Tag Archives: Anglia

Day trips around Cambridge

We have been very lucky with the weather this year, less rain and more sunny spells and this only motivated me and my husband to take some day trips (in weekend only) to somewhere not too far from our home but to places which we will both enjoy.

In one of my latest posts, I spoke about the Audley End’s house. Now, I will talk about a couple more places, which are equally interesting and worth a visit, especially if you’re after some quality time with your family and do not want to fight over a table at a restaurant or wait long in queues.

Doing some research and asking friends about places they like to go, we have been given a whole list. While I do have some time for exploration and travels, Roy, is busy and available only during weekends. After some thought and discussions, we agreed to start with Huntingdon.

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One of the surprises for us was to discover that the town was chartered by King John in 1205. While a bit out of the main route, the River Great Ouse – the forth longest river in England – plaid an important role in Huntingdon’s development and success. First it grew into a market town and, in the 18th and 19th centuries was a coaching town. Huntington’s old town is relatively small and it will not be too difficult to find the river and the medieval bridge. This bridge is in good condition, is in use today and was once the main route of Ermine Street.

In 1599, Oliver Cromwell – a military and political leader, later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland – was born. Details about his life, portraits and artifacts are displayed at the Cromwell Museum. This museum is the only one dedicated to Oliver Cromwell and was opened in 1962. The building hosting this museum was once an old grammar school where Cromwell was a pupil. More information about opening times, events, tickets, etc can be found on museum’s website.

Another famous resident of Huntington was John Major who became the youngest Prime Minister of the 20th Century.

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If visiting churches are in your “To do” list, then probably you should include the All Saints church which is one of the two surviving medieval churches.

Huntingdon can be busy at times due to its proximity to Cambridge. If you are willing to travel on a double-decker bus and save money on accommodation, then probably Huntington may be an option. This town offers a choice of places to stay including The Old Bridge Hotel and The George Hotel, where each year the historic courtyard plays host to ‘Shakespearean theater’ and plays by the Bard are enacted. Hotels, BBs and Inns are ready to welcome you. I have looked on Trivago website for price comparison and the cheapest accommodation found was £47 per night for a double room!

Huntingdon is one hour – depending on the day and traffic – by bus Cambridge.

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If you want to do some shopping or bargain hunt, then consider visiting on the following days: on Wednesday and Saturday traditional markets are held. You will find them in the Market Square. Popular Farmers’ Markets are held on every other Friday and on the last Saturday of a five-week month. There is also a popular Crafts & Collectibles Market every Friday in the town’s Commemoration Hall.

Besides traditional markets, Huntingdon offers visitors a choice of independent and boutique shops. Make sure to visit Huntingdon First’s website for a full list of shops, where to find them and for any special offers.

TripAdvisor recommends a list of activities in Hundingdon. Make sure you check it, before you go. 🙂

Another place which we have visited that weekend and very very close to Huntindgon is St. Ives.

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The old part of St Ives forms a beautiful historic town on the river Great Ouse. The colorful buildings, numerous cafes and restaurants offer a wealth of choice.

On the streets connecting the main roads with the riverside you will find plenty of fine and full of character buildings. One of the main points of attraction is the 15th Century Bridge and chapel over the river. This bridge is only one of three surviving in England. Regular cultural and family friendly events including the illuminated boat parade, a stomping Jazz & Blues Festival and a unique Snowman Festival can easy entertain a family with various needs and expectations.

As in any country town, in Is. Ives, regular markets  held every Monday and Friday, large Bank Holiday markets and an award winning Farmers’ Market held on the first and third Saturday of each month. You will find lots to do.

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Around for more than a day? One possibility is to take a trip to The Old Riverport and discover the fabulous Cambridgeshire countryside.  The Ouse Washes Landscape is a short distance away. You can either hire a boat from St. Ives to explore the river network or admire the wildlife at nearby RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes and RSPB Ouse Fen.

For more information on The Old Riverport – St.Ives visit their website here.

For recommendations on what to do in St. Ives or where to eat, please click here and here.

 

We had no time for this, but surely will be back for more!

Regardless of where you go and what you do, Travel Safe and Wise!

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Visiting the city with the old English name – Escanceaster

 

Cathedral Close, Exeter

I am living in the UK for a bit of time. A bit means a real bit, since Christmas 2014 and I have been to several cities, one of which is called Excanceaster or Exeter.

I have to say that after Bracknell, Exeter looks very nice. Bright, with large streets and countless of shops. The most impressive part of the city lies in the old town. You have the cathedral and surrounding houses, witnesses of the old and glorious times intertwined with newer ones.

The history of Exeter began as settlements on a dry ridge ending in a spur overlooking a navigable river Exe. The discovery of coins from the Hellenistic Kingdom is an evidence of a settlement trading with the Mediterranean in the 250 bc.

Locals, as well as visitors, can see and touch a portion of Exeter’s city wall, formed of both Roman and medieval stones. The wall is one of the few constructions to be preserved by this date in Exeter and it was part of the fort built on 42 acres. The Roman fort had a surprising impact on the local communities, locals started to move around the fort where they have formed, with Roman soldiers, an unplanned civilian community.
The Exeter Cathedral had launched a bid to restore the baths and open an underground centre for visitors if you can and want to donate some money to this beautiful cause. More information about the Foundation Project, you will find here.
Some other ruins which, can be seen today in Exeter, are the ones of the Rougemont Castle and the medieval Exe Bridge, built around 1200. The Rougemont Castle was built by King William. A lot more information about its history and events to be held here. If you’re a foodie and love to explore new things and try new foods, then save 21st of April for a day trip to Exeter. On this day, a food festival will be held and you do not want to miss it. 🙂
More details about this festival, the castle and many more you can find here.
If you’re not into food but you’re definitely a fan of Elton John, then 19th of June should be high in your agenda. Check Viagogo website for tickets, venue and prices.
Another good source of information is Heart of Devon website. You’ll find the latest news about the city, events and other useful information.
That’s it for now 🙂
Travel safe and wise!