The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

Hotel Review

The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds
The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds

The Angel Hotel is a luxury hotel and former historic coaching inn spread across Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Angel Hill.  No. 3 was the original building constructed around 1778 with the remainder added in the 1830’s.  Charles Dickens stayed at the hotel on two occasions, once in 1859 and again in 1861 when he gave readings in the adjacent Athenaeum.


The entrance to The Angel's car park through the archway
The entrance to The Angel’s car park through the archway

The Angel is situated in Suffolk, lying 32 miles north east of Cambridge and 82 miles from London.  The town has good road links whilst those arriving by train can take Greater Anglia services from either London Kings Cross or Liverpool Street stations.  The hotel affords the best spot in town taking pride of place atop Angel Hill with views across to the abbey ruins and St. Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Arrival and check-in:  

We arrived by car and as instructed on our reservation email, drove through the old stone arch that would at one time have been used by coaches and horses delivering guests to the coaching inn.  A concierge appeared as we approached and welcomed us to the hotel.  He then took our car keys as the hotel provides complimentary valet parking, unloaded our luggage from the boot and led us into the hotel’s entrance hall.

Reception, Bury St. Edmunds, The Angel Hotel
The reception desk

The reception area is very discreet comprising of a circular table on top of a pedestal of books positioned in one corner of the hall.  Here we were greeted by a very pleasant receptionist called Vanessa who had us checked in very quickly.  After being asked if we would like a morning paper and arranging a time for breakfast, we then followed the concierge who kindly carried our luggage up to our room on the first floor.

The Room:

Ivy Copper Room, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
Our Ivy Copper Room

We’d arranged to stay in one of the hotel’s Ivy Copper Rooms which oozed luxury and definitely had the wow factor with a huge freestanding shiny, copper bath taking central stage.  I adore having a relaxing soak and looked forward to luxuriating in a bath of bubbles later.

Ivy Copper Room, The Angel, Bury St Edmunds
The beautiful copper bath at the foot of our bed

Although the hotel is located in an historic building, its furnishings are contemporary styled blending in beautifully with the room’s original features.  With high ceilings, ornate cornices and a large fireplace with a marble surround, our spacious room was extremely comfortable.

Guest room, The Angel, Bury St Edmunds
Our beautiful room with its large Georgian paned glass windows

The king sized bed came dressed with high thread Egyptian cotton bed linen and boasted a large floral headboard, feather filled burgundy and grey cushions and a Welsh wool throw.  A pair of armchairs at the foot of the bed had been upholstered with the same fabric and in between them was a coffee table stocked with a cafetière, teas, coffee, hot chocolate and Borders biscuits.

Copper bath tub, The Angel, Bury St. Edmunds
The shiny freestanding copper bath

Not only that, but a bag of Southwold Pier sweet treats and two sticks of rock labelled ‘life is sweet’ had been left on the bed for us.  You might wonder why there was seaside rock when we were staying inland, the reason being that the owners of the hotel also operate Southwold Pier, along the Suffolk coast.

View from the Angel Hotel bedroom window, Bury St. Edmunds
The view from our bedroom window

From our two large Georgian windows there were views across the square to the Abbey Gardens, and although centrally located, the hotel was perfectly quiet.  As well as being in raptures over the shiny copper bath, the bathroom was lovely too.  With a large walk-in shower with easy to use controls, fragrant Bamboo and Jasmine Bath House toiletries, large bath towels, fluffy bathrobes and slippers we felt very pampered.

Hospitality tray, The Angel, Bury St Edmunds
The large variety of teas, coffee and chocolate provided in our room

The room benefitted from high speed WiFi which worked well throughout the hotel and did not need re-connecting during our stay.  There was also a large wall mounted television, a hairdryer, iron and a black retro telephone providing us with everything we needed for a pleasant stay.


The Eaterie, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
The hotel’s Eaterie restaurant

The Eaterie faces the cocktail bar just inside the hotel’s main entrance.  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve dined in as it has been tastefully modernised making it cheerful and very inviting.  With blue banquette seating lining its walls and colour coordinated crushed velvet down the centre, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Dinner: The restaurant was buzzing with activity on the evening we dined there but as we’d booked early, had managed to bag a window table overlooking the square.  The award winning 2 rosette Eaterie has a smart casual dress code which everyone seemed to adhere to and I believe to be a good idea as dining at The Eaterie did feel like a sense of occasion.  Service was friendly and attentive and after ordering drinks we perused the menu selecting pan fried scallops and duck liver parfait for our starters.  These were both beautifully plated and tasted delicious.

The Angel, Bury St. Edmunds
The Eaterie restaurant

All food is locally sourced wherever possible and our mains of slow roasted pork belly and aged black Angus sirloin steak were very flavoursome and of a generous size.  Our waitress advised that we’d probably only need one side to share and her suggestion of sautéed greens was a perfect accompaniment to our dishes.

