|Club||Suffolk Orienteering Club|
|Nearest town||Brandon, Suffolk|
|Carpark location||At Brandon Country Park. Pay and display Weekdays £1 for 2hrs £2 all day. Weekends and Bank Holidays £1.50 and £3.00 respectively. Charges between 0800 and 2000.|
Brandon Country Park and Thetford Forest have acres of Scots and Causican Pine, Larch, Beech and Silver Birch. The Forest is a wonderfully mysterious place to explore as it is crisscrossed with miles of walking and cycling trails; some are suited to families, others for the more experienced hiker and cyclist or even horserider.
Brandon Country Park itself (IP27 0SU) is located just south of Brandon town centre off the B1106 Bury Road or just 5 minutes north of the newly dualled A11. It is less than 30 minutes from Bury St Edmunds and under an hour from Ipswich, Cambridge, Kings Lynn and Norwich.
By public transport, the Park is within walking distance of Brandon town centre (1mile/1.6km) and railway station (1.5miles/2.4km). A Bus service #86 links with Thetford and Bury St Edmunds with a stop (Old Forge Court (opp)) approx 500m from the entrance.
There is a long-established permanent orienteering course, with marker posts, in the Country Park and adjacent forest. During the Covid-19 restrictions, please check with the Country Park (details from the above website) re: map availability.
In addition to this, there are two virtual courses which start from the picnic site by the Orchard Car Park and lie in the forest to the south.
The two virtual courses let you plan your route from point to point along tracks and paths in the forest. Your timing and checkpoint visits will all be recorded using the free MapRunF app.
For details of these courses, including the exact location of the start and finish and the link to the downloadable maps, see the Brandon Long Course and Brandon Short Course pages on Suffolk Orienteering Club’s website.
For more information, especially if you're new to MapRun, check out the rest of Suffolk Orienteering Club’s MapRun section, starting from this page.
Other Things to do in the Area
Brandon Country Park facilities & the Copper Beech Tearoom are open from 10:00. Between April and October, they close at 4:30 and between November and March 3.30, though hot food is only available up to an hour before closing. They are open every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On a Saturday the tearoom opens at 9:30am for early risers and park runners! (again, please check first during the Covid-19 restrictions)
The toilets have the same opening times as the Tearoom.
The Park is open from dawn to dusk.
Walled garden and Gothic mausoleum
Colour signed walking routes through the Park and the Forest and cycle tracks.
Parkrun every Saturday at 9.00
Maps Available From
Permanent course during Covid-19 Lockdown: please contact Brandon Country Park
- White and/or yellow standard controls suitable for beginners
- Orange and/or light green standard controls suitable for people with some experience