Bury St Edmunds and the Wool Towns Experiences
Bury St Edmunds and the Wool Towns make up a truly special part of Suffolk. With a mixture of ancient market towns, historical landmarks, excellent local food and drink producers there is much to be discovered. There are also many local events and attractions to make your visit extra special. Find out more about best ways to experience this part of the county…
A Georgian Italianate palace, Ickworth House is on a gorgeous country estate near Bury St. Edmunds with equally beautiful grounds. Built in the 18th Century to showcase the treasures and art collected by Earl Bishop, the house was built to impress and entertain. The Rotunda at the heart of the estate is an architectural masterpiece and the perfect centrepiece for this picturesque part of Suffolk. Enjoy wandering around the park grounds, including an Italianate garden, which looks beautiful in all seasons and houses some fascinating plants. Discover the house with its grand halls and bedrooms, not forgetting the basement which shares real stories and memories of former staff who kept the estate going. The estate offers daily tours, events throughout the year and a children’s play area. Whatever the weather, the attraction ensures to make each visit enjoyable. Although the estate has a wonderful West Wing restaurant serving a seasonal menu and the Porter’s Lodge Café, guests can bring picnics along which can be enjoyed throughout the grounds, we’d advise taking a break in the walled garden for that extra bit of magic.
Containing the remains of a 13th Century castle, Clare Castle Country Park is a diverse landscape and an enjoyable day out. Spread over 36 acres of Suffolk countryside, the park is home to a variety of habitats, walks and an array of history. The castle sits high above sea level, and from the mount, you can see across to charming Clare, Suffolk’s smallest town. The park is also home to the remains of Clare railway line and station, which services stopped in 1967. Still in place is the station masters house, a ticket office and two waiting rooms, a site rarely seen today, resulting in the buildings being Grade II listed. The River Stour and Ponds run through the park creating a picturesque landscape where beautiful walks can be enjoyed at any time of year. The park also has a children’s play area and a café. Keep an eye out for the variety of wildlife that calls the park home and the substantial flora and fauna which thrives in the parks diverse habitats.
Spend your day as a true Anglo Saxon in this amazing replica of an Anglo Saxon village on one of England’s greatest archaeological sites. Explore the history of the eight buildings, dress up as a true Anglo and say hello to the rare breed pigs and chickens. Surrounding the village is 125 acres of beautiful Suffolk countryside with trails, heaths and woodland walks which can be enjoyed by visitors. The attraction puts on some wonderful events throughout the year including archery experiences, middle earth tours where you can meet a Hobbit and Dragon Fest, which celebrates all things dragon from folklore to dinosaurs. The site offers all necessary amenities including the Country Park Café which serves freshly baked sausage rolls, scones and homemade cakes.
Palace House at Newmarket is a 'must' visit for anyone who loves horses! This fascinating collection of historical buildings used to be known as The National Horseracing Museum, however the museum recently moved to Palace House and now encompasses much more than just horseracing. It is a 3 in 1 extravaganza of equestrian art, sporting art and a live horse experience. You can meet former racehorses, find out how they are retrained and even watch them during one of their regular training sessions. Our favourite is Purple Moon (also known as George) who is being retrained to work as a therapy horse. There's too much to see in one day! Once your legs are tired from exploring the 5 acre site, treat yourself to a delicious meal or afternoon tea in the excellent Tack Room Restaurant.
Named the best Christmas Fayre in the country, Bury St Edmunds transforms into a festive wonderland on the last weekend of November each year with an array of colourful stalls and entertainment throughout the town. Entertainment can be enjoyed from three stages including the Greene King Stage, The Haart Stage and the Other Entertainment Stage, hosting acts from the likes of school choirs to rock bands to circus performances. There are many trade stall locations, eight in total, including Angel Hill & World Market, set in the centre of Bury’s medieval core with over 100 stalls and a traditional funfair. Be sure to visit the food marque where you can find delectable delights including nuts, fudge, sea food, pies and pasties. We think this is the perfect place for drinking mulled wine and celebrating the festive season.