OK, so I’ll confess: this weekend I didn’t do anything in Norwich this week. However, I did cross over the border into Suffolk while the sun was shining.
In an attempt to make the most of the weather, I got in my little car on Sunday and trundled off to Bury St Edmunds. I’d been told that it’s got lots of history and lots of shops – so basically I was guaranteed a good time!
We found a very reasonably priced car park by following the signs for the long stay parking (I think it was £1.90 for over 4 hours) and moseyed into town.
Walking amongst the ruins
First stop, the Abbey Gardens, which I think was the main attraction for me. All of the daffodils had started to appear around the ancient Abbey ruins and there was a real sense of spring in the air. Reading the tourism information boards, you can tell that Bury would have been a wealthy in times gone by.
The Abbey building would have been huge too and standing by the ruined pillars you can get a real sense of the scale (it also made me want to read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett). It has been speculated that the Magna Carta was signed at the Abbey, which subsequently fell into disrepair. I’m fascinated by all of the stone work, to think how old it is and is still there to be seen today.
Next we headed to the beautiful Cathedral, with it’s amazing contrasts of old and new. Recent construction has extended the buildings, which look all clean and modern, mixing in with the older, existing buildings. The Cathedral gardens are very pleasant too, one of which is for remembrance, while the other is a herb garden.
Enjoying the new
Obviously, I then went shopping! The old centre of town has some beautiful architecture, with shops now occupying buildings of all ages.
A large retail area has been built recently too, housing all the shops you’d expect to find in a large town, Next, H&M, Monsoon etc. Admittedly it would have been nicer to visit a few of the smaller shops, but because it was a Sunday, I suspect that was the reason they were closed.
Getting to Bury St Edmunds
It took me roughly an hour to get there from Norwich and the journey is pretty straightforward (follow the A11 to London, before turning off for the A134 to Bury), so I think we will probably go again in the near future, when all of the trees have leaves on them!