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Top places to live in Suffolk Bury St Edmunds

"The jewel in the crown of Suffolk". The streets here are lined with pastel-hued town houses, independent shops and a lively food and arts scene, meaning this market town certainly lives up to its name. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY? 

Bury is a perfectly sized town, with everything you need on your doorstep including independent shops and mainstream chains, theatres, and a fab foodie scene, plus it’s rather pleasing on the eye with its gorgeous candy-coloured houses, historical ruins, medieval quarter and cathedral.

EAT

*Sound the klaxon* Bury is home to the county’s first Michelin-starred restaurant! Pea Porridge on Cannon Street is a relaxed, quaint foodie haunt serving superb locally-sourced dishes. For fine French fare head to Maison Bleue on Churchgate Street. The Northgate Hotel does fine dining and cool cocktails in a stylish setting. , while award-winning food is on the menu at 1921 Angel Hill.

SHOP

Bury has two sides when it comes to the shops – a modern addition by the Cattle Market car park houses all the big chains (Debenhams, River Island, Joules, Waterstones etc.) while you’ll find independent shops lining the historic streets near the Abbey – Javelin and Anna for fashion, and The Parsley Pot and Quest for gifts. The lively market takes place on the Butter Market every Wednesday and Saturday, and there’s an annual Food Festival too. The Christmas market is the biggest event in the calendar, attracting 130,000 visitors.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Ickworth House and Park is one of the most stunning National Trusts in the UK and my absolute favourite place to go for walks followed by lunch in the Orangery. Bury is also home to the only surviving Regency playhouse in Britain, The Theatre Royal, where you can see all the latest shows, in the amazing pre-Victorian setting. The Greene King Brewery is just across the road too, which does brilliant tours and keeps the air above Bury smelling constantly of beer and makes the people who live there constantly merry!

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Above the national average but not too eye-watering considering the lovely location at £324,382.

HOT PROPERTY

A short stroll from Abbey Gardens is this five-bedroom detached property in fab-u-lous grounds, on sale for £850,000.

SCHOOLS

Good schools around this area include the pastorally strong South Lee, which we can personally vouch for, and the stately Culford School, four miles north of the town, which is known for its amazing facilities and excellence when it comes to sports. A bit further afield, but still manageable on a daily basis on one of their school buses, is Ipswich School, which is the leading school academically in the county.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Charles Dickens, who set part of The Pickwick Papers here and enjoyed stays at the Angel Hotel, described Bury St Edmunds as a “handsome town of thriving and cleanly experience,” and we wholeheartedly agree. It’s also home to the UK’s smallest pub – The Nutshell.

COMMUTE

63 miles and 1 hour and 38mins from Bury St Edmunds to London Liverpool Street – not direct, you need to change at Stowmarket. Commuters here tend to head into Cambs, which is 28 miles away and easily accessed via train or the A14.

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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