Blog

Christmas Gift Guide

Spend a day Christmas shopping in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding villages

Home to unique attractions, fascinating museums, artisan food and drink, and talented artists and craftspeople, Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding villages are fabulous places to find Christmas gifts for the whole family.

For Suffolk Lovers

No visit to Bury St Edmunds is complete without a tour of magnificent St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Discover the history of the site, then take part in the cathedral’s fundraising Lego project by laying a Lego brick and helping to create a Lego scale model of the cathedral! Once you’ve got a taste for Lego construction, stop by the Cathedral shop, where you can buy a limited-edition St Edmundsbury Cathedral Lego Cathedral kit as well as a range of other charming gifts.

For the Foodie

Home to some of the county's top restaurants and food and drink producers, the foodie in your family will be delighted with a hamper or food and drink experience come Christmas morning. 

Greene King has been brewing beer in Bury St Edmunds for more than 200 years, and its Westgate Brewery, opened in 1938, is still in action today. Book a tour to see how the company continues to brew beer with traditional methods, then pick up a selection of your favourite Greene King beers, including Greene King IPA and St Edmunds Ale, from the onsite shop. The Old Cannon Brewery on Cannon Street also makes its own beer on the premises which can be purchased from their shop including their ever popular 8-pint mini casks.

For other East Anglian beers, head to Beautiful Beers on St John’s Street. Here you’ll find beers and ciders from independent brewers throughout the region, as well as Frank & Ernest Cold Brew Coffee, which is hand roasted and cold brewed here in Bury St Edmunds.

If gin is your tipple of choice, head to Gourmet Goods on St John’s Street, where the range of artisan spirits on offer includes Suffolk Dry Gin, craft distilled in town.

Sunny Suffolk is also home to some outstanding vineyards, and a bottle of local wine is a delight. Head to Wyken Vineyard, Giffords Hall Vineyard or Lavenham Brook Vineyard to taste the region’s excellent award-winning wines.

Did you know that much of the sugar beet grown around Suffolk is processed in Bury St Edmunds for Silver Spoon? Unlike many other leading 'UK' brands, Silver Spoon sugar is actually produced in the UK. In fact all their White Granulated and baking sugars are supplied by East Anglian farmers and produced in Bury St Edmunds, and their sugar beet is grown an average of only 30 miles from Bury St Edmunds! Farmers markets offer further opportunities to pick up local goodies, and regular ones are held at Lavenham, as well as Bury St Edmunds, Long Melford, Sudbury, Risby and Thurston. The twice-weekly street markets are also the ideal place to pick up local baked goods, preserves, drinks, crafts and gifts for a delicious hamper.

For the Gardener

Green-fingered friends and family can enjoy the splendour of the Abbey Gardens or the National Trust’s Ickworth House, Park and Gardens with a plant from the onsite nursery shops, to nurture in their own gardens. For an extra special experience, buy them passes to the enchanting Fullers Mill Garden (open April – September), wonderful Nowton Park, Wyken Hall Gardens, and Helmingham Hall Gardens.

For the Crafter

Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding wool towns are treasure troves for arts and crafts gifts.

Wander down to The Handmade Shop & Gallery St John’s Street, where you’ll find paintings and prints from East Anglian artists alongside pottery, jewellery, textiles, glass, and handmade greetings cards.

The Really Very Nice gallery in Churchgate Street showcases local as well as national and international artists including Mary Wyatt, Lucy Crick, and Tom Lund-Lack.

Local craftspeople also set up stalls downstairs in The Apex on various Saturdays throughout the year, selling handmade crafts and unique gifts. In Clare, a monthly craft market is held at the Town Hall with everything that is sold being handmade by the person who is selling it. 

Lavenham Guildhall gift shop works with Lavenham Art Society to support local artists, making this another excellent place to buy Suffolk art (as well as local produce, gifts and local heritage books). Nearby, you’ll also find the Angel Gallery, a 15th century wool merchant’s residence with exhibitions by local and national artists, and the Wildlife Art Gallery, which specialises in 20th Century and contemporary wildlife art.

The Hunter Gallery, in Long Melford and recently opened in Bury St Edmunds, sells a stunning selection of contemporary paintings, sculpture and furniture. Local watercolour artist and illustrator Kim Whittingham runs a shop in Langton Place in Bury St Edmunds selling pictures, cards, mugs and other gifts of all landmarks in the town.

For the Clothes Lover

For stylish shirts pay a visit to Wolf in Sheep's Clothing in St John’s Street. All the shirts and coats are all designed and made in Suffolk, England – one of only a few English manufacturing companies left.

Dapper Fox, located in The Traverse, is a new luxury menswear brand that offering a range of high quality men's tailoring and casual wear clothing. 

Selling a range of designer brands including Vivienne Westwood, Barbour, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker and Scotch & Soda to name but a few Javelin offers a unique shopping experience for both men and women from their store on Abbeygate Street. 

For high street brands, you're spoilt for choice at The Arc Shopping Centre; home to River Island, Topshop, Joules, Monsoon, Next, Debenhams, Pandora and many more!

For the Bookworm

A fantastic collection of local history books written by local people can be found in the Tourist Information Centre at The Apex, the St Edmundsbury Cathedral Shop and Moyse’s Hall Museum.

For best-sellers, Waterstones is located in the Butter Market and The Arc Shopping Centre, whilst W.H.Smith is just a short walk away on Cornhill. 

For Kids

Selling new, nearly new and pre-loved children's clothing and toys, Christmas needn't break the bank with a visit to Raspberry Rascals in Langton Place off Hatter Street in Bury St Edmunds, or for the must-have toy this festive season check out Starlings Toymaster on Cornhill.