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 Nature Reserve

Update: Thursday 26th March 2020 

In addition to the centre closure and cancellation of events and volunteer work parties, our reserve toilets and hides are now closed. 

Our nature reserves are still open for local residents to walk to and enjoy. Nature can replenish and cheer us all, however, we stress the need for everyone to respect other visitors, to follow government advice and the 2-metre social distancing guideline. 

Thank you for your continued support. 

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 has a fully accessible visitor centre and café with views of the reserve, open 7 days a week.

Please be aware there is limited access for dogs around Sayers Breck, with no access to the lakes or hides. Only assistance dogs are allowed in the centre and around the reserve.


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


Walking trails

Very good, mostly surfaced paths.

Trail map


Fully accessible visitor centre with allocated parking and toilet for disabled people. The 1.5km Kingfisher Trail is negotiable by wheelchair, with ramped access to four hides.
Parts of this reserve are accessible by mobility scooter.

The Winter Hide, reached by a firm 150m path from the car park, offers easy access for all visitors.


Guide dogs only
Dogs are not permitted in the visitor centre or on the blue Trail near the lakes or hides except for assistance dogs. However, dogs on leads are allowed on Sayer's Breck path and Church Walk.


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

When to visit

Opening times

Visitor Centre : Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm. Refreshments available 10am to 4:30pm

Reserve open from dawn until dusk.

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

Our seasonal trails!

Winter is a great time to visit the reserve.  Lots of birds winter here and the lakes can be quite different from day to day as the weather is so changeable during the winter - some days will be windy, some days will be frosty and others might even be snowy.  Find out more about our winter wildlife on our boards around the blue trail.

For a suggested donation of £3 visitors can borrow a pair of binoculars. For a small donation children can try the winter spotter sheet.  

Just head inside when you arrive to find out more!

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.

Upcoming events at Lackford Lakes

Lackford Lakes Blog

School visits to Lackford Lakes

Suffolk Wildlife Trust David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough by Tom Marshall


"England’s wildlife is under great and ever growing pressure. It is vital that we restore our land on a landscape scale so that it can support more wild plants and animals. "

-Sir David Attenborough

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