There’s a world that awaits you beyond the historic city of Cambridge. While its picturesque cobbled streets, the serene River Cam, and iconic university buildings have a magnetic allure, a journey beyond its borders promises to be equally enthralling. Here, we look at five incredible places to explore out of Cambridge that will take you on an adventure like no other.
Ely: The Cathedral City
Ely’s charm resides in its mesmerising combination of medieval streets and stunning waterscapes. A mere 15-mile train journey north of Cambridge, this small city harbours vast wonders waiting to be uncovered.
A city dominated by its magnificent cathedral, Ely offers a delightful blend of history and natural beauty. Its towering cathedral, often referred to as “The Ship of the Fens,” is visible for miles across the Cambridgeshire countryside. With origins dating back to the 7th century, the cathedral is a testament to various architectural styles that have evolved over the centuries.
Stepping outside the historic structures, Ely’s nature offers a different kind of enchantment. Its waterside area provides picturesque views and peaceful strolls along the River Great Ouse. With a diversity of bird life, it’s a haven for nature enthusiasts. Be sure to take afternoon tea at Peacocks tearoom!
The Mystery of Suffolk: Bury St Edmunds
Next, we find ourselves in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk’s treasured market town. A modest 40-minute train ride from Cambridge, it brims with an air of mystery, heritage, and beauty, making it an enticing destination for the culturally curious.
The town’s history is as vibrant as its lively town centre. The stunning St Edmundsbury Cathedral and the historic Abbey Gardens, located in the heart of the town, tell tales of a past steeped in religious heritage. Wander through the Abbey ruins and you’ll sense the town’s rich history, which dates back to the 11th century. It’s not every day you get to walk amidst such beautifully preserved pieces of history.
Apart from history, Bury St Edmunds also promises to immerse you in nature’s tranquillity. The town’s award-winning Abbey Gardens is a refreshing green oasis. Covering 14 acres, this serene spot offers colourful floral displays and water features, ideal for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Michelin foodie enthusiasts will love Pea Porridge which proudly boasts a Michelin star.
The French Alps: A World Apart
Travelling further afield, the French Alps beckons the intrepid explorer. A striking contrast to the quintessential English charm of Cambridge and surrounding towns, this mountain range’s breathtaking landscapes are certainly worth the journey.
There’s an immediate sense of awe that takes over as you set your eyes on the towering peaks. Blanketed in snow during winter and teeming with wildflowers come summer, the French Alps offer an unparalleled year-round spectacle. The awe-inspiring scenery coupled with an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountain biking, make the Alps a must-visit.
And it’s not just the adrenaline-pumping adventures that make the French Alps exceptional; it’s also the culture that seeps into the valley towns and villages. Take time to explore the local cuisine, traditional architecture, and learn about the distinct customs of each area. The French Alps isn’t just a destination; it’s an immersive experience.
There are so many different places for you to say in the alps. One of the most tranquil places is Megève, which is a ski resort village in the alps. To help you find the best place for you and any fellow travellers, you should work with specialised real estate agencies who understand the area, such as Fée Pour Vous Luxury Properties. They provide a range of different services alongside luxury chalet rentals, such as chef and butler services.
The Enchantment of Norfolk: Holt
From the towering mountain ranges, we return to the British Isles, this time to the North Norfolk market town of Holt. A little over an hour’s drive from Cambridge, it transports you into a different world altogether.
Holt’s Georgian charm and tranquillity are in perfect harmony. Quaint independent shops line the high street, each with their unique offerings. The quiet country lanes, framed by verdant hedgerows, create an ideal backdrop for leisurely bike rides or walks.
Despite its compact size, Holt is home to several expansive green spaces. Holt Country Park, with its array of wildlife and nature trails, provides a wonderful setting for picnics or bird watching. The town also boasts close proximity to the North Norfolk coast, where one can enjoy sandy beaches and stunning coastal views.
The Gateway to the North: York
Our final stop is the fascinating city of York. A 2-hour train ride from Cambridge, this ancient city is steeped in history that spans over 2000 years.
York’s Roman roots are evident in the city’s architecture. From the towering York Minster, one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, to the historic Shambles, reputedly Europe’s best preserved medieval street, each corner of the city whispers stories of a bygone era.
Don’t be fooled by the age of the city, though. York has a youthful energy that comes to life in its vibrant food scene, contemporary art galleries, and lively festivals. It’s a city that wonderfully blends the old and the new, ensuring an unforgettable exploration. More about visiting York here.
There are so many places to visit from accessible Cambridge. Enjoy your exploring!