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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > East of England > Suffolk > Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds

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The Corn Exchange in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds, or simply Bury, is a historic market town in the county of Suffolk, in England. At the very centre of East Anglia, the town was established by the Saxons in the 10th century, and its growth was focused around the Abbey of St Edmund. The Abbey grew to become the fourth-largest monastery in Europe and an important site of pilgrimage prior to its dissolution in 1539, since when it became a source of quarry stone for local builders, such that only remnants remain. Today the ruins of the Abbey form part of the Abbey Gardens, a pleasant public park, but the town's Medieval heritage is still visible in much of the street plan of the town centre which has not changed in 1000 years.

The town developed significantly after the dissolution of the Abbey through wealth from agriculture which has always been abundant in West Suffolk. Most of the buildings in the "historic core" of the town are timber-framed Medieval buildings hidden behind brick Georgian fronts, added as symbols of status by wealthy merchants at that time. Some of the grander public buildings - for example the Robert Adam art gallery, which was built as the Corn Exchange, and its Victorian counterpart - reflect directly the agricultural heritage of the area; a heritage which continues to this day with the presence of the Greene King brewery in the centre of the town and a large British Sugar factory on the outskirts. The town has always been famous for its markets - it used to host a twice-weekly provisions market and a weekly cattle market, but now has just the provisions market. Bury is also famous for its floral displays, and has won many awards for these, including the prestigious 'Nations in Bloom' title, contested by towns and cities worldwide.

Because of its position at the "crossroads of East Anglia" (as the town is known), Bury is a popular base for exploring the whole of this region of England. It is not a large town, so it is easy to explore on a day trip or a relaxing weekend or short break; however it is within easy range of many interesting locations such as Newmarket, Cambridge, Lavenham, Long Melford, Norwich and the Suffolk and Norfolk coastlines - and so is frequently used as a base for a longer holiday.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

There are no direct flights to Bury St Edmunds. The nearest airports are:

All of these airports are accessible via road or public transport direct to Bury St Edmunds (see below).

London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport are both accessible via car or public transport from London (see below).

Birmingham Airport, East Midlands Airport and Manchester Airport are all accessible by car via the A14 road, or public transport via Cambridge, Ely or Peterborough (see below).

By sea[edit]

See Ferry routes to Great Britain

Bury St Edmunds is about 50 miles (80 km) inland of the easternmost coast of England. The UK's largest container port at Felixstowe is 40 miles away and acts as a destination port for worldwide cargo ship cruises[1]. For more conventional ship travel, the nearest passenger ferry port is at Harwich (48 miles) for the Netherlands, Denmark and cruises to Germany and Scandinavia. The English south coast ports of Ramsgate (139 miles - for Belgium), Dover (also 139 miles - for France), Folkestone (138 miles - for France via Eurotunnel car shuttle services), Newhaven (159 miles - for France), and Portsmouth (170 miles - for France and Spain) are accessible by road and public transport.

By rail[edit]

Bury St Edmunds Railway Station
  • 1 Railway Station, Station Hill, Bury St Edmunds IP32 6AD. To get to the centre of town, either catch First Eastern Counties buses 80, 81 or 82 to Bury St Edmunds bus station; take a taxi; or walk down Northgate Street (15 min). Bury St Edmunds railway station (Q3243921) on Wikidata Bury St Edmunds railway station on Wikipedia

From London:

  • Greater Anglia train services from London Liverpool Street station (1hr 51min - requiring a change at Ipswich (30 min))
  • First Capital Connect train services from London Kings Cross station (1hr 40min - all require a change onto Greater Anglia services at Cambridge (45mins) or Ely (25 min))

From Scotland and the north and midlands of England, avoiding London:

  • East Coast, East Midlands Trains and Cross Country train services from Scotland, the north and the midlands (including East Midlands, Birmingham and Manchester airports) stop at Peterborough and Ely, from where Greater Anglia services run to Bury St Edmunds (1 hr or 25 min)

From Europe:

  • Eurostar train services from France and Belgium to Stratford International (London) station or London St Pancras International station. From Stratford International station, take the Docklands Light Railway to Stratford Regional station (5 min) for train services to Bury St Edmunds via a change at Shenfield, Ipswich or Stowmarket (from 1hr 50min). From St Pancras International Station, walk to London Kings Cross station (2 min) for Cambridge train as above.
  • Greater Anglia train services from Harwich International port (ferry connections to Scandinavia and the Netherlands) direct to Bury St Edmunds (1hr 6mins).
  • South Eastern train services to Stratford International (London) station from Dover (1hr 4min - for ferry connections to France) and Ramsgate (1hr 11min - for ferry connections to Belgium). Trains to Bury St Edmunds from Stratford Regional station as above.

