Bungay guide

A market town with scenic walking, good shopping and historic buildings

Check out our handy ‘know before you go’ guide to make your visit a huge success! 

The market town of Bungay has been the focus of this part of the Suffolk countryside since the Anglo-Saxons called the area home. It’s a town that has so much to recommend: scenic walking, good shopping, historic buildings, and of course the River Waveney that has been the lifeblood of the town over the centuries.

Did you know?

The unusual name of this market town is thought to have come from the Anglo Saxon title Bunincga-haye, which showed that the land once belonged to a Saxon chieftain from the tribe of Bonna. Other folklore linked to the area is the legend of Black Shuck or the black dog of Bungay who is said to have burst through the doors of St Mary’s church in Bungay in 1577, terrorising the residents of the town. 

Bungay is also the only place in the UK to have a town Reeve; a senior official with local responsibilities under the crown- and a post made famous by Chaucer. The current person to hold the position in Bungay has responsibility for the market and various wills made to the settlement. 

In 1688 Bungay was almost destroyed by fire, an event that devastated many families and destroyed many buildings. The fire did not however touch the Holy Trinity church and the door has a plaque with the words ‘Here was the fire stayed 1688’. The stylish rebuilding of the town, with its spacious marketplace, made it a popular place for people to visit and earned Bungay the nickname ‘Little London’. Famous visitors included George IV and even the highwayman Dick Turpin.  


things to do in bungaywhere to stay in bungaywhere to eat in bungay



Location


Bungay Highlights

1.  Walk the historical trails

Towns & Villages - Bungay - castle

Two official walks are available to take – The Bigod Way Trail and the Town Trail. The Bigod Way Trail is a series of walks all centred on Bigod’s Castle, the remains of a large Norman castle dating back to 1165 that nestles in the centre of Bungay. The Town Trail includes most of Bungay's historic buildings and churches along with the River Waveney. The route is ideal for visitors to the town and offers you the chance to explore the 'old world charm' of Bungay.



2. Visit the theatre

Towns & Villages - Bungay - Fisher Theatre

The Fisher Theatre, built relatively recently in the nineteenth century, is one of the oldest provincial theatres in the UK, but still acts as a hub for social events such as films, plays, exhibitions and other gatherings. Bungay is a town with a strong literary tradition, modern writers such as Elizabeth Jane Howard and Louis de Bernières have lived in the town as well as classic novelist H. Rider Haggard. It’s also home to 'Clays' – established in 1795 – one of the largest printworks in the country, and the reason why Harry Potter first saw the light of day in this quiet corner of Suffolk!


3. Hunt for the mysterious Black Shuck

Towns & Villages - Bungay - Church

Believed by many to be the inspiration for the titular hound in the famous Sherlock Holmes story ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, the legend of Black Shuck (also known as ‘The Bungay Black Dog) is infamous in the region. According to folklore the creature has haunted the Bungay and Blythburgh heaths and coastline for centuries.

The first mention of the demonic black dog was in 1577, in records that detail how the giant canine burst in through the doors of St Mary’s church in Bungay wrecking havoc and killing a man and a boy. It is said that after this, Black Shuck made its way to Blythburgh Church to maul other unfortunate souls.

If you’re unsure what to believe, pay a visit to Blythburgh Church where you can still see the scorch marks on the door, supposedly evidence of the hellhound’s giant claws. 


4. Take a tour of an award-winning vineyard

TTDA - Flint Vineyard - Tour

Flint Vineyard is one of England's most exciting new wineries. Winemaker, Ben Witchell, combines cutting-edge technology with traditional wine making techniques to produce elegant and refined English wines. Not only can you enjoy drinking this delicious wine but you can experience the whole process from vine to bottle on one of their brilliant wine tours!


5. Tuck into a round of Baron Bigod cheese

FD - Fen Farm Dairy - baron Bigod

Fen Farm Dairy makes the most delicious, beautiful handcrafted raw dairy products, made on the farm from the milk of the herd of happy Montbeliarde cows.

The home of Baron Bigod Cheese, nestled in the elbow of the beautiful Waveney River Valley! Pop in any day of the week and fill up a bottle of their delicious raw milk from the vending machine! 

You can also get your taste buds into the beautiful selection of raw dairy products, including raw cream, buttermilk, Baron Bigod Cheese, free range eggs and their raw cultured butter, which is made to an unusual 300 year old recipe!


Useful Information

Check out the Find My Nearest website for helpful information on parking, public toilets, leisure centres, libraries, train stations, cinemas, theatres and museums.

Public Toilets and Baby Changing Facilities

Cross Street, NR34 1AU

Honeypot Meadow, NR35 1BT

Priory Lane, NR35 1DB - Disabled toilet

Please note, there are no public baby change facilities in Bungay


Visitor Information Points (VIPs) are located at:

Bungay Library, Wharton Street, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 1EL

The Art Trading Company, 55 Earsham Street, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 1AF

Useful Links

Visit My Bungay - www.bungay-suffolk.co.uk for lots more useful information about this lovely town!


How to get to Bungay - Public Transport

With Suffolk on Board you can plan journeys using public transport from and to a town or village, named station or stop, or point of interest.

As many destinations along the Suffolk coast are rural there can be limited public transport services on many routes, but there are journey solutions through various local community transport services that will get you to where you want to go/your final destination. These tend to need to be booked in advance but you can find out more and plan your journey at Suffolk on Board. 

 

By Bus:

Local services run to Beccles, Norwich and Diss with onward connections.

Timetables and further information can be found at www.suffolkonboard.com

By Train:

The nearest train stations are located at Beccles (15 minute journey by car or taxi from station) and Diss (25 minute journey by car or taxi). The mainline from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich and Norwich passes through Diss. 

Greater Anglia operates frequent train services . There are many great value fares available such as Advance tickets which start from Just £9 one way (available on certain routes), and Groupsave where 3 to 9 adults save 1/3 off the Off-Peak Return train fare.  Anglia Plus day rover tickets are also available where you can have unlimited travel within certain zones.  Perfect for exploring the beautiful Suffolk coast.

All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia Website or the app.


Car Parking in Bungay

The most convenient ways to find parking places in East Suffolk are either via Find My Nearest, and where parking fees apply the council’s RingGo parking service .

The free RingGo app allows drivers to locate a parking place before starting their journey, receive navigation to it, see how busy car parks are within an area, pay for your parking session and extend it if you need to. Signing up to RingGo is as easy as entering your car’s registration and your payment details.  Find out more about registering and using the service on the RingGo how it works page.

Bridge Street, Bungay, NR35 1HB

Boyscott Lane, Bungay, NR35 1DQ

Wharton Street, Bungay, NR35 1EL

Priory Lane, Bungay, NR35 1DB

Scales Street, Bungay, NR35 1DT


Travel Information & News

For the latest travel information listen to or visit BBC Radio Suffolk 

For local news, visit the East Anglian Daily Times of Eastern Daily Press websites.


Covid-19 testing in Suffolk

You can find useful information on Covid-19 testing on the Government website here;

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/

Local information on how and where to get a PCR test if you have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-testing-in-suffolk/

Local information on how and where to get a rapid lateral flow test if you do not have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-asymptomatic-testing/


Things to do in Bungay