Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve
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.
Know before you go
Entry feeLackford 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.
Very good, mostly surfaced paths.
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.
The Winter Hide, reached by a firm 150m path from the car park, offers easy access for all visitors.
Parts of this reserve are accessible by mobility scooter.
Please note - Bernard’s Hide is a short stay hide
We ask visitors to spend a short while in this popular hide.
Stays are for a maximum of 1 hour with no return for 1 hour.
Quick-view seating provides short waiting times to ensure all visitors have the chance to enjoy wildlife from this hide.
When to visit
Opening timesVisitor Centre : Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm. Refreshments available 10am to 4:30pm
Reserve open from dawn until dusk.
Best time to visitAll 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.
Our seasonal trails!
Summer is a great time to look for butterflies at Lackford Lakes. Almost half of the butterflies recorded in the UK have been seen here. Follow the blue trail to find out some facts about butterflies.
For a suggested donation of £3 visitors can borrow a pair of binoculars. For a small donation children can try the spotter sheet.
Just head inside when you arrive to find out more!
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
Grebes and colourful butterflies
As we move into August at the lakes the young grebes are now fairly big and there seems to be an explosion of colourful butterflies…
Beautiful butterflies and Lackford dragons (dragonflies / damselflies)
As we move into the middle of summer at Lackford Lakes we enter the time when our smaller creatures become really active around the…
A wonderful mix of summer wildlife
Summer is a great time at Lackford, with a wonderful mix of wildlife to watch – butterflies, dragonflies and birds. At the start of…
School visits to Lackford Lakes
"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