10 ways to spend a lazy Sunday in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond

Lazy Sundays are good for the soul – so make your way to Bury St Edmunds and the nearby villages to revitalise in idyllic surroundings.

Here’s our top ten ways to spend a leisurely Sunday and recharge your batteries.   

1. Park life

Watch the clouds drift by as you stretch out on a picnic blanket or take a seat in one of Bury St Edmunds’ first-rate parks and gardens. 

Enjoy forty winks among the Abbey ruins in the Abbey Gardens or behold the well-tended blooms from a quiet corner in the formal gardens. Visit Fullers Mill Garden (pictured) in West Stow, an enchanting and tranquil waterside and woodland garden, situated on the banks of the River Lark (2 April – 29 September 2017). 

Rest under the shade of a tree in Nowton Park or Hardwick Heath or find solace in the nearby country parks at West Stow, Long Melford, or Clare.

2. Country estates

Uniquely marvellous, Ickworth House is a very fine place to spend a Sunday, and just a short drive from Bury St Edmunds. This neoclassical mansion, with its famous central rotunda, is now owned by the National Trust and can be enjoyed at leisure, along with the Italianate garden and pleasure grounds. 

At Melford Hall, the Hyde Parker family are still in residence but visitors are cordially invited to enjoy this Elizabethan manor. Unwind on a sofa in the Grand Hall, where a painting by cousin Beatrix Potter hangs, or take a stroll in the beautiful gardens. 

3. Café culture 

Hungry late risers are spoilt for choice in Bury St Edmunds. For a delicious Sunday brunch, head to one of the excellent independent cafés and delis in town, such as the Suffolk Carver, Baileys2 or the Bay Tree Café. Or why not spend a leisurely afternoon sipping coffee, reading the papers and watching the world go by? 

4. Sunday Spa-days 

Make your Sunday sublime by visiting one of the fabulous spas near Bury St Edmunds. Revive in the pool, sauna and steam room at the Bannatyne Spa and All Saints Hotel or recharge in the countryside at Weavers’ House Spa at The Swan at Lavenham Hotel & Spa. With the family? Head to The Ickworth Hotel for treatments and pampering while the kids splash about in the pool. 

5. Songbook Sundays 

Jazz and a buffet brunch are the orders of the day in the majestic Athenaeum ballroom on Songbook Sundays. Once a month between 11.30am and 1.30pm, the Chris Ingham Trio is accompanied by special guests in this historic building. 

6. Pub lunches 

What could be better than Sunday lunch in a cosy pub? In Suffolk, you’ll find fresh local produce on the menu alongside locally brewed beer and cider. 

Popular choices in town include the Old Cannon Brewery, the One Bull and the Masons Arms while the Queen's Head in Hawkedon, the Cadogan in Ingham and the Crown in Hartest are among the many wonderful country pubs nearby. 

7. Afternoon tea 

Too late for lunch? Just worked off your brunch? Thank goodness for afternoon tea! You can eat fantastic food all day if you choose in Bury St Edmunds – and afternoon tea in the historic surroundings of the Angel Hotel or Harriet’s Tea Rooms is an absolute delight. The medieval wool towns of Lavenham, Long Melford and Clare are also wonderful places to indulge.  

8. Catch a flick 

The independently owned Abbeygate Cinema, which dates back to the 1920, is something of an institution in Bury St Edmunds. In this charming movie theatre, you can catch the latest mainstream films as well as an eclectic mix of arthouse and independent titles. The adjacent No4 restaurant and bar also serves great drinks, meals and snacks. The eight-screen Cineworld offers visitors further options. Who’s for popcorn?  

9. Get back to nature  

Watch dragonflies skitter above a lake, butterflies dance in the sun and kingfishers dive for their lunch in the nature reserves near Bury St Edmunds. Unplugging from modern life and spending time reconnecting with nature is hugely beneficial to all of us. Take it all in at Bradfield Woods, Lackford Lakes, Old Broom, Mickle Mere or Black Bourn Valley.  

10. Stay until Monday 

For the ultimate lazy Sunday, book a room in a superb hotel or bed and breakfast and let the Sunday feeling last until Monday. 

Boutique hotels with history, charming bed and breakfasts, sumptuous rural cottages, country houses, and luxury apartments, there is an abundance of choice.

You can sleep in Charles Dickens’ favourite room in a contemporary boutique hotel, relax in a Tudor house, or sleep under the stars while experiencing luxury glamping.

You deserve it!