Blog

Brand New Tours For Abbey’s 1000th Anniversary

Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides have unveiled a series of special brand-new tours for 2020 to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund.

In 2019, around 2,500 visitors to Bury St Edmunds undertook tours of the town and the ruins of the Abbey, from 32 different countries.  

In this special anniversary year, the Tour Guides are preparing for an increase in interest in the Abbey of St Edmund and have created six new tours which are Abbey-specific and will be launched to coincide with the Bury St Edmunds Festival in May.


These special tours describe what life was like for the abbots and monks within the Abbey; times of turbulence and what happened after the Abbey was dissolved.  The tours have been extensively researched and will be delivered by the Town Guides over 90 minutes in an entertaining and informative way.  

In addition, a new 45-minute Bite-Size Abbey Tour will be aimed at those busy people who may want to enjoy a quick overview of the Abbey’s history in their lunch break. The ‘Funny Stories for an Abbey Birthday’ tour, which will be run during school holidays, is specifically aimed at children aged six and over and include activities suitable for youngsters.

The first Patron Saint of England and King of East Anglia, Saint Edmund was enshrined in the Abbey consequently lending his name to the town, which was built around it. The shrine brought visits from across the UK and abroad including Royalty as the Abbey became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England.

Town Guide John Saunders, of Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides, said: “Already in 2020 interest in our intended tours is high with one well-known cruise-line wanting Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides to take its passengers on tours of the town as part of their on-shore excursions.

“We hope that visitors and residents alike will enjoy these new tours and in particular workers and visitors pressed for time in the town will get out and enjoy our new Bite Size Abbey Tour during their lunch break in the beautiful surroundings of the Abbey Gardens.”

New Abbey Tours

* Abbey Habits – Everyday life in the Abbey of St Edmund

* The Dark Side of The Abbey – Explore turbulent events in the life of the Abbey

* The Legacy of The Abbey – Find out what happened after the Abbey was closed    down

* Circling The Abbey – Explore the boundaries of the Abbey precinct

* Bite-Size Abbey – A 45-minute lunchtime tour of the Abbey for busy people

* Funny Stories for an Abbey Birthday – An activity tour of the Abbey for ages six and over

For more information and to book the tours visit www.burystedmundstourguides.or... or book at The Apex or Cathedral Visitor Information Point. Tickets are £7, under 16s free. Bite-Size Abbey tours are £5, under 16s free.

For details of all Abbey 1000 events visit www.abbeyofstedmund1000.co.uk.