Rainy Day Things to Do!

Don't worry if the weather is less than desirable, there are plenty of rainy day things to do in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond!

Whether the sun is shining or you need your brolly, there's plenty to see and do in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond. So the next time the sun fails to shine, check out these rainy day activities...

Moyse's Hall Museum

A medieval building situated in the heart of Bury St Edmunds historic cobbled streets, Moyse's Hall Museum is home to an eclectic selection of exhibitions and collections including a world class collection of horology including rare timepieces bequeathed by musician and clock collector Frederic Gershom Parkington; fine art by renowned local artists Mary Beale, England's first professional female painter and Bury St Edmunds born artist Sybil Andrews; the Suffolk Regiment gallery; plus regularly changing exhibitions in the Great Hall. 

The Museum also offers people the chance to discover Bury St Edmunds fascinating and rather gruesome past fascinating view into the past with collections that document the dissolution of the Abbey of St Edmund, prison paraphernalia and items relating to the notorious Red Barn Murder, local superstitions and witchcraft. 

Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

Dating back to 1279, Bury St Edmunds Guildhall is the oldest continuously-used building in Britain and proudly boasts a World War Two Royal Observer Corps Control Centre – the only surviving room of its kind in the world. 

The Guildhall presents the history of the unique principal rooms (The Court Room and Banqueting Hall), the RAF’s WWII Royal Observer Corps Operations Centre Headquarters room, the Tudor Kitchen, the external courtyards and open gardens, through interactive displays and collections. Open Wednesdays and Sundays. Free entry in 2019!

Suffolk Regiment Museum

The Suffolk Regiment Museum was established for the 250th Anniversary of the Regiment in 1935 and was home to collections of badges, medals and uniform items which had been displayed in the Officers’ Mess since before The Great War. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the Museum was a working museum in which Suffolk Regiment recruits would go to learn the history of their Regiment. 

Today, the displays tell the story of the regiment from its foundation in 1685 to amalgamation with the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1959. 

The history covers the regular, militia, volunteer and war-time battalions as well as the experience of individual soldiers and is told through medals, uniforms, photographs, weapons, equipment and personal memorabilia including the surviving Roubaix Drum, buried in France at Dunkirk and retrieved safely after D –Day! The Museum is open on every Wednesday and the first Sunday in the month from 9.30am to 3.30pm and at other times by appointment. Free entry!

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

No trip to Bury St Edmunds would be complete without a visit to the famous cathedral. Over 1,000 years ago, the death of Edmund, King of the East Angles, at the hands of the Danes in 869 led to the building of an abbey to house his remains. Over the centuries, notably during the reign of Henry VIII, the abbey was demolished, with St James’s Church being built within the precincts of the Abbey, and becoming a Cathedral in 1914.

The Cathedral building has been restored and developed over the years with the addition of the Millennium Tower, completed in 2005, and its magnificent painted and gilded vault, added in 2010.

The Cathedral is open to visitors between 8.30am and 6pm every day throughout the year.  Regular Guided Tours of the Cathedral run from May to September at 11am daily (except Sundays). Occasionally a tour may have to be cancelled if another event is taking place in the Cathedral. If you are travelling some distance, please do ring the Cathedral office to check. These tours last approx 1 hour and cost £3 per person (under 16s free). Tickets available from the Tourist Information Point next to the Cathedral Shop.

Abbeygate Cinema

Get out of the rain and go to the movies! When it's wet outside you will find a warm welcome at Abbeygate Cinema, a beautifully modernised yet perfectly original 1920's cinema showing everything from timeless classics to box office latest releases!

The cinema is packed full of comfortable reclining seats and cosy sofas and you can also enjoy a glass of wine, beer or soft drink and tasty snacks from the bar whilst watching your film.

Palace House Newmarket

Enjoy a visit to the National Heritage Centre at Palace House Newmarket and make the most of a rainy day exploring it's three complementary attractions; a new National Horseracing Museum, a National Art Gallery of British Sporting Art, and a chance to meet former racehorses and learn what they do after racing, in the flagship home of Retraining of Racehorses.

Learn all there is to know about horseracing in the old Trainer's House and King's Yard Galleries; discover the town's 350 years of royal connections and find out what it's like to be a jockey. There's something to capture all imaginations here, children will love the scientific gallery where you can compare your anatomy to a thoroughbred and learn why they are the ultimate athlete. There's a range of Interactive and audio-visual displays too, and you can have a go yourself on the racehorse simulator and learn what it takes to be a jockey.

In the Rothschild Yard, you can meet the heroes of the sport as up to eight former racehorses are stabled here while they are retrained to go onto a new career after racing. Chat to the Retraining of Racehorses staff and learn all you need to know about these wonderful creatures. 

Finish your day with a wander through the Fred Packard Museum and the Galleries of British Sporting Art; showcasing five centuries of art from sports with paintings by John Wootten, Francis Hayman, Sir Alfred Munnings and Peter Blake to name but a few. 

