A trip to Neptune Bury St. Edmunds is the perfect excuse to explore the Georgian squares, medieval streets and architecture that this market town is known for. From Britain’s last remaining regency theatre to an impressive line-up of annual festivals and the town’s literary links to Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, it has a lot to offer.
So, we’ve put together a guide to some of the places we like to visit, eat and shop in case you’re ever stopping by to see us.
Ickworth House, Park & Gardens is just a few miles outside of the town centre. A taste of Italy in Suffolk, this neo-classical mansion was created for Frederick Augustus Hervey, the 4th Earl of Bristol. Set within four square miles of parkland dotted with ancient oak trees, the grand central Rotunda building dominates the landscape. Inside, you can explore the Hervey family’s collection of Georgian silver, Regency furniture, Old Masters and family portraits by Gainsborough and Hogarth.
Greene King Brewery Tour
Greene King has been brewing in Bury St Edmunds since 1799. Join one of the daily brewery tours to take a look behind the scenes of the Georgian building and learn about the company’s rich. With six consecutive Trip Advisor ‘certificates of excellence’ to its name, it’s worth a visit. The tour includes a trip up to the brewery roof, which offers one of the best panoramic views of the town.
Abbey Gardens is a 14-acre park on the site of a former Benedictine abbey. With approximately 12,000 plants and 20,000 bulbs forming the spring display, it isn’t difficult to see why they’ve won the prestigious Green Flag Award on numerous occasions. Highlights include the Appleby Rose Garden, Pilgrim’s Herb Garden and the Water Garden. With the abbey ruins still standing, forming an impressive backdrop, it’s a perfect spot for a picnic on warm days.
The Bury Festival is an important part of Suffolk’s cultural calendar. Now in its 33rd year, it runs between the 18th and 27th May. Spread across various venues throughout the town, this year promises a varied mix of music ranging from symphonies to reggae, as well as comedy, photography, poetry and a mini film festival marking the centenary of women’s suffrage.
Pea Porridge is tucked away on a quiet street once known as ‘Pea Porridge Green’, hence the name. It’s owned by a husband and wife team, Justin and Jurga, who create dishes that are local and seasonal, served with wines from small and biodynamic vineyards. What makes them that bit more different though, is that they cook in a charcoal-fired oven, burning natural materials like oak and pinecones to flavour their food.
Bury-based roasters and tea-smiths Butterworth and Son run this coffee shop, so it’s not surprising that it’s often described as having the best coffee in town. You can also buy all the bits and bobs you’ll need to brew your own at home, or stop by in the evening and you’ll find it’s turned into a bar.
Paddy & Scott’s
Paddy & Scott’s have a number of ‘fuelling stations’ across the country now, but Bury St Edmunds is their flagship. As well as the coffee they’re known for, they also serve freshly-made food using ingredients from East Anglian producers, who they name-check on the packaging. They also have their own farms in Kenya, so their coffee is always single-origin.
A short car journey outside of town will bring you to Wyken, a farm, garden and seven-acre vineyard. We’ve included it in this section of our guide because of its shop and weekly farmers’ market. At the Leaping Hare Country Store, you’ll find ‘beautiful and useful’ pieces, from books by small publishers to enamel cookware and the farm’s own wines. Visit on Saturday mornings for the farmers’ market, followed by lunch at the restaurant or café and a walk through the vineyard.
Bury St Edmunds market
There are markets to explore back in town too. Bury St Edmunds is well-known for its bi-weekly one, and rightly so, as it’s been taking place since before the Norman conquest. It’s grown to quite a size since then, and if you stop by on a Saturday (it’s also in town on Wednesdays), you’ll find over 80 stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables to pottery. If it’s food that you’re really looking for, then there’s also a farmers’ market on the second Sunday of the month.
Dapper Fox’s collection includes off-the-peg suits, jackets and knitwear, as well as bespoke made-to-measure suits and custom-fit shirts. Accessories combine tradition with modernity, with boldly-patterned and coloured pocket squares, Italian socks and Suffolk-made ties.
Neptune Bury St Edmunds
And while you’re in town, we’d love you to stop by.