Base yourself in the beautiful Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border countryside or one of these locations to enjoy these day trips. Extend your stay to see some other local sights.
History and horseracing in the East of England
Cambridge is one of the most famous university cities in the world, and one of the most historic – it dates back to 1209. You can do some learning yourself, at the magnificent Fitzwilliam Museum, before taking a walking tour of the centre, taking in ‘The Backs’ of the universities, King’s College, Trinity Hall and other highlights. The other must-do activity is hiring a punt on the river Cam – or go on a boat trip and let someone else do the work.
Arrive early in Newmarket and you’ll be forgiven for thinking the town has been taken over by horses! This is the time of day when the trainers exercise their horses on the gallops.
To make the most of your visit book a tour with Discover Newmarket. Don’t miss the town’s latest attraction, The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.
Bury, as it’s known locally, is the East of England’s foremost ‘Wool Town’, market towns built on the success of the medieval wool trade. It was named for Saxon king Edmund who slain by the Vikings. You can take a tour of the Theatre Royal, Britain’s last remaining Regency theatre, the Greene King Brewery, or take an over-arching tour of the whole town which will include St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Abbey Gardens.
Oxburgh Hall and Grime’s Graves
A moated manor house now run by the National Trust, a trip to the village of Oxborough (yes, it’s spelled differently to the hall) will take you in to the Brecks, a unique landscape of ancient heathland and forest. Nearby is Grime’s Graves, Neolithic flint mines that were the first industrial centre in Europe and one of which you can climb down into.
Visible for miles around, ‘The Ship of the Fens’ is the only UK building to be listed as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages’.
If Bury St Edmunds whetted your appetite, take a drive to Lavenham, Long Melford, Sudbury, Clare and Hadleigh for spectacular churches and higgledy-piggledy timber-framed houses.
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Open year-round, IWM Duxford is a must-visit for aviation history buffs. Wander through the hangars and buildings to explore a century of aviation, getting up close to hundreds of planes including a B-52, Spitfire, Concorde and Tiger Moth.