Moyse's Hall Museum
A medieval building situated in the heart of Bury St Edmunds historic cobbled streets, Moyse's Hall Museum is home to an eclectic selection of exhibitions and collections including a world class collection of horology including rare timepieces bequeathed by musician and clock collector Frederic Gershom Parkington; fine art by renowned local artists Mary Beale, England's first professional female painter and Bury St Edmunds born artist Sybil Andrews; plus regularly changing exhibitions in the Great Hall.
The Museum also offers people the chance to discover Bury St Edmunds fascinating and rather gruesome past fascinating view into the past with collections that document the dissolution of the Abbey of St Edmund, prison paraphernalia and items relating to the notorious Red Barn Murder, local superstitions and witchcraft. Featuring six Terrible Tales by Terry Deary, best-selling author and creator of the hugely popular Horrible Histories books, with some grisly and gruesome interactive displays for children and adults.
St Edmundsbury Cathedral
No trip to Bury St Edmunds would be complete without a visit to St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Over 1,000 years ago, the death of Edmund, King of the East Angles, at the hands of the Danes in 869 led to the building of an abbey to house his remains. Over the centuries, notably during the reign of Henry VIII, the abbey was demolished, with St James’s Church being built within the precincts of the Abbey, and becoming a Cathedral in 1914.
The Cathedral building has been restored and developed over the years with the addition of the Millennium Tower, completed in 2005, and its magnificent painted and gilded vault, added in 2010.
Tickets for tours of the Cathedral are available from the Cathedral Shop.
Get out of the rain and go to the movies! When it's wet outside you will find a warm welcome at Abbeygate Cinema, a beautifully modernised yet perfectly original 1920's cinema showing everything from timeless classics to box office latest releases!
The cinema is packed full of comfortable reclining seats and cosy sofas and you can also enjoy a glass of wine, beer or soft drink and tasty snacks from the bar whilst watching your film.
Book tickets online at Abbeygate Cinema website.
Ickworth House National Trust
When it's cold and wet outside then why not step into Georgian Italianate palace in an idyllic English landscape? Explore the impressive Rotunda at National Trust Ickworth an architectural marvel and a magnificent showcase commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless treasures collected on tours around Europe in the 18th-century.
For 200 years, the eccentric, and sometimes infamous, Hervey family added to the treasures inside and out, also creating the earliest Italianate garden in England. The exquisite craftmanship of the finest Huguenot silversmiths is breathtaking, and you can follow the family's history through outstanding portraits by Gainsborough, Hogarth and Reynolds. Experience 1930s domestic service in the restored servants' basement, sharing the real stories and memories of former staff who kept this country estate running.
Book tickets at National Trust Ickworth website.
Little Hall Lavenham
One of the oldest buildings in the best preserved of the Suffolk wool towns, Little Hall is a 14th Century house built for the Causton family of clothiers and its subsequent development has mirrored the changing fortunes of Lavenham.
Little Hall was restored by the Gayer-Anderson brothers in the 1920s and 30s and they filled the house with art and artefacts collected during their extensive global travels.
Visitors can enjoy wandering through the seven rooms and discover the treasures of Little Hall including the exotic Persian panels and the spectacular upper chamber with its striking crownpost. Outside, Little Hall's beautiful grounds combine a knot garden planted along Tudor lines and a traditional English walled garden.
Details on tickets and opening times can be found at Little Hall website.
Looking for somewhere that the kids can let off steam and have some fun? Then head to CurveMotion! Home to the biggest playframe in East Anglia, little ones will love charging around the soft play area; complete with tunnels, climbing nets, slides, climbing wall, battle canon zone, disco zone and huge 6ft vertical drop slide. For toddlers and babies, there's also a dedicated area with soft play and a ball pool.
After running riot in the soft play, pop on your roller skates and head to the roller skating rink for an hour or so of whizzing around the rink (and falling over too!). After all that racing around, head to the cafe for ice creams, milkshakes and lunch.
Tour this romantic moated redbrick Tudor mansion with extensive gardens and rare breed farm. Kentwell Hall is a very much a lived-in and loved family home, something it has been for over 500 years. The public can see much of the House, including rooms used by the family.
Wander through the original house and admire the classical elements, mixed with the owners' personal style. Tudor portraits, interesting artefacts and historic tapestries. In the gardens (if it's not torrential rain!) admire the romantic moats, extensive lawns, walled gardens, massive clipped yews, espaliered fruit trees and giant cedars surround the House.
Be sure to also pay a visit to the Moat House; a rare survivor of a 15th Century service building rises sheer from the moat and contains a working dairy, bakery, brewhouse and stillroom.
Book tickets at Kentwell Hall website.
National Horse Racing Museum - Newmarket
Enjoy a visit to the National Horse Racing Museum and make the most of a rainy day exploring it's three complementary attractions; the museum, a National Art Gallery of British Sporting Art, and a chance to meet former racehorses and learn what they do after racing, in the flagship home of Retraining of Racehorses.