Greene King Brewery Tour

One for just the adults, visit one of the UK's leading breweries and discover its brewing heritage spanning 200 years. 

The historic Westgate brewery has been in the town since 1799, but brewers still use locally malted barley and water from 1,000 year old chalk wells in their famous brews. The Greene King Brewery Tours take you around the working brew house to see where many of the nation’s favourite ales are brewed, including Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, which is famously named for the brewers who used to work at Bury St Edmunds’ Great Abbey hundreds of years ago. 

During the tours, which run daily, you can take a trip up to the roof and take in one of the best panoramic views of the historic town before heading to the Green King Beer Cafe for a tutored beer tasting. In the cafe, you can also enjoy a delicious meal made from locally sourced produce and stock up on ales in the shop!

Ickworth House National Trust

When it's cold and wet outside then why not step into Georgian Italianate palace in an idyllic English landscape? Explore the impressive Rotunda at Ickworth House an architectural marvel and a magnificent showcase commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless treasures collected on tours around Europe in the 18th-century.

For 200 years, the eccentric, and sometimes infamous, Hervey family added to the treasures inside and out, also creating the earliest Italianate garden in England. The exquisite craftmanship of the finest Huguenot silversmiths is breathtaking, and you can follow the family's history through outstanding portraits by Gainsborough, Hogarth and Reynolds. Experience 1930s domestic service in the restored servants' basement, sharing the real stories and memories of former staff who kept this country estate running.

Ice Kitchen

Situated in the heart of Bury St Edmunds you will find ICE Cook School, offering full day and half day courses and demonstrations led by two masterchefs. You needn't be a budding Heston Blumenthal, there are courses to suit all ages and abilities on a range of cooking styles including dim sum, Italian, macarons and Thai cooking. There's a fun programme for kids too, with baking, doughnuts, pasta and scientific cooking courses to choose from.  


Looking for somewhere that the kids can let off steam and have some fun? Then head to CurveMotion! Home to the biggest playframe in East Anglia, little ones will love charging around the soft play area; complete with tunnels, climbing nets, slides, climbing wall, battle canon zone, disco zone and huge 6ft vertical drop slide. For toddlers and babies, there's also a dedicated area with soft play and a ball pool.

After running riot in the soft play, pop on your roller skates and head to the roller skating rink for an hour or so of whizzing around the rink (and falling over too!). After all that racing around, head to the cafe for ice creams, milkshakes and lunch.

Planet Laser 

The whole family will have a fantastically fun time at Planet Laser, even if it is chucking it down outside! 

Home to one of the UK’s biggest multi level laser tag arenas featuring a 30 player Helios Pro Laser Gun System. There's also 4 mini bowling alleys, an amusement arcade and theTeddy Mountain bear building workshop. 

Stop for lunch, or enjoy a cup of coffee as the children play at Cafe Lunar - open dauly from 9.30am serving a great range of hot and cold food and drinks.

Kentwell Hall

Tour this romantic moated redbrick Tudor mansion with extensive gardens and rare breed farm. Kentwell Hall is a very much a lived-in and loved family home, something it has been for over 500 years. The public can see much of the House, including rooms used by the family. 

Theatre Royal

The country's oldest regency theatre, the Theatre Royal has a packed programme throughout the year; hosting everything from musicals, dramas, children's theatre, ballets, screenings and some of the UK's top comedians including Michael McIntyre.

If it's a bit soggy outside, you could also enjoy a tour of this grand and historic building; the Theatre Royal was designed by renowned architect William Wilkins – also famous for designing the National Gallery and University College London. With many of its original features still intact it is the last remaining Regency playhouse in the country, and one of the most beautiful, intimate and historic theatres in the world.

The tours provide a fascinating and lively insight to the theatre’s history and take place on days throughout the year (see website for details. Tours last approximately one hour and National Trust members can access the tour free but you will need your membership card with you on the day.

Lavenham Guildhall National Trust

Get out of the rain and step inside Lavenham Guildhall and discover some wonderful stories from The Guildhall's character connections and fascinating facts on your journey through the building's history. 

Originally built as a religious meeting place for wealthy Catholic merchants, The Guildhall has also been used as a prison, a workhouse, a pub, a chapel and a social club for US troops stationed nearby during the Second World War 

There's a journey of discovery over five centuries of history; seen through the eyes of the people who lived and worked here. 

Melford Hall National Trust

For over two centuries Melford Hall has been the much loved family home of the Hyde Parkers. This unassuming mellow brick mansion is full of surprises with modern family photographs side-by-side with Tudor portraits. 

Melford Hall has lots of stories to share about family life and about visits from the Hyde Parker's cousin Beatrix Potter - you can even see the original Jemima Puddle-duck toy that she gave to them. The Hyde Parkers are a naval family and there are lots of items around the house linked with their naval adventures and interests - including a ship's bell which can be rung. There are also fine collections of porcelain and furniture, including a very special year-going clock!

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