Ten Things To Love About Bury St Edmunds
And flowers. Flowers are everywhere and Bury St Edmunds is famous for its 'Bury in Bloom' displays, from the pristine Abbey Gardens, to the hanging baskets and pots dotted throughout the town. We invite you to explore this vibrant town and below are ten very good reasons why we think you should...
1 Guided Walks
Take a guided walk to get your bearings if you haven't been before, and hear a potted history before delving a little deeper independently, if you want to find out more. Regular guided walks take place May to September, but there are fortnightly Ghost Walks from Halloween onwards and occasional Winter Warmer Walks too.
Find out more by contacting the Tourist Information Centre on 01284 764667.
2 St Edmundsbury Cathedral
Originating in the 11th century, and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries, St Edmundsbury Cathedral was finally finished this millennium with the addition of a tower, new cloisters and chapels. Its elegant proportions, beautiful ceilings and light and airy interior, make this a tranquil place to sit for a while in quiet contemplation.
Make sure you look up at the gorgeous vaulted ceiling under the tower, which was finished in 2010 and pay a visit to the Discovery Centre to learn about the building's history. Entrance to the cathedral is free and donations are welcome.
3 Abbey Gardens
4 Performing Arts
The Apex, in the centre of The Arc shopping area is a modern concert hall, which opened its doors in 2010. This award-wining venue is fast gaining a reputation for its superb acoustics and offers a vibrant mix of classical music, jazz, rock, folk - and just about any other musical genre you can think of - as well as comedy and dance.
Bury St Edmunds is a vibrant town with a wide range of independent shops mixed with household names. There's a twice-weekly market (Wednesday and Saturday) and an annual Christmas Fayre, which takes over the town for a long weekend (coming up on 24th-27th November 2016).
Make sure you explore down the side streets, where you will find all sorts of gems tucked away: designer shoes, boutique florists, galleries, shops selling handcrafted goodies, haberdasheries and more. The Arc, just off the centre of town is a new shopping centre with some of the larger chains, designer shops and coffee houses.
Handmade items ©The Handmade Shop and Gallery, St John's Street, Bury St Edmunds
6 Moyses Hall Museum
7 Abbeygate Cinema
There is a friendly on-site cafe which specialises in blending flavours from around the world. Vancouver street tacos, sandwiches made with authentic Cuban bread, a variety of differently spiced rice bowls and Vietnamese Banh-Mi are on the menu, as well as homemade cakes, traditional high tea and Sunday brunch.
The Abbegate Cinema also shows performances from the Royal Opera House, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Metropolitan Opera.
8 The Angel Hotel
Today The Angel is a chic boutique hotel, with a stylish interior and a two AA rosette restaurant serving modern British cuisine. Make sure you pop downstairs to the 12th century vault called the Wingspan Bar for cocktails. This quirky bar is built into one of the tunnels that run beneath Bury St Edmunds.
In May each year, the Bury Art Festival takes place with music, films, theatre and exhibitions in venues across town, as well as in some more unexpected spaces and in the Abbey Gardens. Sign up to receive news of next year's programme, when it becomes available.
A food and drink festival takes place in August with cookery demonstrations, the odd celebrity chef or two, a farmers' market, food stalls, workshops, a fairground and lots of food and drink stalls. The 2017 festival will take place 27th - 28th August.
There's also an annual beer festival, organised by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) which takes place in The Apex. Next year's fest is on 19th - 22nd April 2017.