Aged Black Angus steak at The Eaterie, The Angel, Bury St. Edmunds
My Aged Black Angus Steak served with triple cooked chips

Being unable to resist desserts we tucked into sticky toffee pudding with ginger nut ice cream and poached pear with florentines and vanilla ice cream.  These were both delectable and a perfect way to end our evening.

The Eaterie, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
Breakfast at The Eaterie

Breakfast: This is also served in The Eaterie.  We’d arranged to come down at 8.30 a.m. so that we could enjoy a relaxing breakfast whilst still making the most of the day.  Guests can sit wherever they please so we rung the changes and opted for a table at the rear of the restaurant where I comfortably sat on the banquette seating propped up with a feather filled cushion.

Breakfast, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
Breakfast in The Eaterie

The Angel doesn’t offer a buffet but instead guests are able to select whatever they wish from the à la care menu.  As with dinner, service was friendly and attentive.  We came to life with a freshly brewed cafetière of coffee then sipped freshly squeezed orange juice whilst studying the menu.  We both opted for bowls of granola topped with Greek yoghurt and honey followed by full Suffolk breakfasts.  These had been freshly prepared and tasted just as good as they looked.  We didn’t really need anything else but greedily tucked into some hot toast with lashings of butter and marmalade.

The Facilities:

Cocktail bar, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
The hotel’s cocktail bar

The cocktail bar faces the restaurant and is located on the other side of the main entrance.  This has also recently been remodelled and is a delightful place for a pre-dinner drink.  There are nods to Charles Dickens everywhere with quotes from his novels to photos and drawings.  Outside the hotel there is also a blue plaque commemorating his visits.

Lounge, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
One of the hotel’s comfortable lounges

Alongside the bar there are comfortable lounges with deep cushioned sofas and comfortable armchairs to sit and relax.  A dresser is stocked with board games to keep the whole family entertained whilst during the afternoon the lounges are definitely the place to be as it’s extremely popular for afternoon teas.

Selection of games and books for guests use, The Angel, Bury St Edmunds
Selection of games and books for guests use

Glancing at the traditional three tiered cake stands filled with finger sandwiches, scones and cakes I wished we were staying a little longer to enjoy one – but still, it’s a good excuse to return.

Lounge, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
Cosy lounges to relax in at the hotel

The hotel has 77 rooms with several on the ground floor being suitable for guests with mobility problems which are wheelchair friendly.  Well behaved four legged friends are also welcome and we noticed several dozing in the lounge and bar areas during our stay.

The Vaults Function Room, The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds
The atmospheric Vaults function room

The Angel also boasts The Vaults function room for private parties or events which must surely be a memorable place to hold a celebratory party.

Out and About:

Bury St. Edmunds is a hidden gem with lots of interesting things to see and do.  Here are my suggestions:

Guided Walking Tour

The Abbey Gateway, Bury St. Edmunds
The Abbey Gateway

Start with a guided walking tour to get your bearings of the historic town.  The 90 minute tours begin from outside the hotel on Angel Hill and explore the Abbey Gardens, Abbey ruins and the medieval town centre.  Learn about the town’s history from Anglo-Saxon times when King Edmund led his troops against Viking invaders in 869 AD where he was defeated and later martyred.

Abbey Ruins, Bury St. Edmunds
The Abbey Ruins

A wealthy Benedictine abbey grew up around his shrine and we were taken on a tour of its ruins and gardens which are now the town’s pride and joy during spring and summer.  The tours are extremely interesting pointing out all sorts of things you probably wouldn’t see.  Bury St. Edmunds Tour Guides

St. Edmundsbury Cathedral 

St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St. Edmunds
St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St. Edmunds

Bury St. Edmunds is home to the only cathedral in Suffolk, first  built in the 11th century and formerly the Church of St. James.  The church was built within the abbey grounds and became a cathedral in 1914.  Look out for its medieval font and gaze up to the high pitched nave ceilings with angels.  The cathedral’s millennium tower is so named because work began in 2000.  Constructed from limestone, flint and lime mortar it was completed in 2005.  Despite being a new addition, it blends beautifully with the existing structure.  Cathedral floor and tower tours take place from place April-October.  Entrance to the cathedral itself is free.  St. Edmundsbury Cathedral

St. Mary’s  Church 

St. Mary's Church, Bury St Edmunds
St. Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds

Visit the final resting place of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and sister of Henry VIII.  The church was built between 1290 and 1499 and is part of the abbey complex.  Marvel at its hammer beam roof and its exceedingly long nave.  Free admission but donations welcome.  Closed to visitors on Sundays.  St. Mary’s Church

Moyses Hall Museum

Moyses Hall Museum, Bury St. Edmunds
Moyses Hall Museum

Visit the town’s museum to learn about the history of Bury St. Edmunds.  It’s located in one of the last surviving Norman houses in Britain, dating back to 1180.  Prior to becoming a museum the building served as the local prison and police station.

