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6 things to do in Bury St Edmunds this Summer

With lockdown restrictions easing, make the most of the summer and enjoy these days out in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond...

With lockdown restrictions easing, summer can now be filled with memorable days out once again. From bike rides and archery to movies and mazes, check out these 6 things to do in Bury St Edmunds this summer!

1. Go to a drive in music concert at Lavenham

Combining the love of cars and music, live music drive-in events will take place in Lavenham this summer! The Midsummer Drive-In Concerts, by Oep Live, take place over the weekend of 14th - 16th August 2020 in the picturesque Drive-In Lavenham Arena, Suffolk. Kicking off will be Robbie Gladwell and his band featuring Harry Greane on 14th August, followed by Europe's top Queen tribute act 'A Crazy Little Thing Called Queen' on the 15th, and 'A Saucerful of Floyd - The Pink Floyd Tribute Show' on the 16th.

Strict safety guidelines are being implemented and these include sitting in your car or your private adjacent open air picnic area. Soak up the summer sun as the gates open from 5pm, with the shows starting at 7pm and ending at 9.30pm. 

2. Visit Bury St Edmunds' glorious gardens 

Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and discover the fantastic array of gardens that Bury St Edmunds has to offer. From verdant swathes of parkland to quiet corners for contemplation, there are some top horticultural gems for you to set out and discover.

Combining a fascinating history with horticulture, no visit to this historic town of Bury St Edmunds would be complete without a stroll through the impressive Abbey Gardens. 

Surrounding the Georgian Italianate Palace, the 1800 acres of parkland and gardens at Ickworth House, Park & Gardens are a must-see when visiting Suffolk. Walk through the rolling landscape and woodland which offer a glimpse of the palace's rather grand Rotunda or stroll through the walled garden and seasonal meadow which are especially fragrant in summer.

Take a leisurely woodland walk at Nowton Park 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 during the summer months. 

Enjoy the 110 acres of parkland and 65 acres of pleasure grounds at Euston Hall; walking through the garden’s balustrade terraces and the many herbaceous borders before enjoying the formal rose gardens and perfectly manicured lawns. Euston Hall's gardens are open August 25-31 and September 14-20. Please note that you need to book your visit in advance, visit the website for more information https://www.eustonhall.co.uk/visit.

Or soak up the fragrant smells of summer in the gardens of Kentwell Hall. Start with the three quarter mile long Avenue of ancient limes on your way to the hall, and enjoy the Walled Garden, which still retains the shape of its early origins with the additions of a large Herb Garden and a Potager. The shrubbery boasts magnificent Acers and a succession of spring bulbs and flowers and sit amongst Wild Pyramid orchids on the lawn. Please note that you need to book your visit in advance, visit the website for more information https://www.kentwell.co.uk/events/house-and-gardens-early-summer.

3. A picnic in the Abbey Gardens

The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds provides a beautiful backdrop in which to enjoy a picnic with the family. There are plenty of places to pop down your blanket, sit amongst the stunning flower gardens and admire the many floral displays. In spring, 12,000 plants are planted along with a whopping 20,000 bulbs in the autumn, so come summer, they make quite the spectacle!

Children will love the wildlife feeding area and you can pay visit to the cafe, once the sandwiches and lemonade have been consumed, for takeaway ice creams.

4. Family Adventure Archery at Nowton Park

A great activity that the whole family can enjoy! On 26th June, Explore Outdoor will be running its first Family Adventure Session at Nowton Park. 

The 90 minute private session will give you the opportunity to learn archery basics, hone your skills with games and battle it out with a family-friendly competition. The 90 minute session costs £50 (for up to 5 people), and children participating must be aged 6 or over, 

5. Bike ride at National Trust Ickworth Park

The Ickworth River Linnet cycle route at National Trust Ickworth is perfect for all levels of cyclist. A moderate route taking 45 minutes - 1.5 hours (depending on whether you want a leisurely or pacey ride), you will start at Ickworth Lodge, travelling along the River Linnet and up past the Walled Garden and St. Mary’s Church. 

Alternatively, if you're feeling energetic, the 3 hour/6 mile Monument Route takes you past Parson's pond, Albana Wood, the walled garden, canal lake, family church and Fairy lake at Ickworth. 

Please note that you need to book your visit in advance, visit the website for more information https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth

6. Explore Nowton Park

There's plenty to see and do at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds. Take a walk through the arboretum which is home to trees from around the world and look out for the panda which was carved and placed in the China region and, near the centre of the North America region, the 35.4 ft totem pole! 

Find a spot to enjoy a picnic or pay a visit to the Grounds Café at Nowton Park for sandwiches, meals, hot and cold drinks and ice creams (currently providing takeaway).