Bury St Edmunds & Beyond Fun for Festival Goers!

The Bury St Edmunds Festival takes place in May celebrating its 33rd year and looks set to wow audiences with its usual eclectic mix of fantastic music, theatre and film.

The festival runs between Friday 18th and Sunday 27th May with over 60 acts stretched across 10 days and 15 venues and offers a bumper-packed schedule of arts and culture with a varied mix of contemporary and classical music, outdoor concerts, jazz, dance, theatre, film, poetry, talks, walks, workshops, street theatre and much more.

All tickets are now on sale so visit for further details.

While you are at the festival, make the most of your trip and be sure to spend time enjoying some of the other things that the area has to offer; from family fun to historic venues to public parks to leisure and sports, Bury St Edmunds and beyond has it all.

Discover Bury St Edmund's fascinating past

Bury St Edmunds and its surrounding villages are ideal destinations for walkers, who can marvel at the splendour of Georgian squares, medieval architecture and rolling fields on foot.  

The history of the town goes back over a thousand years, starting with the martyrdom of Edmund. Over the years, legends, scandals and secrets have happened in the town and the guide will impart these on the 90-minute walking tour which takes in the Abbey Garden and Ruins area, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the main market area and many more historic streets. 

The Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides are all green or blue badge registered. With years of experience and with a love of Bury St Edmunds, its history and people and a great sense of humour, the tour guides will ensure you see the best that Bury St Edmunds has to offer.

The tour which costs £5 per person and starts at 2pm and can be booked on the day at the Tourist Information Point on Angel Hill (next to the Cathedral). The tours all begin at the same office (except Sunday tours which start at 11am and begin at the Abbeygate on Angel Hill. You can purchase your tickets for this tour from the guide).

Fun for the Family

If you have children in tow for the festival, give them the opportunity to mix fun and education with a trip to one of England’s great archeologically sites, West Stow Country Park which features 125 acres of woods and heathland, nature trails, an adventure playground and a river and lake! There is no chance that your little ones will grow bored with the chance to dress up as Anglo-Saxons and meet rare breed pigs and chickens.

Their website will provide you with more information about their living history and event days, workshops and walks and talks which bring history to life.

Bury St Edmunds also has its own pioneering indoor interactive play centre! CurveMotion offers activities for the whole family including roller skating, soft play, huge slides and party facilities. The venue has the largest play frame in East Anglia with a wide variety of interactive areas, mega slides and a vertical drop slide suitable for all ages.

As well as all this, the purpose-built roller rink has a range of sessions available to book onto, from roller disco to skate lessons and once you’ve built up a hunger, visit the bistro which serves a delicious range of meals and snacks and drinks as well as locally produced coffee from Paddy & Scott's.

Lavenham Vintage 1940s Weekend

Just 12 miles away from Bury St Edmunds, the medieval wool town of Lavenham which inspired the set design for the Harry Potter films is holding The Lavenham Vintage 1940s weekend between 18th - 21st May which centres around the historic Swan Hotel.

The second annual weekend, following the success of 2017, will celebrate the 75th anniversary of RAF Lavenham being built in 1943.

With the whole town entering into the spirit, the historic high street will look beautiful with plenty on offer to see and do, including a 1940s swing dance, vintage tea afternoon, a guided tour of Lavenham airfield and history talks.

Drop in for a few hours or spend all day there enjoying the array of entertainment, vehicles and historical information.

Bottom's Up!

Of national renown, Greene King IPA has been brewed at the Westgate Brewery in Bury St Edmunds since 1799. The drink has been described as an “easy drinking, session ale with a hoppy taste and aroma making it clean, crisp and moreish” and is an award-winning brew.

The brewery doesn't just offer ales but also tours! Book yourself onto one if you’re looking for some time to spare between events at the festival and you can learn about how the beer is brewed using traditional brewing methods, enjoy other cask ales at the Greene King Beer Café and experience the best view of Bury St Edmunds from the roof of the brew house.

For those who prefer their libations in the form of spirits, book onto one of many Gin experiences that are available at The Stillery - a ‘Speak-easy’ style cocktail bar hidden away in the heart of Bury St Edmunds.

The Stillery is passionate about both serving a range of top quality drinks and making their own. With an on-site distillery, this has become a realised ambition with an ever-growing reputation and a series of gin tasting events including, ‘Ginspiration’, ‘Gin… A Journey‘ and ‘The Cocktillian’. The experiences offer the chance to learn about the history of the fashionable drink, to find out how to make some of the greatest Gin cocktails, understand the relationship between the drink and its bedfellow drink – Tonic and even create your own!

Explore the Great Outdoors

From two feet to two wheels, fit in some cycling between festival events.

With beautiful parks and gardens, historic streets and market roads, Bury St Edmunds has much to enjoy from the vantage of a bike. Start off with a visit to Maglia Rosso or Charged electric bike store (in case you think you may need to rely on some electric assistance!) to book a hire cycle.

From there, you can head in any direction to enjoy the paths and trails through town or the scenic parkland around Ickworth House. There’s also route which meanders deep into the woods of Nowton Park. The area offers almost 200 acres of landscaped Suffolk countryside including an arboretum, bird feeding areas, the lime avenue and, if you have time to stop, even a maze with over 2,500 hornbeam trees comprising over two miles of hedging!

If you want to get a bit further afield, High Lodge in Thetford Forest really offers the chance to enjoy naturally serene cycle trails. There’s something for all ages, for adults; cycling or Segways and children will love the adventure play or the zip wires, Tarzan swings and high rise view at Go Ape.

The more adventurous cyclist can bike from Bury St Edmunds or you could hire bikes once there and save your energy to explore Thetford Forest with amazing wide bike trails for complete beginners or miles of flowing single tracks for the experienced cyclist.

For more information and to book tickets for the Bury Festival, visit

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