On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. It will entirely replace the borough and district councils but will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. Over the next few weeks you may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails, and there will be limited access to some of our online systems as we prepare for the creation of the new council.
Made up of over 30 acres of managed parkland, 'haunted' mausoleum, lawns and pond, historic walled garden and miles of nature trails.
Located in the vast Thetford Forest, Brandon lies in the very heart of The Brecks. A wild landscape of dark forests, open heathlands, sandy soils and iconic belts of pine trees that straddles the Suffolk and Norfolk border.
Brandon Country Park is open every day of the year from dawn to dusk.
The Copper Beech Tearooms are open every day, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, between the following hours:
Summer Opening hours (between April and October)
Monday to Sunday 10am to 4.30pm
Winter Opening hours (between November and March)
Monday to Sunday 10am to 3.30pm
Free to enjoy (you will need to pay for parking if you need it)
It was the vision of one man back in the 1800's, that saw the creation of Brandon Country Park and of Thetford Forest. As was fashionable in England in those days, wealthy industrialists wanted to have their own country seat and in 1820, Edward Bliss selected Brandon Hall.
Having made his wealth from selling gun flint to the army during the Napoleonic Wars, Edward set to work developing his hall, walled garden and arboretum. The arboretum grew and grew, full of exotic species from Blue Atlas Cedar to Giant Redwoods to Monkey Puzzle Trees.
In the grounds he built a small, flint knapped, gothic mausoleum surrounded by Irish Yews. This was to be the final resting place for himself and his wife but in the early 20th century they were moved to Brandon Cemetery. Today the mausoleum plays home to Pipestrelle bats and reputably the ghost of Edward's nephew, Baron Boretto. Dressed in knee breaches, a deer stalker and holding a human skull lit by a candle, he is occasionally seen wandering the grounds. What, or who, is he looking for?
When the gun flint industry started to decline Edward put his men to work planting over 1 million trees. Their endeavours created what we know today as Thetford Forest.
With over 50,000 acres of Scots and Causican Pine, Larch, Beech and Silver Birch, Thetford Forest is a wonderfully mysterious place to explore. The forest is criss-crossed with miles of walking and cycling trails. Some are suited to families, others for the more experienced hiker and cyclist.
Explore one of three nature trails from the one mile Red Trail to the six mile Orange Trail. Cycle along forest tracks along the eight mile Poachers Trail.
Visit our historic Walled Garden with its stunning Himalayan Birch trees, unusual Handkerchief Tree and fragrant Bay Tree. Enjoy our two play areas for toddlers to teens with climbing frame, assault course, swings and slides.
Learn about trees from around the World in our famous arboretum. Enjoy morning coffee, light lunch and afternoon tea in the Copper Beech Tearoom.
The following regulations are in place for your safety and to protect the environment, please abide by them:
A full set of byelaws are available on request.