After my cousin, Meghan and Mike’s wedding, Lin and I spent two delightful days exploring Bury St. Edmunds. On Saturday morning after another big English breakfast at the hotel, we went to the Outdoor Market held in the square a few blocks away. This tradition in Bury St. Edmunds has been in place twice a week–Wednesdays and Saturdays–dates back to before the days of William the Conqueror. Anything you might want was available at this market: food, flowers, clothes, hardware and technology. The booths went on and on.
After the market, Lin and I wandered around the Abbey gardens–I couldn’t keep Lin away from there because of his love for gardening. The gardens took our breath away.
We also toured Angel Hill across from the Abbey and saw the Atheneum and Angel Hotel.
In the afternoon, we took a free guided tour of the city, and the guide was exceptional. We went through the Abbey Gate onto the ruins of the Abbey which was gigantic.
Then still on the Abbey grounds, we saw the Old English Rose Garden, a permanent memorial to the American Servicemen stationed nearby and gave their lives.
The guide told us about a book we needed to read: Suffolk Summer written by John T. Appleby who was an American Serviceman who toured Suffolk County during World War II on a bicycle. The royalties from this book were devoted to maintaining the Old English Rose Garden on the Abbey grounds.
Because we both love to read, we hunted it down and finally found it the morning we were leaving Bury St. Edmunds at the Moyses museum–more about the museum in a coming blog.
We had so much fun reading the book and remembering places there in Bury St. Edmund’s that Appleby mentioned in his book like the Atheneum.
On the guided tour, we walked through neighborhoods of Bury St. Edmunds. The guide pointed out a wall in one area where rocks from the Abbey were used.
Then he took us to the smallest pub in England, the Nutshell. I don’t drink and I had to take a quick picture inside because the bartender demanded you had to buy a pint for coming in.
We ended the day meeting our family at a nearby pub, then Lin and I had a delicious dinner at the Cafe Rouge.
The next morning we met family members at St. Mary’s Anglican Church for the morning service. I’m Episcopalian so the service was very similar to what I was used to here in the USA. Afterwards a friendly churchman gave us a tour of the church, and we saw Mary Tudor’s tomb–she was buried there.
After church, Lin and I went to see the movie, “Dunkirk” at the local theater. We had found the theater the day before and the times of the show. Not knowing the procedure, we went there thirty minutes or so before showtime, thinking we could get good seats. The seats are sold online, so the only ones left were in the front row. I felt the bombing and explosions happened right in my lap, and I screamed.
We both were so glad to see the movie in the country it was about–the British saved the day with all kinds of private boats and ships to rescue the soldiers. As the story unfolded, we could feel the pride in the theater grow.
We had a leisure dinner at the Bushel and made it an early night because the next day we were taking the train to Cambridge with all of the family for the day.
Have you ever been to this part of England? Lin told me if anything ever happened to me, he would sell everything and move to either Bury St. Edmunds or some village in Ireland–he loved it so much.
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