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Needham Lake

RegionEast Anglia
ClubSuffolk Orienteering Club
Nearest townNeedham Market
PostcodeIP6 8NU
Carpark locationIP6 8NU Free Parking.

Needham Lake is a popular countryside attraction centred around a flooded gravel pit. It lies on either side of the River Gipping close to Needham Market. The Lake is home to a variety of wildlife with numerous well-fed ducks around the car park. A walk around the surfaced lakeside path takes around 20 minutes and gives access to visitors wishing to explore further.

Access is from the B1078 Coddenham Road; be aware that when approaching from Needham Market of a height restricting railway bridge. The alternative approach is from the  A14 (junction 51) and then follow signs to Needham Market.

It is 10 miles from Ipswich, 19 miles from Bury St Edmunds and 40 miles from Norwich.

By public transport, there is a railway station at Needham Market on the Ipswich to Cambridge and Norwich lines. There are also regular busses between Ipswich and Stowmarket which stop at Needham Market. The Lake is then within easy walking distance from the town centre.

The park has a permanent course set out with traditional red/white markers & maps can be downloaded from the Mid Suffolk website:

Website:- http://www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/communities/open-spaces-and-playgrounds/places-to-visit/needham-lake/

VOC Details

Score points by visiting as many checkpoints as you can - there are two virtual courses based at Needham Lake, one based on the permanent markers within the park and one which includes an "urban" section in the town. Your timing and checkpoint visits will all be recorded using the free MapRunF app.

For details of this course, including the exact location of the start and finish and the links to the downloadable maps, see the Needham Lake Permanent Course & Needham Market Score 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

Information Room.

Toilets next to the information room.

Picnic Area.

Separate play areas for small and older children.

Angling but permit required - see Mid Suffolk website

An interesting single main street town with many small shops.


Maps Available From

http://www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/communities/open-spaces-and-playgrounds/places-to-visit/needham-lake/ for the traditional courses

Needham Lake & Needham Market course pages on Suffolk Orienteering Club’s website for the virtual courses

Further Information

  • White and/or yellow standard controls suitable for beginners
  • Orange and/or light green standard controls suitable for people with some experience