Colllection of clocks, Moyses Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds
Collection of clocks, Moyses Hall Museum

The museum tells the story of the ruined Abbey of St. Edmund with numerous artefacts and stonework on display.  Other galleries features a notable collection of clocks and watches, the Suffolk Regiment and fine art.  Open daily, standard admission £7 Moyses Hall Museum.

Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Join a guided tour of the last remaining working Regency playhouse in the country.  The 200 year old theatre is an absolute delight.

Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds
Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds

Explore each part of the theatre from circle boxes to seats high in the gallery and down in the pits, stand on the stage and take a peek behind the scenes to view dressing rooms, backstage equipment, etc.

Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds
Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds

Tours last between 90-120 minutes and are fascinating for all ages.  Tickets £10 (£5 for National Trust Members).  Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds

Greene King Brewery Tour

Greene King Brewery Tour, Bury St. Edmunds
Greene King Brewery Tour, Bury St. Ednunds

Greene King have been brewing beer in Bury St. Edmunds since 1799.  Join one of their tours which begin with a walk around some of their historic buildings before exploring the historic brew house itself.

Greene King Brewery Tour
Greene King Brewery Tour

You even get a chance to climb up to its roof terrace for some panoramic views over the cathedral and town rooftops.  Tours end with generous tastings in the Brew Cafe and your ticket also entitles you to choose a bottle to take back home.  It’s very enjoyable even if you’re not a beer drinker.  1 hour 45 minute tours £20.  Greene King Brewery Tour

The Nutshell

The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds
The Nutshell Pub

This is one of the town’s biggest attractions or rather its smallest with its bar measuring just 15′ x 7′.  It proudly holds the title of the smallest pub in Britain as confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records.  The pub walls are lined with historic photos and a mummified cat and with currency notes hanging from the ceiling there’s much to see.  The Nutshell

Pillar of Salt Road Sign 

Pillar of Salt Road Sign, Bury St Edmunds
Pillar of Salt Road Sign

This unusual road sign is located on Angel Hill between the hotel and the Abbey gateway.  It was constructed in 1935 when the town council went to great lengths to find something worthy of its important location.  It has been Grade II listed since 1998 and takes its name because of its resemblance to a salt pot.


From being greeted by the concierge on our arrival through to check-in, bar and restaurant service, all team members that we came into contact with were well trained and doing everything they could to ensure guests enjoyed the best possible experience.  The building might be old but the interior has been tastefully refurbished with our bedroom and all public rooms warm, cosy and absolutely beautiful.

Guestroom, The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
Individually styled rooms at the Angel Hotel

The Eaterie offers delicious food with dishes reasonably priced for a restaurant of its type.   We found all aspects of the hotel to be faultless and would wholeheartedly recommend staying at The Angel if planning a visit to Bury St. Edmunds or the surrounding area.

Details: The Angel, 3, Angel Hill, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1LT.

During our stay we were guests of The Angel Hotel and Visit Bury St. Edmunds and Beyond and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.


If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like:

A walk from Cambridge to Grantchester

A day in Ely



45 thoughts on “The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk

  1. Such a beautiful hotel Marion. The room is so stylish … and yes, the copper bath is indeed lovely! Steak and triple cooked chips – sounds absolutely divine! This is definitely a thumbs up from me. And to see all the beautiful places around the hotel, like the stunning cathedral, museum and yeah for a brewery! In a nutshell (excuse the pun 😉), this looks like the perfect breakaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think just from looking at that gorgeous facade, you know that you’ve come to the right place and that your stay will be special. What a dreamy room, that copper bath at the foot of the bed is just so delightful. Incidentally, we have the ‘exact’ same feathery light here in our Cycladic home in Naxos, though ours is a ceiling light. We love the muffled glow filtered through the white feathers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a coincidence and how lively that you have the exact same feathery light over in Naxos. It really luxuriates with its feathery glow. The Angel is a beautiful hotel in every respect. Thanks so much for your interest and for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful frontal appearance to the Angel Hotel. Interesting bits of history you share with us each time, Hate to see ancient building lying in ruins and wish people had valued them enough to preserve them. I would like to have seen pictures of how those rooms were furnished in the 1700’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At first glance (your featured photo), the Angel lures visitors with its beautiful facade. The inside sets the bar high in “wow factor”. Your room was stunning, as was the rest of the hotel’s amenities. We, and probably everyone else, would love to spend at least a few days at the Angel and exploring Suffolk.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.