Town twinning

Participants in town twinning can select any particular aspect of the twinning to emphasise. Some communities place the emphasis on the development of commercial and business links between twinned communities, others may build on sports or the arts. Town twinning is widely recognised as an important aid to international understanding and friendship. Our twinned towns are shown below.

Bury St Edmunds and Compiègne, France

Bury St Edmunds and Compiègne have been twinned for over 40 years. Compiègne is situated in the Oise department in the Picardy region, about an hour from Paris.

Compiègne is rooted in history - a monument to Joan of Arc commemorates her capture there in 1430. In the 18th century Louis XV built a palace in Compiègne that was later restored by Napoleon I and is now used as an art museum. The Armistice was signed in Compiègne on 11 November 1918. Now, Compiègne is an important tourist centre with varied industries and is the home of a thriving technical university. To find out more about joining the Friends of Compiègne, contact Elizabeth Bailey on 01638 663792, 07740 775456 or by email at:

Bury St Edmunds and Kevelaer, Germany

In 1981, Bury St Edmunds was twinned with Kevelaer. It lies close to the Dutch border between the Rivers Maas in Holland and the Rhine. It was the existing relationship with the Royal Air Force stations  at Honington and Laarbruch that lead to town twinning. You can find out more about joining the 'Friends of Kevelaer' by contacting Diane Balaam on 01449 736374 or by email at:

Haverhill and Pont St Esprit, France

In 1973 Haverhill was twinned with Pont St Esprit, a town in the Gard District of southern France, on the banks of the Rhone and close to the mouth of the Ardeche gorge. Haverhill and District Twin Towns Association continues its successful exchange visits with Pont St Esprit.

Haverhill and Eringshausen, Germany

In 1982 Haverhill was twinned with Ehringshausen which is a small town in the Hessen region in Germany. It is the administrative centre for a group of eight outlying villages.

Mildenhall and Luc sur Mer, France

Mildenhall was twinned with Luc sur Mer in 1993 which is a small seaside town north of Caen. The relationship stemmed from the regular visits by Riverside Middle school children, over 1,000 pupils from the school have been to Luc sur Mer over the last 30 years. You can find more information from the Mildenhall and District Town Twinning Association

Newmarket and Maisons-Laffitte and Le Mesnil Le Roi

Newmarket was twinned with Maisons-Laffitte and its neighbouring town of Le Mesnil Le Roi in 1954. It is believed that this is the longest unbroken UK and French town twinning. The two French towns are about 15 miles west of Paris and like Newmarket, they have strong horse racing connections. If you would like more information contact Mike Nicholas, at the Newmarket Twinning Association on 01638 664531 or 01638 664596 or by email:

Other links of friendship

St Edmundsbury Borough and Huy, Belgium

Huy is a vibrant township in the French speaking part of Belgium, located on the wooded banks of the River Meuse midway between Liege and Namur. It is approximately two hours from Brussels. Some good community links have been developed between Huy and Bury St Edmunds as well as mutual school exchanges.

St Edmundsbury Borough and Godollo, Hungary

Godollo is 25 miles east of Budapest. It is a pleasant country town which serves as an important commercial, cultural and administrative centre for the local region. It is a university town and at its heart lies a magnificent palace, once a favourite residence of the ill-fated Empress Elizabeth of Austria who was also Queen of Hungary. Some residents of Bury St Edmunds have close family ties with Godollo and from those slender links the present friendship sprang.