Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve

Lackford Lakes Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Lackford Lakes by Mark Gosbee

Lackford Lakes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Lackford Lakes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Lackford Lakes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Lackford Lakes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Lackford Lakes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Lackford Lakes visitor centre Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Lackford Lakes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Lackford Lakes is a wildlife oasis with a landscape of lakes, reeds, meadow and woodland. There is wildlife in close-up all year round with iridescent kingfisher, dazzling dragonflies and colourful ducks.


Lackford Lakes
Bury St Edmunds
IP28 6HX

OS Map Reference

TL 801706

Reserve is about ten minutes from Bury St Edmunds on the A1101, Bury to Mildenhall road.
A static map of Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve

Know before you go

161 hectares

Entry fee

Lackford Lakes is free to visit, however if you wish to support our work on the nature reserve, please consider making a donation or becoming a member of Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

Bicycle parking


Grazing animals

Sheep graze all your round. Seasonal cattle grazing.

Please refer to the link in walking trails below for more information.

Walking trails

Do’s and don’ts when walking with livestock       
​​Very good, mostly surfaced paths.

Three trails and eight wildlife viewpoints to explore.  All trails start at the visitor centre.  Maximum stay of 1 hour at the viewpoints.

Trail map

See all events


Fully accessible visitor centre with allocated parking and toilet for disabled people.

Short Stay viewpoint (Bernard’s hide) This is one of our best viewpoints on the blue trail. To help ensure all visitors feel welcome and have the chance to visit this hide, we ask that visitors spend a maximum of 1 hour here between the hours of 9:30am and 4:30pm. For early morning or evening visits, please book online:

Book Bernard's Hide

The 1.5km blue trail is negotiable by wheelchair, with ramped access to four hides.
Parts of this reserve are accessible by mobility scooter.

No drone flying without express permission.
(Permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances)

If you'd like to visit this reserve as a group, please contact us in advance.

Find out why we ask you to keep your dog on a short lead at most of our reserves and why this is important for wildlife conservation. Why we ask dogs are kept on a lead


Guide dogs only
Other dogs on a lead permitted on red trail only.


Visitor centre
Bird hides
Picnic area
Accessible toilet
Baby changing facilities
Outdoor play area
Disabled parking

When to visit

Opening times

Reserve and car park open daily 8am - 5pm.

Toilets open 10am to 5pm

Catering open 10am to 4pm

The shop is open from 10am to 5pm

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Listen to the sound of singing birds in spring with the arrival of nightingales and warblers from Africa. The first bees and butterflies start to make appearances on bright spring days.  

Later in summer, the reserve is alive with damselflies and dragonflies. Swallows and martins sweep over the water's surface feeding on small flies. The lakesides are busy with nesting great-crested grebe, kingfisher, tufted duck and water rail. Bright stems of purple-loosestrife, common fleabane and gipsywort create colour at the water's edge.        

Gold and red colours mark the coming of autumn with the arrival of a wide range of wildfowl. Birds including shoveler, lapwing, goosander, bittern and goldeneye depend on the lakes during the winter months.    

The visitor centre and café is open 7 days a week and sells hot and cold drinks, pre-packed sandwiches, hot and cold savouries, ice cream, lollies and a variety of cakes and snacks, some of which are gluten free.

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map

Daily activities at Lackford Lakes

There is always something going on at Lackford Lakes, we have a range of activities for you to get involved with on your visit.

To help you get more from your visit we currently provide the following activities with the suggested donations:

. Borrow a pair of binoculars to spot all our creatures hiding out there £3 

. Children can pick up our seasonal spotter sheet £2


Group visits

If you are visiting as a group, please contact us on 01284 728706 in advance to check availability. Guided walks may be available if requested at the time of booking.

What's happening at Lackford

Lackford Lakes Blog