Dog Friendly Suffolk Review – Chantry Park in Ipswich, Suffolk, UK
Chantry Park is an unexpected dog friendly gem of a walk in the south west of Ipswich. Sadly, there are no dog friendly pubs on the doorstep; but this walk is close enough to town to offer a regular daily walk for dogs of all shapes and sizes rhubarb candle.
The real charm of Chantry is the variety of spaces it contains. The view of the park from the main London Road, the A1214, is deceptive, looking rather flat and field-like. However entering the park from Hadleigh Road, on the western boundary, you arrive up the main drive of Chantry House. Built in the early 1700s, the Sue Ryder Foundation now occupies the house as a care home, and surprisingly the park retains many of the features from its past as a grand country house garden.
The public car park is not overly big but there is normally space enough, and it is set next to a dedicated kids play area. Recently re-built and improved, the play area is the only space in the park where dogs are not allowed. Immediately on leaving the car park you enter the formal gardens around the main house. Here you will find a beautiful rhododendron walk and ornamental ponds, leading through to a scented rose garden. Beyond that, the park opens out and in the far southern tip turns to woodland with a large lake popular throughout the year with anglers. This end of the park is definitely welly territory in winter as the lake sits in a water meadow, and wet dogs are a frequent feature when visiting at this time of year; in fact, with our two, at any time of year.
The park is an active community space and contains within it the local bowls and cricket clubs. This makes the park a friendly place; there is always someone around to nod hello to, and the dogs that are walked there regularly are all well socialised. Poo-bins are well spaced around the park, and there are well-kept toilets for humans by the car park.