Plan your visit
Car park: open daily, dawn-dusk.
Nature reserve: open daily, dawn-dusk.
Visitor Centre: closed, but our team are on hand to greet you daily from our outside welcome point which is open 9am-4.30pm.
Toilets: open daily, 9am-5pm weekdays and 9am-4.30pm weekends.
Refreshments: a small selection is available from our outdoor welcome point, 9am-5pm weekdays and 9am-4.30pm weekends.
Festive opening times:
- Monday 21 December-Wednesday 23 December: Reserve open. Visitor Centre closed. Toilets open 9am-5pm.
- Christmas Eve: Reserve open. Visitor Centre and toilets closed.
- Christmas Day: Reserve open. Visitor Centre and toilets closed.
- Boxing Day: Reserve open. Visitor Centre and toilets closed.
- 27-29 December: Reserve open. Visitor Centre and toilets closed.
- New Year's Eve: Reserve open. Visitor Centre and toilets closed.
- New Year's Day: Reserve open. Visitor Centre and toilets closed.
- Free entrance to RSPB members
Free entrance for first child
Free entrance for under 5s
- Free entrance for carers
Visitor centre is closed
Binocular hire is closed
Guided walks is closed
Viewing points are closed
Play area is closed
How to get here
At weekends, some trains call at Lakenheath. A new footpath links the visitor centre with Station Road north of the railway station. On weekdays, the closest station is Brandon, 4.7 miles away (7.5km).
No scheduled buses serve the reserve, but the on-demand Brecks Bus from Brandon and Thetford is available Monday-Friday. To book, phone Brecks Bus on 01638 664304 by noon the weekday before travel.
The best links for buses are along the byways from Brandon and Hockwold.
From Lakenheath village, travel north on B1112 for about 2 miles (3.2 km). Go over the level crossing and turn left into reserve entrance. From Hockwold village, travel south on B1112 for nearly 1 mile (1.6 km), go over the river bridge and turn right into reserve entrance.
Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files, please see our POI page for a download link and instructions.
A new footpath links the visitor centre with Station Road north of the railway station. The Hereward Way long-distance footpath runs alongside the reserve and provides a good link into Brandon (4.7 miles/7.5 km).
Information for dog owners
Dogs are welcome on the Washland Footpath. Please keep to the designated rights of way only. Brandon Fen trail, Trial Wood trail, the East Wood trail and the Main Circular trail are not public footpaths, so sorry, no dogs are permitted here other than assistance dogs.
When on the Washland Footpath, please keep your dog on a lead and under close, effective control at all times, due to the sensitive wildlife and habitats / livestock here. We know that the countryside is a dog walking paradise. It’s important to remember the special surroundings here are wonderful havens for rare wildlife so we’ve created designated dog-friendly routes for you and your pooch to enjoy. Even if dogs are very well behaved, wildlife / livestock can easily become startled by a loose dog they perceive as a predator.
Disturbing wildlife does more than simply causing it to move away; it uses up their energy, decreasing their chance of survival regardless of season. Thank you for protecting the special wildlife here by keeping your dog on a lead and under close, effective control.
Dogs die in hot cars, please do not leave your dog in the car when visiting us.
Group booking information
*Groups are usually welcome to visit the reserve during normal opening hours. However, changes to laws in England and Scotland mean that the maximum group size able to visit our reserves together is currently 6, unless you are from the same household or bubble, meaning we cannot take group bookings at this time*
We welcome group visits including coach parties. Please contact us well in advance so that we can plan and allocate car parking spaces and provide introductions to the reserve if required.
Schools booking information
*Due to Covid-19 measures, we are currently not taking school bookings until further notice. In the meantime, check out our fantastic range of resources for teachers here, or take on the Schools’ Wild Challenge here*
We are able to run a limited number of school visits each year. We offer environmental education out on the reserve including pond dipping and bug hunting. Please contact us if you are interested in arranging a visit.