Bury St Edmunds
and Wool Towns

The ‘Wool Towns’, in the heart of Suffolk, include Lavenham, Long Melford, Clare, Sudbury, Hadleigh and Bury St Edmunds, which grew wealthy on the success of the medieval wool trade.

Visiting these characterful settlements of grand churches and higgledy-piggledy timber-framed houses is like taking a step back in time.


The Swan Hotel & Spa in the timber-framed Wool Town of Lavenham.


Lavenham, with 340 listed buildings, is known as England’s best-preserved medieval village and home of Harry Potter’s birthplace – De Vere House from the Deathly Hallows Part One.


The largest ‘Wool Town’ is Bury St Edmunds, named after King Edmund who was killed by Danish invaders in 869, and which is Suffolk’s cultural and historical highlight. This delightful market town features St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Abbey Gardens, the Greene King Brewery which hosts tours, Britain’s only surviving Regency theatre, the Theatre Royal, The Nutshell, the smallest pub in the country, chic independent shops and was recently crowned England’s most dog friendly town.

Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds’ St Edmundsbury Cathedral.


Bury St Edmunds is known as Suffolk’s foodie capital and as the name suggests it’s a foodie heaven with many award-winning eateries and the only Michelin starred restaurant in the county.


Nearby is West Stow, a recreation of an Anglo-Saxon village, and Ickworth House, a neoclassical estate with striking rotunda now run by the National Trust.

Take a tour of the Abbey Gardens.


Getting around


The best way to properly explore Bury St Edmunds is with a guided tour.|

St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds

Inside St Edmundsbury Cathedral.


Don’t miss


The award-winning 14-acre Abbey Gardens is on the site of the former Benedictine Abbey, the Abbey of St Edmund, once one of the richest, largest and most powerful monasteries in England. People came from all over England and further afield to visit the Shrine of St Edmund and it became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England, visited by royalty.


Internationally renowned for its colourful and attractive displays and the heritage of its backdrop make the gardens a very special place to visit and visitors come from all over the world to see it.

One of the chic restaurants at The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds.


Discover the taste


Take Afternoon Tea at The Angel Hotel and you’ll following in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, who used to stay here when he did readings of his books at the nearby Athenaeum. There are different packages to suit every taste plus an option for children, with freshly made delicacies such as homemade scones, savoury treats or sumptuous cakes.

Angel Hill at Bury St Edmunds takes you into the town centre of chic boutiques, curio shops and eateries.


Live like a local


Shop like a local at Bury St Edmunds weekly markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The tradition of a Bury Market is as old as the Abbey itself. Pick up fresh fruit and veg, fish from the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts as well an excellent selection of gifts and street food.


Useful website Bury St Edmunds & Beyond