Bury St Edmunds is situated in West Suffolk, in the south-east of England. It is a major stop-off on the A14 dual-carriageway which runs between Felixstowe and Cambridge, though it is much closer to Cambridge, at around 50 minutes' drive away. If you are travelling from the east coast, then it might be a good stop-off if you do not wish to harbour in somewhere so urbanised as Cambridge.
It is a fairly old town, with a long and complicated history. It was originally a Saxon settlement, founded in around 630AD and originally called 'Bredic's worth.' In the 9th Century Edmund was king of East Anglia. He was martyred in 869. At the beginning of the 10th Century his remains were brought to the monastery for safekeeping, and in the early 11th Century King Canute replaced the monastery with an abbey. The abbey soon became rich and powerful.
The original abbey was later mostly destroyed, after King Henry VIII closed it in 1539. Many ruins still remain in the area, around the cathedral, the most prominent of which are around the site of the old Abbey. The town is so named after Kind Edmund of East Anglia, who fought against the Saxon invasion. This is where the king's remains were brought, and remain to this day.
As for the modern town, people who are interested in clubbing may be a little disappointed. The closest thing to a club in Bury is Brazilias, which is notorious for being a haven for those just looking for a fight.
The best way to survive in this area is to spend your time at the various pubs and bars that are scattered in and around the town centre instead. One that is particularly recommended is The Black Boy, which, though situated in one of the less popular ends of the town's nightlife, is certainly considered a good stop-off point.
For those of a more quiet temperament, the abbey gardens would certainly be a recommended spot, for quiet reflection - or a ball game with your friends. It's open from 7.30 am to half-an-hour before dusk.
If you are looking for restaurants, then head down to Abbeygate Street, where a wide variety of restaurants can be found, including larger food chains, such as Cafe Uno, Cafe Rouge and Pizza Express. If, on the other hand, you wish to experience a variety of shopping opportunities, visiting on either a Wednesday or a Saturday would be recommended, as this will give you the opportunity to browse the town market - traditionally been the major market in West Suffolk.
Parking can be a little difficult, though there are an abundance of car parks, which are variously priced. If you are looking for a car park that is near everywhere then head down to the car park that covers the land of what used to be the Cattle Market. This can be found by following the ring road round from the entrance from the A14, and should be clearly sign-posted. From this point you can access almost everywhere in the Town centre within about a quarter of an hour at a brisk walk.