Travelling with a baby

The Ickworth Hotel: 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?


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 pampering for the whole family.


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.


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.


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


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 House with kids is a delight. The stories of the bats living inside and very next to the Rotunda also intrigued and fascinated.

Overwhelming conclusions: the Ickworth is one of the best family friendly and most luxurious heritage hotels 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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15 comments on “The Ickworth Hotel: 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

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