Take out coffee and walks from the Bracebridge, Sutton Park

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Having grown up just up the road, I love walking in Sutton Park. The ever changing nature of this huge public space is like a warm hug reminding me of my childhood. One of the most magical places for dinner in the park is the Bracebridge restaurant. Over the years I’ve seen it change hands several times. Whilst menus, faces and style has changed that view remains constant. And is always stunning at any time of year. We love nothing more than taking a walk form the Bracebridge, Sutton Park before grabbing a take out coffee or visiting their beer garden for a post hike pint.

The last time we visited everything was closed up due to the latest lockdown. The take out kiosk however was open and doing a roaring trade. As always we treated ourselves before heading home.

On that note, when visiting Sutton Park, most of the car park will probably feel crazy busy right now. Don’t worry too much though, walk 15 minutes away from the main car parks and it gets much, much quieter. Sutton Park covers almost 2,400 acres. I always feel that there is plenty of space for everyone. If only people would just spread out!

Walks from the Bracebridge, Sutton Park

Unusually for me, when walking in Sutton Park I rarely have a set plan. It’s more a case of following our noses. Looping back to the car when we get tired. This is so easy to do as the park is covered in footpaths.

The following is a rough route that will take you from the Bracebridge restaurant, up to little Bracebridge and back. This one was around 3 miles. You could easily adapt it to make it longer or shorter.

We started from the main car park, heading down towards the Bracebridge but taking the path into the woods on the right before hitting the restaurant.

Keep following the paths through the woods this is where you can wind about making the curve longer or shorter. Just keep in mind you want to eventually head to your left. Meeting up with little Bracebridge. We’ve done this so many times I don’t really worry about which path we take. There aren’t any signs to follow so if you do get nervous, just bring up a map on your phone and head towards Little Bracebridge.

You eventually get to the smaller of the two Bracebridge Lakes. This one is more of a pond! This is a good place for the kids to have a paddle if you’ve bought wellies. Our dog also enjoys getting in the water here. It can be pretty muddy here so careful where you step.

girl in yellow wellies paddling in little bracebridge

You’ll see a “walking through time” trig point here which explains a bit about the pool. There’s also a nice bench for you to rest you legs and have a moment to relax if it’s free.

Cross over the wooded bridge following the path along the side of the pool to the left. This is a well established path so very easy to follow. You’ll pass another Walking Through Time marker.

Keep going down here, depending on who you’re walking with, you might want to stop to climb on some fallen trees or look for creepy crawlies in the boggy areas. There are even some steep hills to slide down if your knees allow it!

You’ll eventually get to Bracebridge lake. Keeping the water to your left head towards the sails of the Bracebridge restaurant.

If you’re visiting with kids they’ll probably love the bridges walk which can be found directly behind the Bracebridge. We avoided it this time as it was just a bit too busy.

Make sure you join the Marvellous Midlands Walks Facebook Group where you can share your favourite routes, photos and recommendations for walks in the Midlands. It’s also a great place to ask for recommendations and find inspiration for your next hike.

Time for some treats from the Bracebridge Kiosk

The best way to reward yourselves after a good walk is of course some take out treats. Even a take out coffee feels magical right now and the Bracebridge Kiosk serves an excellent brew!

Having worked up a good appetite we also ordered some fries. Plain for the girls, a vegan version and a spicy cheesy version. Oh my goodness they were delicious, just what we needed and went down a treat. We headed back into the woods, away from the crowds and found somewhere to sit whilst we ate.

The Bracebridge kiosk is extremely popular in the summer months (and over lockdown) so you may need to queue for a while. There is a toilet although it was closed when we visited.

If you’re after something alcoholic or a substantial meal, the outdoor area of the restaurant is now open. Your pint will taste even better accompanied by views of the lake!

The Exmoor Ponies in Sutton Park

We noticed some gorgeous Exmoor ponies on the side of the car park at the start of our walk. The ponies really aren’t as shy as you would expect. They were happy to graze while we snapped away. We would have stayed longer if we didn’t have our dog with us. The ponies were first introduced to Sutton Park in 1999 in an attempt to maintain the heathland and grassland. They are even more efficient at this than cattle as they graze really low to the ground. And I think they are a wonderful addition to this area of the park.

Please do not feed the ponies they are a wild herd and need to stay so as much as possible.

Parking for the Bracebridge, Sutton Park

There is plenty of parking available around the Bracebridge. Head into Sutton Park via Four Oaks Gate and keep going until you see signs for the Bracebridge. You can park in any spot on this narrow car park. If you keep driving as far as you can you can get very close to the restaurant. I recommend this if you’re visiting for dinner and don’t fancy a long walk in heels!

Where is the Bracebridge Sutton Park

Located just 6 miles north of Birmingham city centre, Sutton Park is easily accessible for all in the Midlands. You’ll want to enter the park through Four Oaks gate. The post code for this is B74 2XU. And for the Bracebridge restaurant it’s B74 2YR

Four Oaks Gate opening hours

Four Oaks gate in Sutton Park operates slightly differently to the other gates. Staying open a bit later than the others. Allowing customers of the Bracebridge to get in and out. All the gates in the park open at 9am.

hungarian vizsla dog standing next to the bracebridge lake

For another great walk in the area, head to Middleton Lakes, a gorgeous RSPB reserve about 15 minutes drive from Sutton Park. Or for another gorgeous place for a walk and some take out treats try out the Deer Park in Staffordshire. It a lovely farm shop and wooded area, perfect for a family day out. From Sutton it should take you no more than 45 minutes drive.

Pin for later for planning your next visit to the Bracebridge in Sutton Park

walks from the Bracebridge Sutton Park pin

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