Learn all there is to know about horseracing in the old Trainer's House and King's Yard Galleries; discover the town's 350 years of royal connections and find out what it's like to be a jockey. There's something to capture all imaginations here, children will love the scientific gallery where you can compare your anatomy to a thoroughbred and learn why they are the ultimate athlete. There's a range of Interactive and audio-visual displays too, and you can have a go yourself on the racehorse simulator and learn what it takes to be a jockey.
In the Rothschild Yard, you can meet the heroes of the sport as up to eight former racehorses are stabled here while they are retrained to go onto a new career after racing. Chat to the Retraining of Racehorses staff and learn all you need to know about these wonderful creatures.
Finish your day with a wander through the Fred Packard Museum and the Galleries of British Sporting Art; showcasing five centuries of art from sports with paintings by John Wootten, Francis Hayman, Sir Alfred Munnings and Peter Blake to name but a few.
Book tickets at The National Horse Racing Museum.
National Trust Lavenham Guildhall in Lavenham
Get out of the rain and step inside Lavenham Guildhall and discover some wonderful stories from The Guildhall's character connections and fascinating facts on your journey through the building's history.
Originally built as a religious meeting place for wealthy Catholic merchants, The Guildhall has also been used as a prison, a workhouse, a pub, a chapel and a social club for US troops stationed nearby during the Second World War
There's a journey of discovery over five centuries of history; seen through the eyes of the people who lived and worked here.
National Trust Melford Hall in Long Melford
For over two centuries Melford Hall has been the much loved family home of the Hyde Parkers. This unassuming mellow brick mansion is full of surprises with modern family photographs side-by-side with Tudor portraits.
National Trust Melford Hall has lots of stories to share about family life and about visits from the Hyde Parker's cousin Beatrix Potter - you can even see the original Jemima Puddle-duck toy that she gave to them. The Hyde Parkers are a naval family and there are lots of items around the house linked with their naval adventures and interests - including a ship's bell which can be rung. There are also fine collections of porcelain and furniture, including a very special year-going clock!
Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre
There's lots to do for the whole family on a rainy day at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre. Book a family swim session and have a splashing good time in the pirate pool with flumes. For adults, you can run up a sweat at one of the stations in their fully equipped gym, put yourself through your paces on the 8 lane athletics track and afterwards, relax in the sauna.
Afterwards, you can enjoy snacks, drinks and meals in the on-site Paddy & Scotts café.
Book online at https://www.acleisure.com/
The Apex Gallery
The Apex Gallery in the arc shopping centre is well known for its contemporary paintings and sculptures. Situated in a beautiful part of the town, you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing drink whilst exploring the stunning works of art on display and appreciating the incredible architecture of the building - The perfect way to while away an hour or two on a rainy day in our historic town!
The Apex Gallery holds a range of exhibitions throughout the year; featuring works by emerging and established artists, as well as engaging with West Suffolk's various community art groups, offering them an opportunity to display their work in a professional environment.
Suffolk Regiment Museum
Suffolk Regiment Museum was originally opened in 1935 and situated within the Regimental Depot site in Bury St Edmunds. The site included the Sergeants’ Mess and Officers’ Mess. In 1968, it was moved to its current location which is the former Armoury.
Displays in the museum document the history of the regiment, covering all battalions; regular, volunteer, war-time and militia, its foundation in the late 17th century to the experience of individual soldiers and is explored through various ephemera and collectables such as weapons, equipment, uniforms, medals and photographs.
The museum is open on Wednesdays and the first Sunday in the months between 9.30am and 3.30pm and can be visited at other times by appointment. Admission is free but booking is required with the museum curator.
Plan your visit at The Suffolk Regiment Museum website.
Daily Town Tours with a Brolly
There's a range of themed tours to choose from; Find out about the legend of St Edmund and the wolf, Bury St Edmunds’ connections to the Magna Carta, where Charles Dickens stayed, and the final resting place of a French Queen and Henry VIII’s beloved sister. Hear about the story of the great Abbey - once one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage sites whilst visiting the ruins and see the oldest Norman building in the country and the second oldest building in England.
The Food Museum
The Food Museum in Stowmarket, under an hour's drive from Bury St Edmunds is the UK’s official Food Museum, with a mission to connect people with where our food comes from and the impact of our choices: past, present and future.
From cheese-making to brewing, historic breads to seasonal eating, you can discover the heritage of food and the communities who grow and make it. With a range of indoor and outdoor exhibitions, all connected by food – social, historical, technological, industrial, environmental – it's an ideal place to enjoy a day 'showery' day out. Enjoy hands-on experiences which bring processes alive, wander through the buildings, trails and farm, and tuck into some of East Anglia's top produce in the cafe.
Plan your visit at https://foodmuseum.org.uk/
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