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Things to Do between Christmas & New Year

Make the most of the time between Christmas and New Year and discover Bury St Edmunds & Beyond!

After the build up to Christmas and all the excitement of the big day itself there’s sometimes a palpable dip in energy in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But you don’t have to stay inside while the cabin fever sets in, there’s plenty to see and so much to do so get up, head outside and clear those Christmas cobwebs!

Take in some fresh air on a relaxing winter walk

On the 27th and 28th December Palace House in Newmarket invites you to along to their Winter Walking Tour. This is the perfect way to get the whole family out and about, taking in the sights as well as learning all about the history of the town and it’s links to royalty. You will set off from outside Palace House, head towards All Saint’s church, wander through the King’s Passageway and across to The Jockey Club Rooms. Your tour guide will regale you with tales of horse racing, code breaking and royal connections to this fascinating town and to end your walk you can warm up in the tack room with a mince pie and a hot drink.

There are plentiful walks in and around Bury St Edmunds, so wrap up warm and head outside. Hardwick Heath offers 55 acres of wide-open parkland and is perfect for a bracing dog walk. Children can burn off some energy in the play area and there is a convenient car park.

For some quiet contemplation pay a visit to the historic Abbey Gardens where you can stroll through the formal gardens and herb garden, along the River Lark and past the 11th century Benedictine monastery -there is also an aviary. You will find much to spark the senses and pass the time...

Watch a Show 

Why not get away from sitting in front the television and take in some theatre or live music? 

Traditional pantomime comes in the form of Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal; On stage until 19th January, join Peter as he heads off for an adventure in Neverland; filled with fiendish pirates, funky mermaids and an incredibly hungry crocodile.

For anyone who enjoys a musical- you can’t get much more traditional that the fantastic ‘OLIVER’ by Lionel Bart. Performed by CTC (Children’s theatre company) at The Apex, this is the classic story of a young orphan in Victorian England who finds himself picking a pocket or two and includes toe-tapping numbers such as ‘Consider yourself’ and ‘Oom-pah-pah!’ The show runs from 30th December to the 4th January. 

For some fantastic live music, head along to The Bushel pub on St John’s street on 27th December. As well as an upbeat atmosphere you can also enjoy a range of local ales as yummy sharing platters before listening to music from winner of the Open Mic Awards 2018 Fiona Harber. Fusing pop and rock with funk and soul as well as notes of classical and Latina, Fiona is an extremely versatile performer who will be singing classics from the 50s alongside covers of Rag’n’Bone man and Tracey Chapman.

Take in some Culture

During the holiday season sometimes a change of scene is all we need. Palace house in Newmarket is open between Christmas and New Year and has a special exhibition called ‘George IV: Royalty, Racing and Reputation’ which explores the legacy of the infamous prince, his scandalous life and his prominent fascination with horse racing. The exhibition contains a plethora of pieces of art which all evoke the spirit of the sport, the life of the Prince himself as well as the jockeys and stable-lads with whom he rubbed shoulders.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral is pretty spectacular all year round, but during the festive period it's extra magical! On Boxing Day and New Year's Day, you can walk off your Christmas pudding with a tour of this historic building. The tour gives you the chance to find out more about the history, architecture, and stories of Suffolk's only cathedral.

For something a little different take a Ghostly and Macabre walk to learn about some of the most grim and unusual tales that lurk in the corners of Bury St Edmunds. Like Scrooge being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, you will find yourself being led around the ancient cobbles of the old town and through the Great Churchyard whilst listening to your kindly guides’ light hearted stories of ghostly apparitions, spectres and monks.

Head to The Apex Gallery to view over 150 prints and hundreds of digital images showcase the skill of the talented members of the Bury St Edmunds Photographic Society.. Discover some of the town's unique scenes caught on camera including portrait, landscape, nature, urban and sport. Prints will be available to purchase and members of the club will often be available to answer questions. The cafe is also open so stop by and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake.

Cleanse the Palette

Saturday 28th December sees the return of the regular Wyken Farmers Market, taking place as usual next to the Leaping Hare Pub. Mingle among the many stalls selling sumptuous produce aplenty, and pick up some fresh and healthy ingredients to make a change from all the Christmas leftovers and chocolate. Find fresh fish, meat and game, fresh fruit and vegetables, organic produce and artisan bread and pastries. You can even pick up a bouquet of beautifully arranged freshly cut flowers and jars of local honey.

If you are finding yourself stuffed full after a few days of overindulgence perhaps you should pay a visit to The Angel Hotel for a lighter alternative. Their delicious afternoon tea consists of a range of teas from around the world, savoury delights, scones and jam as well as delicate and light cakes. All of this in the gorgeous tranquil setting of the restaurant with it’s contemporary opulence.

A Spot of Retail Therapy

Avid shoppers out there won’t want to miss the bargains up for grabs at the sales between Christmas and New Year. Head to the Arc Shopping Centre where you will find high street brands such as H&M, Topshop, Debenhams, Next, Joules and many more. As well as the popular brands you’d expect to find, Bury St Edmunds boasts a range of independent and individual boutiques that you won’t find anywhere else. Take a leisurely break from shopping with a stop off at one of the many high quality coffee shops in the center; our coffee and cafes guide will give you plenty of inspiration!

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