From London Stansted Airport:

From Norwich Airport:

  • Taxi or First Eastern Counties bus 27 from the airport to Norwich Railway Station. National Express East Anglia train service to Stowmarket, Ipswich, Ely or Cambridgeand change onto services to Bury St Edmunds (from 1hr 40min).

From London Southend Airport:

  • Taxi or Arriva buses 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, or 9 from the airport to Southend Victoria Railway Station. National Express East Anglia train service to Shenfield and change onto services to Bury St Edmunds (from 2hr 3min).

From London Luton Airport:

  • First Capital Connect train services to London St Pancras International station and walk to London Kings Cross station (2 min) for Cambridge train as above; or First Capital Connect train services to London Farringdon station and London Underground tube services to London Liverpool St station for Greater Anglia services to Bury St Edmunds as above (from 3hr 10min).

From London City Airport:

  • Docklands Light Railway and London Underground services to Stratford (London) or London Liverpool Street stations for train services to Bury St Edmunds via a change at Shenfield, Ipswich or Stowmarket as above (from 2 hr).

By coach/bus[edit]

From London:

  • National Express coaches NX496 and NX497 services from London (Stratford) and London (Victoria) (from 1hr 50mins).

From Scotland and the north and midlands of England, avoiding London:

  • National Express coach NX350 from Liverpool (10hr 45min), Manchester (8hr 45min), Sheffield (7hr 10min) and other connecting cities and towns (via Peterborough and Cambridge).

From within East Anglia

  • From Cambridge (for connections to Birmingham, Oxford and other cities and towns):
  • From Norwich Airport: Norse bus 603 from the airport park and ride to Norwich Bus Station then as from Norwich:
  • From Norwich: National Express coach 490 to Thetford. Change onto Coach Services bus 84 to Bury St Edmunds (from 2hr 30min).

From London Stansted Airport:

From London Southend Airport: First Essex coach X30 from the airport to Stansted Airport (1hr 36min) then coach/bus to Bury St Edmunds via Newmarket as above.

From London Luton Airport:: National Express airport coach 787 to Cambridge (1hr 35min) then coach/bus to Bury St Edmunds as above.

By car[edit]

The A14 is the main road serving Bury St Edmunds. It runs from Birmingham to Felixstowe and connects the town to London (via the M11/A11). Pay and display parking is available in the centre of town.

By bicycle[edit]

On foot[edit]

Get around[edit]

Map of Bury St Edmunds

On foot[edit]

  • Almost all of Bury St Edmunds is accessible on foot. The town is small and even from the furthest points, it is not more than a 45-minute walk to the centre. Accommodation is likely to be located in the town centre and from there it is possible to reach many restaurants, bars and attractions. Much of the town centre is pedestrianised on market days (Wednesdays and Saturdays).

By bus[edit]

By bicycle[edit]

  • Much of the town is equipped with cycle lanes; cycling around is normally safe and easy.

See[edit]

  • 1 Abbey Gardens, Angel Hill. Daily dawn-dusk. Boasts wonderful flower displays and excellent lawns providing a beautiful relaxed environment to spend a sunny afternoon in summer. The gardens also contain a children's playground and a bridge from which the many ducks and geese may be fed. Don't miss the sensory garden designed for people with visual impairments and focusing on sound and scent rather than colorful flower arrangements as the rest of the gardens. The ruins of the Benedictine monastery are freely open to wander around; and the Great Churchyard opening out from the Abbey Gardens towards St Mary's Church provides an atmospheric walk. Free.
  • 2 The Apex Art Gallery. Art gallery M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-4PM. Art gallery and concert hall.
  • 3 Greene King Brewery Visitor Centre, +44 1284 714297, . The largest independent brewery in the UK. Provides tours. You can sample local Greene King ales in almost any local pub.
  • 4 St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Angel Hill, +44 1284 748720, . Daily 8AM-6PM. Visitors are welcome to look around the Cathedral on their own. It was built as one of the Abbey's churches, and was made a Cathedral in 1914. Extensive additions in the Gothic style in the 1960s to early 2000s, culminating in the magnificent Tower completed as a Millennium Project. Free. St Edmundsbury Cathedral (Q1989407) on Wikidata St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 5 Moyse's Hall Museum, Cornhill. Mon-Sat 10am-5PM (last entry 4PM), Su noon-4PM (last entry 3PM). Moyse's Hall is inside one of the oldest standing buildings in Bury St Edmunds. A small museum, but with interesting exhibits, mostly focused on local history.
  • 6 Theatre Royal, Westgate St, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QR, +44 1284 769505, . The sole surviving Regency playhouse in the UK, which has been restored to its former glory. Owned by the National Trust but runs a full theatrical programme. Guided tours available. Theatre Royal (Q7777423) on Wikidata Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on Wikipedia
  • 7 Ickworth House and Parks, The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, IP29 5QE, +44 1284 735270, . Located in Horringer, a small village 5 minutes drive away from Bury St Edmunds, Ickworth House and Parks is the a National Trust property and former residence of the Marquis of Bristol. The splendid house is set in acres of grounds, including elegantly sculpted gardens, lakes, walks, a children's play area and a deer enclosure. Ickworth House (Q5986517) on Wikidata Ickworth House on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

With the leisure centre, cinema and bowling alley just on the edge of town there's entertainment for all the family. If you are without children, walk aroyund the historic town, visit the abbey gardens for a walk and picnic or go a little further out of town and find many well kept parks with wildlife and gorgeous long walks.

