stay for adults and children alike. What a lovely place to spend a birthday with the family.

    • Zen Babytravel
      June 2, 2018

      Thank you Nicky!

  13. ushasita
    May 25, 2018

    What a beautiful way to spend a birthday. Such a lovely place and lovely post. Thanks for the inspiration #culturedkids

    • Zen Babytravel
      June 2, 2018

      Thank you Usha, I have been lucky and spoilt indeed!

  14. hip2trekem
    June 2, 2018

    Happy birthday! This looks an incredible place to visit, so beautiful. I love your photos. Nice to have the option of some adults only time with the kids club and baby monitoring service. #CountryKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      June 2, 2018

      Thank you and great to hear!

  15. Jo
    June 2, 2018

    I love capability brown gardens ❤️ what a lovely way to spend your bit. Hotels that suit both children and parents can be hard to fund, what a treasure!

    • Zen Babytravel
      June 2, 2018

      Thanks Jo, it’s difficult to fault ‘Capability’ and not to fall in love with!

  16. mommamack15
    June 3, 2018

    how lovely to go away somewhere that feels like a special treat for you but you also know the children are going to be well catered for too. Thanks for sharing, I’m off to research this for myself and our next family treat away #countrykids

  17. Wow! What a stunning place! I would love to visit here as we are exploring National Trust properties. It’s probably a bit too far away for us, but I will definitely be planning a visit if we are ever in that part of the world.
    #countrykids

  18. PinkOddy
    June 5, 2018

    What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. This looks like the kind of luxury you only get to visit.

  19. How lovely to hear that such an adult looking hotel in beautiful surroundings actually does really well for kids too. I know how popular our fairy gardens are so I’m sure the same is true of this one and the meadows look beautiful. It sounds like a great one for all the family and a very special place to enjoy your birthday.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  20. The Queen of Collage
    June 7, 2018

    This looks like a stunning place in which to visit #CountryKids

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