Bury St Edmunds' Most Instagrammable Spots!

With over 1000 years of history, it's no surprise that Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding towns of Lavenham, Long Melford and Clare feature on the Instagram grid!

With historic buildings, unique Suffolk architecture and miles of countryside, when you visit Bury St Edmunds & Beyond, 

1. The statue of St Edmund

Lovingly sculptured by Dame Elisabeth Frink, the statue of a young Edmund (the original Patron Saint of England) along with a wolf on guard, is located in the Great Churchyard beside St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Bury St Edmunds takes its name from King Edmund, the original Patron Saint of England and King of the East Angles, who is widely believed to be buried in the town. The legend of St Edmund, who ruled East Anglia from AD 855 to 869, tells of the brave King Edmund who was killed by the Vikings after refusing to denounce his Christianity. 

Why the wolf? The story goes that after being killed with arrows and decapitated in Suffolk, the king's body was found but his head was missing. Supporters heard the wolf call them and they found him guarding the king's head, which was then reunited with his body.

The statue is the perfect fusion of old and new, with the Churchyard and centuries old house surrounding the perfect backdrop for your snap.

2. The Abbey of St Edmund & Abbey Gardens

Founded in 1020, the Abbey of St Edmund is almost a thousand years old, so it's a must for your insta-grid. Once one of the greatest abbeys in the county and one of the richest, largest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England. Its remains are extensive and include the complete 14th century Great Gate and Norman Tower, as well as the impressive ruins and altered west front of the immense church.

3. St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Experience a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour and remember to take your phone or camera to capture some truly insta-worthy scenes at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

During the tour you will see rare views of the Cathedral itself and across the town and wider countryside and on some days as far as Ely from the tower - the highest point in Bury St Edmunds! The 160ft tower represents modern technology and traditional craftsmanship co-existing side by side.

Be sure to look out over the South Transept roof, and peek out of the Gallery onto the Quire to see the painted Nave roof up close. The tour also takes in the area above the vaulted ceiling before visiting the roof with its amazing views.

4. The Abbey Gate

Visitors can enter the Abbey Gardens through the impressive Abbey Gate complete with its portcullis. 

The original gateway, entrance to the great courtyard of the Abbey of St Edmund, was destroyed in 1327 during the riots by the local people, who were angry at the power of the monastery. The Abbey Gate you can see today with its west side arrow slits was built in the 14th Century.

5. The Pillar of Salt, Angel Hill Bury St Edmunds

Constructed in 1935 by Basil Oliver, architect to Bury St Edmunds town council in 1935, the Pillar of Salt road sign on Bury St Edmunds' historic Angel Hill is a Grade II listed road sign on Angel Hill. When it was listed in 1998, it was described as being "individual and probably unique". According to the plaque set at the foot of the sign, it is thought to be the first internally illuminated road sign in the country.When it was constructed it had to be granted special permission because the height of the letters and numbers did not conform to regulations!

It is no longer is used as a road sign for vehicles as the area has been pedestrianised, so you're able to get right next to it for your salt pillar selfie!

6. The Norman Tower

The Norman Tower, which was the principal gateway into Bury St Edmunds' great abbey church, was built between 1120 and 1148 and is one of the oldest Norman buildings in England and one of the most complete Norman buildings in the UK as it has never been altered.

7. Nowton Park

Nowton Park is renowned for the vivid display of daffodils that burst into life each spring but it is picture perfect in every season!

The park consists of over 200 acres of West Suffolk countryside. Take a leisurely woodland walk and admire the wildflower meadow, sown in 1990. The blossoming wildflowers attract a thriving butterfly population, introducing record numbers into the park. Alongside the picture perfect landscapes, Nowton also has two scenic ponds, both of which are rich in aquatic life.  Experience the original grandeur of the estate with a walk down the 19th century lime avenue, planted back in 1880. 

8. The Harry Potter house in Lavenham

Film buffs and Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise De Vere House in Lavenham! Quite possibly the most photographed house in Suffolk, the historic village of Lavenham, which is famed as one of the best preserved medieval villages in the country, was the setting for Harry Potter’s family home in Godric’s Hollow.

The Grade I-listed De Vere House in Water Street, which dates back to before 1500, appears as the young magician’s birthplace in the movie of JK Rowling’s adventure story Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part One. Although the actors didn't actually film in Lavenham, the footage captured in Lavenham was turned into computer generated images and used as the backdrop for the village. 

With wonderfully wonky walls and crooked beams, it's no wonder De Vere House fits perfectly into the wizarding world! It's no stranger to Instagram either - the front door is now one of the most frequently photographed front doors in the country, up there with the Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street.!

9. Clare High Street

A medieval Wool town, Clare is your picture perfect Suffolk setting. There's oodles of snappable scenes to capture here; the monthly artisan market, independent shops, galleries, antique shops, cafes, festivals and the only railway station in a castle.

The market town was also once home to one of the richest women in history, Elizabeth de Clare, so it's packed with fascinating stories and history too - perfect for filling your insta-stories. 

10. Ickworth House, Park & Gardens

Step back in time and feel like you're on the set of an episode of Downton Abbey with a visit to National Trust Ickworth House, Park & Gardens. After walking in the tranquil parkland (instagram-worthy in itself) visit the staff quarters and experience 1930s domestic service in the restored servants' basement, sharing the real stories and memories of former staff who kept this country estate running! 

Upstairs, discover the extraordinary life of the 4th Earl of Bristol, the Ickworth visionary who built Ickworth House - 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 - a setting guaranteed to get you some love on Instagram!

Feeling inspired? Why not stay longer and book a stay in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond! Take a look at our 'Places to Stay' guide!

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