Events[edit]

  • Bury Festival. Held annually in May/June, the Bury Festival is growing quickly. With outdoor events held in the Abbey Gardens and others at various venues around the town, the festival hosts a combination of film, theatre, music (pop and classical), arts, comedy and other things to appeal to any traveller.

Buy[edit]

Abbeygate Street in Bury St Edmunds

Bury has most of the larger chains of shops such as Next, Dorothy Perkins, Burton etc. A controversial shopping development opened on the former site of the cattle market which houses more chain stores, with a Debenhams the focal point. A few local places include:

  • 1 Market, Cornhill and Buttermarket area. W and Sa. The town fills with stalls selling coffee, fruit & veg, pictures, flowers, hardware etc. Worth a visit, but sometimes the fruit & veg can be a little over ripe. Some good bargains.
  • 2 Javelin, 37 Abbeygate St IP33 1LW, +44 1284 754559, . M-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Clothes.

Supermarkets[edit]

  • 3 Sainsbury's (Supermarket), Bedingfeld Way IP32 7EJ, +44 1284 767212. M-Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 10AM-4PM. ATMs. Petrol (different hours). Pharmacy (different hours)
  • 4 Waitrose (Supermarket), Robert Boby Way IP33 3DH, +44 1284 725222. M-Th 7:30AM-10PM, F 7:30AM-9PM, Sa 7:30AM-8PM, Su 10AM-4PM.

Cyclists[edit]

Eat[edit]

Bury St Edmunds is home to many different restaurants. A quick walk around the town centre will reveal places suited to every taste and wallet.

  • 1 Maison Bleue, 30-31 Churchgate St IP33 1RG, +44 1284 760623, . Tu-Sa noon-2PM & 7-9:30PM. Probably the best restaurants in Bury, Maison Bleue menu focuses on fish. Modern decor, and a convenient situation in the town centre add to the attractions of this restaurant which has sister restaurants in Lavenham and Ipswich. Suffolk might be quintessentially British, but some French charm does not go amiss with a delightfully fishy menu
  • 2 Baileys 2, 5 Whiting St IP33 1NX, +44 1284 706198, . M-Sa 9AM-4PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Coffee shop serving tasty homemade meals such as soup, pasta, a wide range of sandwiches, toasties, salads and homemade cakes. Excellent coffees.
  • 3 Valley Connection (Indian Restaurant), 42 Churchgate St IP33 1RG, +44 1284 754149, . Daily noon-2:30PM & 5:30-11:30PM. VC is a modern Indian restaurant in the heart of Bury St Edmunds. Good service and great food combine with a contemporary interior to provide a very enjoyable experience.
  • 4 Old Cannon Brewery, 86 Cannon Street, IP33 1JR. A pub/restaurant that brews three of its own beers in an otherwise Greene King-dominated town. Reasonably priced good food and drink.
  • 5 Zen Noodle Bar, 6 Angel Lane IP33 1RF, +44 1284 723559. M-Sa noon-2PM & 5:30-10:30PM, Su noon-9PM. Tasty and reasonable Chinese food (with a bias towards noodle-based dishes). Lots of options for vegetarians.
  • 6 The Station (Bar & Grill), 7 Out Northgate IP33 1JQ (Opposite train station), +44 1284 754600, . Bar: M-Th noon-3PM & 5:30PM-close, F noon-3PM & 5-11PM, Sa 9:30AM-11PM, Su 9:30AM-10PM; food: M-F noon-2PM & 5:30-9PM, Sa 9:30AM-9PM, Su 9:30AM-8PM.
  • 7 Harriet's Tearoom, 57 Cornhill IP33 1BT, +44 1284 756256. M-F 8:45AM-6PM, Sa 8:30AM-6PM, Su 9:30AM-5PM. A great traditional afternoon tea - wide range of teas, coffees, scones, cakes, sandwiches and other food. Can be very busy, especially around lunchtime on a Sa & occasionally service is slow, but it is worth waiting for. Occasionally they have a live pianist.
  • 8 Fredericks at the Ickworth, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, +44 1284 735350. Feast not only your appetite, but your eyes on the decadent architecture and interiors of the Ickworth. With local food given an extravagant twist by up and coming chef Lee Childs 2-course dinnrer £30.

