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Dickens' Angel

The blue plaque at the front of The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds marks Charles Dickens’ visits to the former coaching inn immortalized in his Pickwick Papers but the hotel is about to about to gain more notoriety when it appears in a new Dickens movie.

“And this,” said Mr. Pickwick, looking up, “is the Angel! We alight here, Sam.”

You cannot miss the blue plaque at the front of The Angel Hotel, installed on the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth to commemorate his visits to Bury St Edmunds and a thank you to the man who featured the former coaching inn and the town in his book The Pickwick Papers. 

Dickens, who created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, first stayed at The Angel in 1835 as a journalist for the Morning Chronicle (staying in what was then room 11).


In 1859 and 1861 he returned to The Angel to read to a captive audience at the nearby The Athenaeum, staying in what is now room 215, now known as the Charles Dickens Suite (pictured below). 

He gave readings at The Athenaeum from The Pickwick Papers on 13 October 1859 and again on 30 October 1861 when he read from A Personal History of David Copperfield.

The Georgian ivy clad 4 star boutique hotel and restaurant surprises with a twist of urban chic. The hotel is right in the centre of Bury St Edmunds town centre and everything is just a step away. 

Once inside, The Angel  is a curious contrast of comfy contemporary design with touches of exotic grandeur. 

Warm leather sofas vie for your company in the lounge, which is filled with curiosities, pop art, eccentric oddities and cool vintage furniture. 


It is a hotel of many different aspects all artfully blended together into an exciting package and the bedrooms are no exception. The Angel's Eaterie restaurant has a great reputation and dining here is a culinary treat.

Head Chef Scott Taylor is passionate about cooking with local ingredients for inspirational and interesting dishes in The Angel's award-winning 2 rosette Eaterie.  The menu encompasses our surroundings and represents the perfect Suffolk culinary experience.

The hotel runs a range of special events, wine nights and foodie nights throughout the year including Vegan Thursdays. 

The Angel's ground floor refurbishment completed in April 2019, features some wonderful nods to Dickens including quotes from the author on mirrors.

Hotel owner Robert Gough said: “The Angel plays a big part in the history of Bury St Edmunds. It’s iconic.

“Our refurbishment drew inspiration from the past with nods to Charles Dickens, who mentioned The Angel in The Pickwick Papers.”

Bury St Edmunds and The Angel itself feature  in The Pickwick Papers, and The Angel has embraced this with artwork and copies of Dickens' books in and among a new look which showcases the hotel's Georgian roots. 

Guests can also sample one of the new signature Dickens inspired cocktails in the bar area including Great Expectations (Suffolk dry gin, martini dry, Ardberg, with a lemon twist), A Tale of Two Tipples (Chase vodka, lemon juice, prosecco, and sugar), and The Artful Dodger (Kraken Spiced Rum, lime juice, ginger beer and angostura bitters).

To coincide with the release of The Personal History of David Copperfield on January 24 a new cocktail was adding to the Dickens Drinks List - The David Copperfield!

Made with British vodka, zesty pink grapefruit and fresh thyme it is The Angel's current favourite as an aperitif or perhaps to enjoy before you head to the cinema ...


While the Charles Dickens Suite has been preserved in keeping with Dickens’s visit, The Angel is eclectic and cosmopolitan chic, with rooms designed to suit everyone's taste. 

The individual nature of each room makes staying here a personal experience. All rooms are en suite, with thoughtful touches like warm tones and Temple Spa toiletries. 

If you are looking for an upgrade, a selection of our suites come with elegant copper baths.


Scenes for Armando Iannucci's The Personal History of David Copperfield based on Dickens' novel and stars Dev Patel, were shot in front of The Angel on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds in July 2018.

 It is fitting that the film is scheduled for release on 24 January 2020, 185 years after Dickens first stayed there.


Plan your stay in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond now with some unmissable savings on our offers page!

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