10 Reasons to Visit Bury St Edmunds and Beyond

Visit Bury St Edmunds and admire the magnificent St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the only cathedral in Suffolk, and stand among the ruins of the 11th century Abbey of St Edmund, once one of the most important monasteries in medieval Europe. Discover the legend of St Edmund, the original Patron Saint of England, visit the final resting place of Henry VIII’s sister Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and find about the town’s important role in the Magna Carta story. There’s 1,000 years of history to explore, in Bury St Edmunds – ‘A jewel in the crown of Suffolk’.

The food

Suffolk is known as the ‘Foodie County’ and with a mouth-watering wide selection of restaurants and cafés to cater to all tastes and budgets you will not be leaving Bury St Edmunds hungry! Many of the restaurants have awards to their name and use fresh local produce.  Indulge your appetite with fine dining to quality Suffolk home-cooked pub grub and from cocktails to gin bars, there are a huge number of places to eat and drink, each with their own unique atmosphere.

The drink

Bury St Edmunds is the home of Greene King, which has been brewing beer for more than 200 years and their beverages can be found in pubs and bars across the town. Bury St Edmunds is the perfect place to experience delicious real ale and unique craft beer and you can explore 20 of the town’s licensed premises with the Bury Ale Trail, giving visitors the chance to try ales brewed in the town itself or from further afield. There’s a host of night spots to try a cocktail or two and a real café culture with an excellent choice of cafés and tearooms, perfect for a spot of people watching while enjoying a slice of cake.

The Shopping and markets Bury St Edmunds

While away a day exploring the 200 stores that line the picturesque medieval streets, and elegant Georgian squares. From clothes to kitchenware, shopping in Bury St Edmunds offers something for everyone - all within easy walking distance in beautiful surroundings. As well as favourite High Street brands, Bury St Edmunds has a host of individual shops that you won't find anywhere else. All this plus the modern open street-scape Arc shopping centre with its futuristic curved Debenhams flagship store for the most desirable names in fashion and inspirational gift ideas.

The twice-weekly award-winning market, which is almost as old as the town’s Abbey, attracts thousands of shoppers every week.

The entertainment

From the award-winning entertainment venue, The Apex to The Theatre Royal, the last surviving Regency playhouse in the country, Bury St Edmunds has some fantastic intimate venues to enjoy theatre, music, dance and anything in between. The Apex is known for its acoustic excellence and home to a diverse arts programme and regular features big names while the Theatre Royal is one of the most beautiful, intimate and historic theatres in the world.

The stories

From the story of St Edmund, England’s original patron saint, and ghostly tales of haunted buildings, to the town’s links with Charles Dickens there are a wealth of stories to uncover. With a love of Bury St Edmunds, its history and people and a great sense of humour, the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides will ensure you see the best that Bury St Edmunds has to offer on their 90-minute walking tour.

The open spaces

Getting away from it all for many means wide open spaces to walk and think and they are in abundance in this part of Suffolk. Bury St Edmunds is surrounded by countryside with magnificent views and the perfect place to go walking, cycling or running.

The location

With excellent road links, Bury St Edmunds is easy to get to, just 45 minutes from Cambridge and just over an hour from London. On our doorstep are the Suffolk Wool Towns of Lavenham, Long Melford, Clare and Sudbury, some of the best-preserved historic towns and prettiest villages in Suffolk. Just 20 minutes away is Newmarket, the home of horseracing where you can spend a morning at the National Horseracing Museum, an afternoon at the National Stud and the evening at the races.

Parks and gardens

Few towns in the UK can surpass the natural beauty of the parks and stunning gardens of Bury St Edmunds and surrounding area. The award-winning Abbey Gardens in the heart of Bury St Edmunds is a peaceful haven set among the ruins of the historic medieval abbey. The gardens are internationally renowned for colourful and attractive displays and visitors come from all over the world to see them. With nearly 80 hectares of landscaped parkland, Nowton Park attracts visitors of all ages with its wild flower meadows, woodland, ponds and hornbeam maze. Nearby Lackford Lakes, Fullers Mill Garden and Ickworth House offer further opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Festivals and fairs

Voted the UK’s Best Christmas Market, Bury St Edmunds annual Christmas Fayre attracts over 100,000 visitors. Other annual events such as the Whitsun Fayre, a haven for garden lovers and families; the Food and Drink Festival, with its top celebrity chef cookery displays, and the Bury St Edmunds Festival, which attracts top artists, bring thousands of visitors to Bury St Edmunds.

For more information about where to stay and things to see and do in Bury St Edmunds please click here