Photo credit Andy Abbott
Three Great Reasons Why You Should Visit
Bury St Edmunds
Photo credit Tom Soper
We can’t travel at the moment but once we can, find out why the historic city of Bury St Edmunds should be on your list!
A Medieval Suffolk Market Town
Located in the heart of East Anglia, within easy reach of London and the Suffolk coast, Bury St Edmunds is a pretty and well-preserved medieval market town. Steeped in history and boasting many beautiful buildings, it’s a popular destination for foodies and shoppers, attracted by its lively markets and the many independent shops and restaurants in the ‘old town’.
Photo credit Rebecca Austin
A visit to Bury is a must for history buffs! Check out the ruins of the Abbey of St Edmund, built around a shrine to St Edmund and once one of the richest Benedictine monasteries in England. You can also take a stroll in the award-winning adjoining Abbey Gardens, where you’ll find ‘Our Liberty’, a sculpture that commemorates Bury St Edmunds’ link to the Magna Carta (The Great Charter). The Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in our history as it established the principle that everyone is subject to the law – even the king. A group of Barons met in the Abbey of St Edmund in 1214 and swore an oath to compel King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, proclaimed by King Henry I. This led directly to the Magna Carter being signed on June 15 1215.
The Only Cathedral in Suffolk
Photo credit Shawn Pearce
The majestic surroundings of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the only cathedral in Suffolk, are next to the Abbey Gardens – and, if Tudor history is your thing, you’ll find the tomb of Mary Tudor, Queen of France, Duchess of Suffolk and sister of Henry VIII, in St Mary’s Church, which is right next door.
St Edmund’s Day 20th November 2020
The anniversary will be marked with special events and activities, including the Abbey 1000 Spectacle of Light, around the weekend of St Edmund’s Day, 20 November 2020.
Where To Stay – Angel Hotel
Originally a Georgian coaching house, the boutique 4-star Angel Hotel was frequented by Charles Dickens. We’re told his favourite four-poster bed is still used today. Visit the Angel Hotel website here.
The hotel and other Georgian buildings in the town centre, including the only surviving Regency playhouse in Britain, formed a stunning backdrop to the film ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’, released earlier this year.
Photo credit Aaron Wright
Food and Drink
Guided Beer Tours
Bury St Edmunds is the home of the Greene King, brewer of many of the UK’s most popular beers. Take a guided tour of the brewery to find out how beer is produced – but don’t forget to try the variety of ales on offer from the town’s microbrewers, including The Old Cannon and The Brewshed. There is no shortage of hostelries in which to try them, including The Nutshell, which at 15ft by 7ft is officially the smallest pub in Britain! Find out more about the Greene King guided tours here.
Wyken Hall Wines
If you’re a wine drinker, don’t miss a visit to Wyken Hall, just north of the town to try the award-winning white and rose wines made from grapes from its seven-acre vineyard. Wyken Hall boasts a country store; the Leaping Hare restaurant recently lauded by critic Jay Rayner and a Saturday Farmers’ Market. Visit the Wyken Hall Vineyards website here.
Dining at Maison Bleue
Bury’s old town is a foodies’ delight. Maison Bleue, regularly voted one of the UK’s top ten fine-dining restaurants, offers modern French cuisine and is well worth a visit. Our favourites include Casa, which offers a delicious Spanish tapas-style menu and Gastrono-me which has an amazing breakfast and brunch menu, as well as lunch and dinner. Whether you like Japanese, Thai, Indian or the more familiar high street favourites though, you’ll find them all within a stone’s throw of the centre of town. Visit the Maison Bleue website here.
Bury has two closely linked shopping areas – the modern arc, where you’ll find many familiar retail brands – and the old town, where you’ll find an array of independent shops selling designer clothes, home accessories and quirky gifts, among the many restaurants and cafes.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the town comes alive as one of the country’s most successful street markets transforms the centre. Fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, plants, clothes, artisan pottery and jewellery, street food from around the world – you’ll find them all here – and on Sunday, the town’s farmers’ market is a more recent attraction.
For even more reasons to visit Bury St Edmunds, click here: www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk
Article Written by Rebecca George
Rebecca George manages a specialist PR and Communications Consultancy working with animal health and veterinary businesses and organisations in the UK and internationally. You can visit her website here.
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