Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk England is a wonderful town absolutely brimming with history and things to do. If you’re looking for a break to the area and want a place to rest your head for a couple of nights (I recommend at least 2, we had just 1 and I wish we’d had longer!) then I suggest taking a look at The Angel Hotel which is situated in the centre of town, right next to the Abbey of St Edmunds.
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The hotel has everything that you’d need for a short break to the town and puts you right in the centre of everything you might want to do whether that’s taking in the amazing religious history of the area, sampling the ale made in the town on the ale trail or just exploring the gorgeous streets.
Disclaimer – We stayed in The Angel Hotel courtesy of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond as part of a press trip. This review post was not required but we had such a nice time that we wanted to show off the hotel a bit more anyway!
Why choose The Angel?
There are a number of hotels in the area of Bury St Edmunds but I think what makes The Angel stand out so much is that it is in the absolute best part of town for any exploring you might want to do. It is situated right in front of the Abbey Gate – they medieval gatehouse that was built for the Abbey – and you can get some amazing views of it from the hotel itself.
Being so close makes the entire town walkable. I love to be able to forget about the car and just put on some comfy shoes to explore – you can do that with ease here.
You’re also getting everything you need with an amazing restaurant on site, a bar and of course the rooms which I’ll show you in a minute. It’s a really great package of a hotel.
We went to Bury St Edmunds as a couple and it’s a great place for a romantic stay. If you’re coming as a family they do have some rooms that will accommodate more people too.
History of the Angel Hotel
There’s no getting away from the grandeur of the hotel with it’s Georgian architecture. It was built in 1780 and was a coaching inn for people going to and from London, at least until the railways were built. As you arrive with your car you can drive under the archway which would have been used for the horses and coaches at the time.
The outside of the hotel is stunning even in winter when we visited – you can see in the picture at the top of this post that it’s gorgeous in the summer too when the ivy clad front and flowers are in full bloom!
There have been many famous visitors to the hotel – the most impressive perhaps being that of Charles Dickens. He was said to have stayed there several times while writing his Pickwick Papers novel. He even mentioned the hotel in the book. He’s commemorated with a Blue Plaque just outside the hotel.
The Charles Dickens connection continues to this day as the hotel and area just outside it was used as a backdrop in the most recent David Copperfield film.
We stayed in one of the Contemporary Suite Rooms and I was really struck by how they managed to keep the historic feel of the hotel while not making it stuffy at all. The room uses contemporary design and quirky touches all the way through which brings it all up to the modern day.
Our room had lots of space – I have been unlucky enough to have some pretty cramped rooms to stay in recently so this was a real treat.
All the rooms look different which I like. There’s even a Charles Dickens suite with a four post bed and a slightly more classic look to it – this is the room he had actually stayed in!
I wasn’t sure if we’d get one of these amazing copper baths so I was super excited to walk in to our room and see it there in all its glory! The bathroom was huge and James, who is a stickler for baths being just right, heartily recommends the bath. Me being a short person doesn’t have the issue that he has when trying to lay down in a bath!!
Room with a view
Not all of the rooms have a view of the Abbey Gate, where you can go through to explore the Abbey Gardens, but our one did. If a nice view is important to you then I recommend that you check the room type you’re looking to book and request one with a landmark view or double check with the hotel beforehand.
You don’t have to have the most expensive rooms to get this view either which is great!
Restaurant and eating options
The Angel Hotel has a really lovely restaurant called The Eaterie and we dined there in the evening plus also had our breakfast there. The hotel does also do room service if you’d prefer to eat in your room.
I had been taking part in Veganuary when we were staying there and I was a little worried that it would make my food options a little limited. I needn’t have worried at all. Not only did they have a complete menu for vegans it had choice too! I really appreciated that fact. I have to say that the waiting staff were excellent with my questions about the food too.
The food was delicious, well presented and the ambiance of the restaurant was just perfect – not too stuffy but just relaxed and enjoyable. I highly recommend the Eton mess if they have it for dessert! James had the regular meat filled menu and also loved it!
As well as the restaurant there was a bar that was separate if you just wanted to come in for a drink.
The whole look of the hotel was really impressive with a gorgeous blue colour scheme throughout. I felt like it was somewhere that was modern and classy and somewhere that you could really enjoy some time, even if you weren’t staying the night and just wanted somewhere to eat or have a drink.
Where and how to book
I tend to use a booking comparison site like Hotels Combined if I know exactly which hotel I’m looking to book. They’ll comb the hotel booking sites and show you which one has the best deals for your dates.
Alternatively take a look at the hotel’s website as it can sometimes be a better way to book – they have some offers on as well that you can see here.