Whether you're a history lover or simply want a picnic in a park, the Abbey Gardens provides a beautiful backdrop in which to enjoy.
Seasonal opening times
- Summer - 1 April to 31 August, Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 8pm, Sundays and bank holidays 9am to 8pm.
- Mid-season - September and March, Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 6pm, Sundays and bank holidays 9am to 6pm.
- Winter - 1 October to the last day in February, Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 5pm, Sundays and bank holidays 9am to 5pm.
Free to enjoy
Bury St Edmunds
About the Abbey Gardens
The Abbey Gardens is made up of different areas, a brief description of each can be found below. The ruins of an 11th century Benedictine monastery also lay within the gardens. You can find out more about the Abbey Gardens and its history at Visit Bury St Edmunds, Abbey Gardens
Appleby Rose Garden
Originally an orchard, this is now a beautiful and established rose garden with over 400 rose bushes. The rose garden is named after John Appleby, an American serviceman who served with the 487th Bomb Group in Lavenham. A donation of royalties from his book 'Suffolk Summer' saw the rose garden come to life. A bench made from the wing of an American 'Flying Fortress Bomber' and a memorial stone pays tribute to the many US servicemen and women stationed in Suffolk.
The formal beds and borders greet you as you walk through the Great Gate. With benches along the perimeter, this is the perfect spot for enjoying a few moments' peace and quiet whilst watching the world go by.
Children's play area
A well-equipped play area and treehouse nestle within a willow maze, there is lots for the adventurous (and not so) to do. There is also a sand and water area so don't forget your bucket and spade!
Pilgrims herb garden
The garden features many traditional medicinal plants believed to cure most ills and also ward off evil spirits. It was inspired by a now famous manuscript written at the Abbey in the 13th century which is housed in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Designed with the visually impaired in mind, this garden is full of fragrant and tactile plants for everyone to enjoy.
The River Lark runs along the eastern side of the Abbey Gardens. The Abbey historically used the river as a power supply and trading route.
The water garden
Tranquil and calming, the water garden is a relaxing place to enjoy some shade on sunny summer days.
Wildlife feeding area
There is a special wildlife feeding area within the Abbey Gardens. It is near the dovecote, past the children's play area and over the bridge. The dovecote was designed to home the pigeons so that visitors walking under the Great Gate didn't receive any unwanted gifts! Please only feed the local wildlife near the dovecote as this will encourage them to stay close to it.
There is a small aviary with a variety of birds. There is no charge to see the birds.
Two courts are available to book from 8am Monday to Saturday and from 9am on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Latest booking times for the courts are seasonal and are as follows:
- Summer - 1 April to 31 August, 6pm.
- Mid-season - September and March, 4pm.
- Winter - 1 October to the last day in February, 3pm.
£5 per court, per hour
To book and pay use Clubspark
- Banner hire for advertising
- From 5 January 2021 the Kiosk is closed under the national lockdown restrictions.
- Shop selling gifts and plants - opening hours Thursday to Sunday 10am - 4pm.
- Toilets – opening hours Monday to Saturday 8am - 6.30pm and Sunday 8.30am - 6.30pm. Attendant present every day from 12noon.
- The refreshments kiosk is closed, but Queen Bee Coffee are here with takeaway refreshments Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm.
Abbey Gardens friends
Visit the Abbey Gardens Friends website for more information.