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The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Covered in ivy and fronting the town's most historic square, The Angel is Bury St Edmunds' most atmospheric hotel, no question. But that doesn't really do justice to this reconstructed coaching inn, which has been updated with style and sensitivity by long-serving owners Robert and Claire Gough, who have owned the place for several decades. Like the best provincial hotels, its newly revamped busy lobby can feel like the hub of the town, while its bar and restaurant are destination places to eat. In fact, most of the rooms are now so modern that its most famous resident Charles Dickens wouldn't recognise them at all. Lording it over the abbey ruins, it is certainly Bury's most obvious place to stay - but might also be its best.
The rooms at the front of the hotel have window seats for watching life pass by outside, and there's always something to see.
The Angel is right in the centre of town, next to the Abbey Gardens and Bury St Edmunds' shops and restaurants.
By car: The hotel is 2 hours from London, 40 mins from Cambridge and 2 hours 15 mins from Nottingham. There is free parking on-site.
By train: London Kings Cross to Bury St Edmunds (via Cambridge) takes around 1 hour 45 mins. The hotel is a 5-minute taxi ride or 15-minute walk from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It's Bury's most comfortable place to stay and see the town, so great for those looking for a cheeky and slightly indulgent weekend break. The hotel is a truly historic building, and Charles Dickens stayed here regularly while giving his famous declamatory readings in The Athenaeum across the square.
Service & Facilities
We love the fact that a properly contemporary personality has been injected into one of the country's most historic hotels. Some of the ground-floor rooms are dog-friendly and they come with dog bowls and toys.
- Family rooms
- Free parking
- Pets allowed
- Free Wi-Fi
Dogs are allowed in the lounge area but not the Eaterie.
About a third of the rooms face the front and the best of these are spacious doubles and suites with deep free-standing copper baths. Bespoke fabrics and wallpapers and contemporary furniture with bold splashes of colour really set some of the rooms apart.
Classic, Original, Impression, Ivy View Suite, Contemporary Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, bath, Temple Spa toiletries, TV, tea and coffee facilities, mineral water, biscuits, free Wi-Fi, desk
Food & Drink
There's a good and interesting wine list, with lots of wines by the glass, and on the other side of the entrance the bar serves bespoke cocktails and craft gins. We love that they do a selection of tasty nibbles to start, like padron peppers and salt-and-pepper squid.
Eaterie Restaurant: 2 AA Rosette dining, seasonal dishes, European inspired cuisine. Open Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm and 6-8.15pm, Sat & Sun 12-8.15pm. Mains from £14.
The Angel Lounge: light bites, sandwiches, teas and coffees. Open daily until 10pm, food served 11am-5pm. Snacks from £1.50.
The Angel Bar: extensive wine list, local ales, cocktails.
Afternoon Tea: cream teas, traditional and luxury Afternoon tea. 1-5pm daily. From £8.50 per person.