Visiting Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds

Right after I just said that I want my blog to be about long-form educational pieces, here I am writing a travel-y post. I just don’t make sense, do I?! Well, the past few weeks have been pretty hard on me at work and I’ve been spending a few moments each day looking into places I can go to for a short trip to just switch off. No work, no educational thinking, just walking, taking nice photos and enjoying somewhere new.

I was in London over the weekend with a friend and she suggested that I write a couple of posts that can help people who feel like I do – but suggest that they visit places I know and love well.

There’s nowhere I know and love better than my hometown of Bury St Edmunds, so I started there. This is a guide for a day trip, focusing on taking pretty pictures, enjoying the town, and doing lots of walking. I’ll try to offer up other suggestions along the way.

At the bottom of this post I’ve made a Google Map for you to follow, so everything is there sorted for you.

Firstly, why Bury St Edmunds? This quiet Suffolk market town is big enough to have stuff going on, but quiet enough to not be too stressful. It’s grown considerably since I was a child, largely thanks to the money brought in from the people on the two American army bases nearby. You’ll hear a lot of American accents as you walk around town.

Parking in Bury has been a nightmare of late. Prices are going up, and available spots are disappearing. I recommend parking in Rams Meadow carpark – it’s the cheapest in town and has contactless card payment, just in case you forgot your coins. Make sure to get there early-ish if on a weekend day.

From Rams Meadow, it’s a short walk to Abbey Gardens. You can enter through the side gate, and have a nice walk through. Spots to see within the gardens are: the ruins (they look like a chicken and a teapot), the birds along the side (there’s also great icecream here!) and the front garden towards the main gate.

Bury St Edmunds

After your stroll, exit through the main gate and turn left, having a little look inside the cathedral if you do so wish (it’s a really lovely place to look at, considering it’s free. Ely cathedral charges a fair bit to have a look around there). Take the next left, and you’ll find yourself in a little square with the Martyr’s Statue, of King Edmund and the wolf. There are some very instagramable houses behind, though people actually live in there so it can be awkward to get good shots.

From there, exit the way you entered, and follow the road directly in front of you – Churchgate Street. Don’t worry that you’re not going up Angel Hill, we’ll come back to that later. Churchgate Street is great for front door photos, if that’s on-brand for your feed.

Once you’re at the top of the road, turn right and you’ll find Guat’s Up on your right down that road. This is my favourite coffee shop/cocktail bar in town.

Bury St Edmunds

Make sure to get the window seat if you want the best photos!

From Guat’s Up, let’s walk to the market square. Leave the cafe and turn right, then walk straight forward. If you want to have some history, then once you hit the market square you can find Moyses Hall Museum to see exhibitions on witchcraft in Bury St Edmunds, the second world war, and retro toys.

If shopping is more your thing then I highly recommend going down St John’s street (keep going forward when the market is on your right from Guat’s Up) as there are a number of independent retailers down there who absolutely need more recognition and footfall.

If it’s market day then there’s a lovely Japanese lady called Suzuki-san who sells Japanese street food. It’s really yummy and completely authentic. You’ll not want to go back to Wagamama’s again.

Once you have got your history/shopping fix, head over to The Nutshell, the smallest pub in the UK. While there’s only space for about 6 people at a time, you can have a little look inside – watch out for the mummified cat (which you’ll know all about from learning about witches in the museum!)

Bury St Edmunds

If you need another sit down, head over to The Corn Exchange; probably the poshest Weatherspoons in the country. I actually had my prom here, back before it was a pub, of course!

From The Nutshell or The Corn Exchange, turn left and head back down Angel Hill. The view is much better going down the hill than going up, and you can get some lovely shots of the gate as you get nearer.

Bury St Edmunds

The map below didn’t show it but if you walk back to the carpark through Northgate Street and take a shortcut through Pickwick Crescent then you’ll get more instagramable doorways.

If you’re so tired by the time you get back to your car that you need a place for the night, how about you try my dad’s Airbnb? His cooked breakfasts are pretty famous, and you can get all the fancy selfies you like in the gorgeous rooms!

As promised, here is my map of the route:

If you’re like me and are looking for a quiet place to get away from things for a day or so, then Bury St Edmunds is absolutely somewhere to consider.

Have you been already? Let me know in the comments!

 

Comments

  1. This place looks so cute! Never heard of it before so thanks for putting it on my radar. I’ve also never been to Cambridge so this gives me an extra reason to visit since they look so close to each other!
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