Tag Archives: away from crowds

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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