Bury St Edmunds ticks so many boxes for a weekend away; shopping, plenty to see and do and a thriving restaurant scene. The Suffolk Spy shares her top tips for spending an unforgettable weekend in Bury St Edmunds.
What’s better in winter than a weekend break away? It’s an opportunity to wrap up in your cosiest jumper in the crisp winter air and after a day of exploring, relax in front of a beautiful log fire for a well-deserved rest.
Best places to stay in Bury St Edmunds
Stay in the heart of the town for the weekend at The Northgate, a boutique hotel which perfectly combines luxury with a relaxed atmosphere. Each of the bedrooms have beautiful individual Victorian features and a calming and relaxing ambience. The hotel also has a trendy bar as well one of the best restaurants in Suffolk.
For a room with a view, stay at The Angel Hotel where bedrooms have views over the historic Abbey Gardens. If you are looking for that special touch upgrade to a suite and enjoy a long soak in an elegant copper bath.
Brunch in Bury St Edmunds
If you decide to have a long weekend, make sure you go for brunch at Folk Café, just outside Bury St Edmunds. Set in a stunning old farm building, this café is only open Monday to Friday but definitely worth squeezing into your weekend. The brunch menu is extensive with many delicious options including house granola, ‘folk fry up’ and avocado on sourdough with feta.
For a casual brunch in town and for something a little different head to Krazy Horse for a great breakfast above a motorcycle shop!
Things to see and do in Bury St Edmunds
You cannot go to Bury St Edmunds without visiting the Abbey Gardens. The award-winning 14-acre gardens are on the site of the former Benedictine Abbey. It is free to enter and well worth a visit. See the Shrine of St Edmund, the extensive remains of the Abbey and the beautiful gardens.
For the beer lovers, Bury St Edmunds has been crafting quality cask ales at Greene King since 1799. Book a tour of the brewery and see how real beer is brewed using natural ingredients and traditional brewing methods.
For something a little different, The Northgate offers regular experiences giving you the perfect excuse to head indoors and not return! Experiences include a Christmas cocktails and calligraphy workshop, wreath making with afternoon tea as well as mixology masterclasses and kitchen experiences with head chef, Greig Young.
For a special evening, the Cathedral offers events throughout the year which can be booked via its website. In December, enjoy a special Christmas carol service, ‘A Festival of Lights’ and an evening performance of Handel’s Messiah.
The best Coffee shops in Bury
In need of a well-deserved coffee? Then head to either Woosters Bakery on Langton Place or Guats Up where they serve great coffee by favourite local coffee roaster, Butterworth & Son. If they’ve not sold out before you arrive at Woosters Bakery, make sure you also get a banana blondie or one of the county-famous morning buns!
Shopping in Bury St Edmunds
Bury St Edmunds is a wonderful town to spend meandering through the many independent and high street stores. Stop in at Javelin which sells many clothing brands across a variety of budgets for both men and women.
Head up to the Arc Shopping Centre to visit the many high street stores including Crew Clothing, Hobbs and Joules. The town also has some great menswear including Trotter & Deane, Sixt and Dapper Fox.
Restaurants in Bury St Edmunds
If you are looking for a cosy restaurant with a menu led by the seasons then you must visit Pea Porridge! Francela, a Mediterranean grill and meze restaurant, is also great if you are looking for a moderately priced menu with good food.
Some favourite restaurants are also located just outside Bury St Edmunds. The Brewers at Rattlesden is an absolute must visit for all foodies. This contemporary country pub offers exceptional food with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Foodies should also squeeze a visit in to the restaurant at The All Saints Hotel!
Spa Days in Suffolk
If you would prefer to stay out of the cold then head to either the Ickworth Hotel or the All Saints Hotel for a relaxing spa day. Located just outside Bury St Edmunds, both hotels offer complimentary use of their facilities (including swimming pool) and a delicious light lunch or afternoon tea as part of their spa package.