Whether you are planning to relocate to Bury St Edmunds or are just visiting the area for the weekend, you’ll be pleased to know there’s plenty to see and do here. Our team at Whatley Lane Estate Agents has put together our list of the best places to visit in Bury St Edmunds, all of which would make for a lovely day out at any time of the year.
1. Abbey Gardens
Located in the centre of Bury St Edmunds, Abbey Gardens is a lovely place to visit if you are looking for some peace and quiet. It’s free to enter Abbey Gardens, and there are 14 acres of gardens to walk around and admire. The gardens are so well kept throughout the year, and they are known for their pretty floral displays, which feature up to 20,000 plants in the spring. Highlights of a visit here include the Ruins of the Abbey of St Edmunds, The Garden of Reflection, and the Pilgrim’s Herb Garden. There’s also a lovely garden café on the site, which is ideal for lunch or afternoon tea during your visit. If you are visiting with kids, they’ll also enjoy exploring the children’s playground and crazy golf course.
2. Visit The Nutshell, the UK’s smallest pub
If you are looking for somewhere quirky to enjoy with a pint, head to The Nutshell. The bar inside measures just 7ft by 15ft, and it’s been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest pub in Britain. It’s located in the heart of Bury St. Edmunds and has been open since 1867. It attracts visitors from across the country and the world thanks to its title, and it offers a wide selection of the finest ales from across the region. The bar is often quite packed, so try to come at an off-peak time if you are looking to avoid the crowds. You’ll also enjoy admiring the historical items and memorabilia around the bar, making it one of the most unique spots you will ever drink at.
3. St Edmundsbury Cathedral
St Edmundsbury Cathedral is open every day for visitors and welcomes guests for worship and personal prayer also. The cathedral originates back to the 11th century but was rebuilt in the 12th century and then the 16th century as a parish church before becoming a cathedral in 1914. Over the past decades, the cathedral has continued to expand, and it welcomes hundreds of visitors each day to admire its stunning architecture. Take time to view the paintings, stained glass windows, and decorations around the cathedral, which make it one of the most impressive cathedrals in the country.
4. Ickworth National Trust
Located just outside Bury St Edmunds, you’ll find Ickworth House, which is a neoclassical house set within parkland. The house was previously the home of the Marquess of Bristol and became a National Trust property in 1998, welcoming visitors throughout the year. During a visit here, you can enjoy walking through the house and learning about its unique style and the family’s legacy. After visiting the house, you’ll want to take the time to explore the extensive gardens, which make for a lovely day out for the whole family. As with any National Trust property, there are often different events for families and adults throughout the year, so check out the event calendar before your visit.
5. Hardwick Heath
For families with dogs and children, there’s no better place to visit than Hardwick Heath. It’s one of the largest parks in the area, spreading out over 55 acres, and is located just outside of the town centre. Dogs are allowed off the lead here, so it’s a popular spot with dog owners. As well as that, you’ll find a children’s play area, picnic area, and football pitches. There’s even a pond you can fish in, but make sure you apply for a permit ahead of time to fish here.
6. Churchgate Street Shopping
Bury St Edmunds is home to some fantastic shopping, and Churchgate Street is one of the best streets to spend a Saturday morning browsing the stores. You’ll be impressed by the wide selection of shops in the area, ranging from high street chains to unique boutiques. After shopping all morning, there are many lovely restaurants around here, all of which are ideal for a relaxed lunch or dinner.
7. Visit the Apex
The Apex is Bury St Edmund’s local events venue, which offers a good sized venue for hosting a varied programme throughout the year. There’s also a modern art gallery on-site, which is well worth having a browse around. The programme here primarily focuses on live music, ranging from jazz to rock. However, you’ll also find they have some fantastic talks and art displays, all of which are well worth checking out. Before visiting Bury St Edmunds, make sure you visit their website for the full events programme.
8. Woosters Bakery off Hatter Street
One of our favourite spots to shop in Bury St Edmunds is Woosters Bakery, and it offers one of the best selections of traditional and artisan breads, cakes, and pastries you’ve ever seen. We highly recommend their sprouted rye sourdough bread and their malt loaf, both of which will delight your whole family when you take them home. Everything served here is made from scratch, and you can really tell how much time and effort has been put into making each item.
As you can see, there’s so much to see and do in Bury St Edmunds, which is why we are so passionate about welcoming new residents to the area. If you ever have a free weekend or a day off work, you’ll never be stuck for something to keep you entertained, and the area also often has some fantastic local events going on for all to enjoy. For more information about Bury St Edmunds, or buying or letting a property in Bury St Edmunds, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the local area.