If you know Suffolk, you’ll already be in no doubt that Bury St. Edmunds earns its place on any Best of British list when it comes to visit-worthy destinations. With the nation on the cusp of freedom, staycation is the word on everyone’s lips but no one’s keen to rub shoulders in an overpopulated tourist hotspot this year.  The Evening Standard is shining a spotlight on what it’s calling ‘quiet, alternative mini-break destinations’ and beautiful Bury St. Edmunds makes the list alongside Southport, Ludlow, The Llyn Peninsula and Chester.

Bury St Edmunds

Best known for its Abbey Gardens, the ruins of the impressive Abbey of St Edmund and the imposing St Edmundbury Cathedral, the town is steeped in history and charm. With so much stunning outdoor space, it’s the perfect location to wander, admire the flowers or stop for a picnic.

If lockdown has left you in need of retail therapy, you won’t be disappointed. The Arc shopping centre puts all the high street favourites in one place and you’ll find a good selection of independent retailers and boutiques dotted around the town centre.

It’s easy to stay local with a staycation in Suffolk because there’s so much to see without the need to travel far.

Ickworth Rotunda

The Rotunda at Ickworth House and Gardens (National Trust).

Neighbouring beauty spots include:

  • Ickworth House, a National Trust Park and Gardens
  • Lavenham, where you’ll find a picture-perfect village with half-timbered Medieval cottages and plenty of tearooms for a takeaway coffee and cake break.
  • Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve, a relaxing spot for taking in some fresh air and an abundance of wildlife.
  • Thetford Forest Park.  There is so much space in this vast woodland that you can walk, cycle or segway your way through trail after trail without seeing another sole if you want to.