Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk provides the backdrop for numerous scenes in The Personal History of David Copperfield, including around Angel Hill and the Angel Hotel. A blue plaque adorns the front of the latter to commemorate Dickens’ visits to the town – he first stayed at the hotel in 1835 and the novelist’s quotes can be found on mirrors and artwork throughout the Georgian building.
The Athenaeum events space also features in the new movie, alongside Chequers Square. Dickens gave readings, including one from David Copperfield, at the striking Grade I listed building, which was purposely built for entertaining during the Victorian era. Scenes from the film were also shot in the Theatre Royal, the last operating Regency playhouse in England. You can tour the intimate venue, designed by renowned architect William Wilkins, between February and November and discover many of its original features.
Daily tours of Bury St Edmunds run between April and October and take in its rich history and literary links. From discovering the locations where Dickens stayed to uncovering its ties to the Magna Carta, the tours also explore the legend of St Edmund and the wolf, all in the company of green or blue badge guides. Tours also pass St Edmundsbury Cathedral, a site of worship and pilgrimage for more than 1,000 years, as well as the ruins of the Abbey of St Edmund in the stunning Abbey Gardens. Once one of the largest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England, the ruins can be accessed through the impressive Abbey Gate, before you discover the shrine to St Edmund - a pilgrimage site that has even been visited by royalty!