Our new spotlight series starts in Bury St Edmunds, a beautifully quaint market town which is nestled in a charming corner of Suffolk.

If you’re one of the thousands of home-movers considering an escape to the country, we’d love to show you why Bury St Edmunds could be your next move.

We’ve spoken to three local estate agents who know the town better than most, to shed some light on what Bury St Edmunds is really like.

In this article, we hope to reveal the best that the area has to offer, and why, if you’re planning a move to a more rural location, you might want to consider this historic market town.

So what are the main things you need to know?

Average asking price: £300,078

Average asking price, three-bedroom house: £309,596

Average asking price, two-bedroom flat: £200,729

Average asking rent: £973

Location: West Suffolk, 30 miles east of Cambridge

Interesting fact: Bury St Edmunds is arguably most well-known for being the place that Greene King brewery calls home, and was once described as “the nicest town in the world” by William Cobbett, a Georgian essayist and traveller.

What’s currently on offer?

James Sawyer, director of Whatley Lane Estate Agents, explained that despite its perception as a sleepy town, Bury – as the locals call it – is a really lively town.

He said: “Bury St Edmunds has a very bubbly, buzzing scene right now. It’s got that cosmopolitan culture of independent bars and boutique shops. It’s a pretty affluent place and it’s supported by residents in the satellite villages in the surrounding countryside, which helps to sustain this thriving shopping and dining scene.

“We’ve seen a real demand from home-movers in London, Cambridge and south Essex of late. That hour-long commute into the city is null and void for lots of people now, and we’ve seen huge demand as part of this rural renaissance happening across the country. Bury St Edmunds is a dreamy place to live and people want a slice of this real estate.

“This is one of the best preserved market towns in England and it has such a beautifully eclectic mix of architecture to match its rich history. We’ve got the stunning 800-year old cathedral and ancient ruins from medieval Britain, through to Georgian architecture and more modern buildings, which all weave together to create the present day tapestry we see now.

 “We’ve also got a 50-mile stretch of delightful coastline that’s not too far away, as well as plenty of open green spaces, so you don’t feel cocooned or claustrophobic here. We’re also home to the Theatre Royal, a Grade I-listed building that’s the last working Regency playhouse in the country.”

Andrew Mortimer, director at Mortimer & Guasden, added: “I’ve lived in Bury St Edmunds all my life so I’m probably a little bias, but I think we have the best of both worlds here. Bury as a town is very well served in terms of amenities but it’s only four miles across so you’re never far from one end of the town to the other.

“The gorgeous, open countryside is only few minutes’ drive away, too, and the houses here are somewhat cheaper than nearby places like Cambridge.

“The lifestyle has changed quite a lot over the last ten years. Back then nothing was open in the evenings, but now Bury has a really thriving social scene and in the summer it’s hugely popular with tourists.

“It’s just a really lovely place to live, it’s not too big but everything you could want, or need, is here. We’ve also got a very low crime rate, friendly people, and good schools.

“The housing is very varied here. The town centre is mainly Victorian and parts of it are even medieval, then as you radiate out from the centre you can literally see the time periods go by. The further out you go you get Edwardian property and then the 1930s and 1950s-style houses a bit further out again. The town has grown quite evenly and there are lots of new developments going up now, so there’s pretty much every type of house you can imagine.

“Most people who live in Bury tend to stay in Bury. We’ve got a slower pace of live but not a dead pace of life. We really do have something for everybody here.”

James Bedford, a partner at family-run firm Bedfords, said: “Bury St Edmunds is still relatively undiscovered, and if you’re looking for a market town to move to, you’ll need to go a long way to beat Bury. If you drew a circle around London of places that are withing a two-hour commute, I’d say Bury is one of, if not the, best value area.

“It’s retained its core values and what I mean by that is that new developments haven’t spoilt the town. It’s still got bags of character and you can still live right in the heart of the town centre.

“We’ve got a really good balance here in terms of population and age groups, Bury is just a really thoroughly nice place to live.

“It’s a wonderfully pretty town and we’ve got lots and lots of history here. Bury also didn’t have the soul ripped out of it in the 70s like so many other towns across the country, so it’s definitely kept its charm and character.

“The A14 is on the doorstep, too, so there’s good access here. But people tend to commute only a couple of days a week, so it’s perfect for people who aren’t going into the office as much now.

“I love all the cycle cafes and tearooms on the outskirts of town, it’s just lovely. You really have to come here to properly appreciate it. Bury St Edmunds has kind of reinvented itself as a real social centre in recent years and there’s a lot of culture here. But importantly, it attracts good people.”

READ MORE: Stamp duty holiday sparks home-moving frenzy

Picture credit: David Palmer Birds I Images and www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk.

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