Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk is a unique and dazzling historic gem. An important market town with a richly fascinating heritage, the striking combination of medieval architecture, elegant Georgian squares and glorious Cathedral and Abbey gardens provide a distinctive visual charm.
With prestigious shopping, an award-winning market, plus variety of attractions and places to stay, Bury St Edmunds is under two hours from London and very convenient for Cambridge. If you’re looking to for a few days away, then here are five things to entice to visit this historic market town.
1. Visit the weekly street market
[Creative Commons: Flickr – Dave Catchpole]
Not only is the provision market in Bury St Edmunds one of the most successful traditional street markets in the country today, it also has one of the longest and most colourful histories. It dates back to before the days of William the Conqueror.
The provision market occurs on Wednesdays and Saturdays and has grown to where it now has over 80 stalls with 1600 feet of stall frontages on a Saturday. The market has stalls along the Buttermarket and Cornhill and is one of the best provision markets in East Anglia.
Stalls include fruit and vegetables, clothes, hardware, fabric, pet foods, flowers, seafood, shoes and other specialty goods. The town is at it’s busiest on market days with coaches from all over East Anglia arriving, particularly during the summer months.
2. Stroll through the Abbey Gardens
The award-winning Abbey Gardens are a magnificent town feature and daily guided walks available. Within the gardens themselves lie the ruins of an 11th century Benedictine Abbey, with the entrance to the Cathedral being through the equally 14th century Abbey Gate.
The site is a public park and completely free for visitors to stroll around and take in the beautiful foliage, as well as the interesting historical ruins dotted within. The gardens also contain a children’s play area, an aviary and a spot for refreshments.
3. See what’s on at the Apex
[Creative Commons: Flickr – David Catchpole]
The Apex is one of Suffolk’s leading venues for acoustic excellence, live music and a diverse cultural programme. The stunning modern 600-seater plays host to a vast range of events, from music, comedy, theatre and live poetry and always attracts a full audience. As well as live events, the Apex also contains an art gallery for you to explore. For their current programme, take a look at their website.
4. Have a drink in Britain’s smallest pub
[Creative Commons: Flickr – Alexander Baxevanis]
Standing at an impressive 15 feet by 7 feet, The Nutshell holds the record for being the smallest pub in Britain. The tourist attraction has been serving publicans since 1867 and is one definite way of getting up close and personal with the Bury St. Edmunds locals.
5. Roll up, roll up for the Christmas Fayre
The annual festive fayre boasts over 300 stalls selling gifts, craftwork, food and seasonal products across the town centre and is running from the 27th November. There is also rides and amusements for all ages and is bound to bring on a sense of festive cheer when in such beautiful surroundings.
For more information on attractions, events, food and drink locations check out the official Visit Bury St. Edmunds website.