The Abbey Visitor Centre is a good starting point for a visit to the entire abbey precinct. (The abbey itself is in ruins today and sits in the middle of the Abbey Gardens.) The Visitor Centre is housed in the west front of the abbey's remains and uses a clever series of displays to give the visitor an idea of what life was like in this powerful abbey, from its beginnings in 1020 to its dissolution in 1539.

A tour of the Abbey Gardens is led by medieval monk Brother Jocelin; book it through the town's Tourist Information Centre at tel. 01284/764667 (