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5 Reasons to Choose Bury for a Shopping Weekend

If you love to shop, there’s few places more inviting or charming than historic Bury St Edmunds. Big brands and high street names can be found alongside independent boutiques and stores!

1. Combine heritage with the contemporary

Mum and young daughter shopping Rebecca Austin 965x540

Love fashion and modern design? Love history, Georgian architecture and natural beauty too? In Bury St Edmunds, you don’t have to choose between the two. Shoppers can find all their favourite brands and the latest fashions in this uniquely special town.

Bury St Edmunds is a vibrant, friendly and exceptionally pleasurable place to shop. The town centre is dotted with historically important buildings, some of which date back to the Middle Ages.

Abbeygate Street, the Buttermarket and the Traverse form the historical centre. Here, Marks & Spencer, White Stuff and Sea Salt nestle among independent retailers selling a range of clothes, shoes, jewellery, gifts, toys, food and homewares.

You’ll also find a mix of large and small retailers catering to eclectic tastes on St John's Street and the roads leading off from Abbeygate Street including Hatter Street and Whiting Street.

2. The Arc Shopping Centre

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The £60 million arc Shopping Centre, built on the site of the former cattle market, adds a modern dimension to Bury St Edmunds.

The arc is also home to many fashion favourites, including Next, Fat Face, Hobbs, Joules, River Island, Clarks, H & M and New Look.

After you’ve stocked up on new season trends or sale bargains, spoil yourself or someone special at Pandora, Smiggle, Paperchase, Waterstones, The Perfume Shop or L’Occitane.

3. Bury St Edmunds’ historic market

Woman Shopping in Bury St Edmunds Rebecca Austin 965x540

The street market, held on Cornhill and the Buttermarket, on Wednesdays and Saturdays has been a feature in Bury St Edmunds since the 11th century and is still considered one of the best provision markets in East Anglia.

Livestock and corn may no longer be sold but you can still find fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance every Wednesday and Saturday, as well as fish, meat, eggs, coffee, locally baked bread, flowers, jewellery, cards, homewares, clothes, fabric, hardware, pet food and many other speciality items.

You can also grab lunch or a quick bite from the hot food vendors if you want to maximise your shopping time!

Across Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding towns of Lavenham, Long Melford and Clare there's an abundance of Farmers Markets and Craft Markets too - take a look at our 'What's On' guide for further details.

4. Relax and recharge

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If you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped, revive in a fantastic range of cafés and eateries that includes award-winning restaurants, independent bistros, historic pubs and revitalising cafés and tea rooms.

There’s something for every taste and budget in Bury St Edmunds. Treat yourself to a long lunch at 1921, Maison Bleue, Pea Porridge, Voujon, Zen Noodle Bar, Damson & Wilde, The Olive Grove, Edmundo Lounge, or The Angel Hotel or recharge with a cup of coffee or tea and a tasty meal or snack in a cosy independent café. Try No5 Angel Hill, Really Rather Good, Lounge & Garden, Bay Tree Cafe, Midgar or Cafe Kottani.

Bury St Edmund’s many pubs are also popular spots for satisfying meals and a restorative post-shopping drink. Check out The One Bull, The Fox Inn, The Bushel, Oakes Barn, The King's Arms and Masons Arms. Well-known restaurants, including Prezzo, Bills, Wagamama, Byron Burger, and Pizza Express, as well as a variety of vibrant bars, offer even more choice for flagging shoppers.

Take a look at our 'Coffee Lovers Guide to Cafes and Coffee Shops' and '6 of the Best Award Winning Restaurants' for more inspiration!

5. Beyond Bury St Edmunds

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In Suffolk’s historic ‘wool towns’, you’ll discover true craftsmanship as well as traditional and contemporary art, gifts, toys, individual homewares, antiques and clothes.

In Lavenham, take a stroll around England’s best preserved and picturesque medieval village as you explore lots of independent shops and boutiques.

In Long Melford, the tree-lined High Street is home an array of independent stores selling antiques, rugs, gifts and clothes among other items.

The ancient market town of Sudbury is also home to a range of independent shops: visit on a fine Thursday or Saturday to discover its market.

Suffolk's smallest town, Clare, offers shoppers small boutiques, antiques shops and art galleries.

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