Drink[edit]

There are lots of bars, clubs and pubs in Bury; it certainly punches above its weight given its size. Many premises have late licences with some bars, clubs and pubs serving until 1AM on weekdays and until 3AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Bar 3, Benson Blakes, Hide Bar, Karooze, Bar Ambition and So Bar provide a fairly relaxed night out and are a welcome alternative to the two main nightclubs (Brazilias and Deja Vu) which are over-priced and tacky by comparison. Ruin, a night club and cocktail bar has recently opened. The cheapest pub in and around the town centre is certainly The Grapes, which is open until 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Pubs[edit]

  • 1 The Nutshell, 17 The Traverse IP33 1BJ, +44 1284 764867. One of the smallest pubs in Britain, and worth a visit if you can fit in. More than five people, and it's impossible to sit down. They also sell tshirts with a woodcarving style picture of the pub on them. A friendly and welcoming pub - step inside and feel like a regular. Apparently haunted. There is a dead cat on the roof. The Nutshell (Q2222663) on Wikidata The Nutshell on Wikipedia
  • 2 Queen's Head (Pub & Food), 39 Churchgate St, IP33 1RG, +44 1284 761554, . Pub: M-W 11AM-11:30PM, Th 11AM-12:10AM, F Sa 11AM-12:30AM, Su noon-11:30PM; food: M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-8PM, Su noon-9PM. Probably the best pub in Bury St Edmunds to watch football. Several large screens and can show more than one match at the once. Not particularly remarkable otherwise.
  • 3 The Dog and Partridge, 29 Crown St, IP33 1QU, +44 1284 764792, . Pub: M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10:30PM; food: M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa Su noon-10PM. Has shaken off its reputation for underage drinking, provides a warm, comfortable environment and serves good food. Known as a good student pub, with nice concrete garden and plenty of seats.
  • 4 The Grapes, 1 Brentgovel Street, +44 1284 754360. One of the best pubs in Bury with rank people and bands providing a lively, if sometimes eccentric, atmosphere. The vibe is fantastic though.
  • 5 The King's Arms, 23 Brentgovel St. A dive which has Strongbow at £3 and happy hour from 5PM-7PM, so is perhaps only worth the one visit. Occasional fights can be viewed for your entertainment in the evenings although these are normally limited to the weekends. Joining in with the entertainment is not recommended as serious injury may occur; view from a safe distance.

Nightclubs[edit]

  • 6 The LP, 2 Woolhall St, IP33 1LA, +44 1284 719617. Upstairs nightclub, downstairs bar/restaurant.

Sleep[edit]

If its quality you are after then try one of the many highly rated hotels, if a more local feel is wanted then try some of the local B&Bs.

  • 1 Angel Hotel, 3 Angel Hill, IP33 1LT, +44 1284 714000, . Opulent surroundings in this large 75-bedroom award-winning hotel. Perched at the top of Angel Hill, just outside the Abbey Gardens, the Angel is Bury St Edmunds' most famous hotel. Once home to Charles Dickens and (more recently) Angelina Jolie, the hotel is one of Bury's landmarks. The imposing ivy-clad exterior hides well appointed rooms and an excellent restaurant and bar.
  • 2 Chantry Hotel, Sparhawk St, IP33 1RY, +44 1284 767427, . Despite its location very close to the town centre and only about one minutes walk from the Abbey Gardens, the Chantry Hotel is quiet and secluded, away from the busier and noisier parts of Bury St Edmunds.
  • 3 Dragonfly Hotel (ex Ramada), A14 Bury East Exit, Symonds Road, IP32 7DZ, +44 1284 760884, . Check-in: from 2PM, check-out: by noon. Former Ramada hotel with 71 rooms. Onsite parking. Each room includes bath and/or shower, work desk, flat screen freeview TV and complimentary WiFi. Some rooms have been adapted to allow for easier access.
  • 4 The Grange Hotel, Barton Rd, Thurston, IP31 3PQ (6½ miles E of city), +44 1359 231260, . Attractive Tudor-style country house hotel set in secluded gardens in the heart of Suffolk
  • 5 Ravenwood Hall Hotel, Ravenwood Hall Hotel, Rougham, IP30 9JA, +44 1359 270345, . Gorgeous, 16th-century hall, luxury accommodation and mouth-watering food.

Connect[edit]

  • 1 Post Office, 15 Cornhill IP33 1DY. M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10:30AM-2:30PM.

Stay safe[edit]

Bury is one of the safest towns in the country and you are unlikely to be a victim of crime; however as with anywhere don't allow yourself to become too complacent.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Bury St Edmunds
BirminghamNewmarket  W UK road A14.svg SE  IpswichFelixstowe


This city travel guide to Bury St Edmunds is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.