Places to Visit and Days out in Cambridgeshire:

Anglesey Abbey | Cambridge University | Clare Cottage | Ely Cathedral | The Fens | The Gog Magog Hills | Kimbolton Castle | King's College Chapel | Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse | Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre | Wandlebury Ring | Wimpole Hall

Anglesey Abbey

Anglesey Abbey

A grand part medieval and Tudor house with 20th century additions. Purchased by Lord Fairhaven in 1926. The house is open to the public and contains a collection of prints and drawings of Windsor Castle spanning 350 years, amongst other treasures. The gardens are famous for their extensive display of snowdrops in early spring.
Location: 6 miles north east of Cambridge on the B1102, sign posted from the A14, junction 35.
Run by the National Trust - open to the public all year (parking and entrance charges apply).

Barnack Hills and Holes

Barnack village was once famous for its stone used locally in houses, Churches and Abbeys - most notably used in Ely and Peterborough Cathedrals. The quarries were worked from Roman times until they were exhausted in the 18th century. The disused limestone quarry is now a SSSI and NNR, supporting wild orchids, purple milk-vetch, common rock-rose and pasque flowers, for which the site is famous. The site is easily accessible from Barnack village, and criss-crossed with well marked pathways.

Cambridge University

One of the oldest universities in England. Its first college 'Peterhouse', was founded in 1254. Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, and Tennyson, all went to Cambridge.

Clare Cottage

The home of John Clare (1793-1864), widely regarded as one of the greatest the English poets. The gardens have been filled with plants that would have been seen in Clare's time.

Located in the village of Helpston (Clare Cottage, 12 Woodgate, Helpston, Peterborough, PE6 7ED). Open every day 10.30am to 4.00pm

Ely Cathedral

Rising high above the flat fenland, it was initiated in 1083. The central Norman tower collapsed in 1322 and was replaced by a much grander, octagonal tower that is unique in medieval English architecture.

Wicken Fen

The Fens is an area of flat marshy land lying mostly around the coast of the Wash. The area has been drained since the Roman occupation onwards, by the digging of artificial rivers and long straight drains. Not all of the fenlands have been successfully drained, and some areas have been preserved to form nature reserves, such as Wicken Fen, located just north of Cambridge.
Location: 3 miles west of Soham on the A1123.
Run by the National Trust - open to the public all year (parking and entrance charges apply).

The Gog Magog Hills

Gog Magog Hills (or downs) are a range of low chalk hills, extending for several miles to the south east of Cambridge.

Flag Fen

reconstructed roundhouse at flag fen

Site of a Bronze Age settlement dated to around 1,000 years BC. The main exhibit (housed undercover in a Preservation Hall) is an excavated Bronze Age processional way, which ran for over a mile. The site also contains a small reconstructed Bronze Age settlement and Iron Age roundhouse. The small on-site museum displays many interesting artefacts discovered during site excavations, including one of the oldest wheels in Britain.

Opening times: Mar to Oct, daily, 10am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: The Droveway, Northey Rd, Peterborough, PE6 7QJ - Tel: 01733 313414 Website
Facilities: Parking, shop, refreshents, wheelchair access.

Kimbolton Castle

The last home of Katherine of Aragon and now a public school. It was originally a medieval mansion but partially collapsed in 1707 and rebuilt by Sir John Vanbrugh.

Tour of the Castle State Rooms is available at limited times during the year, for details see website

King's College Chapel

Founded in 1446 by Henry VI.

Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse

The gatehouse is all that remains of one of England's richest abbeys. All other buildings were razed to the ground at the Reformation.

Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre

Working farm and stables with an 18th century working watermill, trails, play area, mini maze, tractor rides, farming displays and exhibitions. Includes a camping and caravan site.

Location: Thornhaugh, Peterborough, PE8 6HJ, Tel: 01780 782254

Wandlebury Ring

An Iron Age hill fort on the crest of the Gog Magog Hills. Tradition has it that if a warrior enters this hill fort alone at dead of night, crying 'knight to knight, come forth!', a mounted warrior will appear and fight him.

Wimpole Hall

Wimpole Hall front view

This grand palatial mansion was built by Sir Thomas Chicheley in the 17th century. Previously the site contained a smaller moated manor house with a nearby village. Sir Thomas moved the tenants out, then demolished the cottages and farmsteads and cleared the whole site to make way for the current design in 1638. Such practices were a common occurrence among the landed gentry of the time. The ridges and earthworks of the old village are still visible in the estate grounds.

The estate covers around 3000 acres of landscaped grounds and farmland and has a wide variety of facilities to suit visitors of all ages, with public access to the working farm, manor house (Hall) and formal gardens. The estate also hosts a number of interesting events throughout the season, including hedge laying, wooden rake making, wood turning, nature talks and festivals. The landscaped parklands are Grade 1 listed and contain many classic features, including extensive pasture land with a ha-ha to keep livestock out, a large woodland area, a lake with wooden bridges and a crumbling castellated hill-top folly.

Wimpole Hall was bequeathed to the National Trust by the last owner, Mrs Elsie Bambridge (daughter of Rudyard Kipling) in 1976. The house and grounds have been open to the public since.

Location: 8 miles south west of Cambridge on the A603.
Run by the National Trust - open to the public all year (parking and entrance charges apply). The estate grounds are free to access, with several excellent walks. For details pick up a leaflet from the site shop in the old stables.

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