Excursions from Cambridge: the best day trips around Cambridge

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Cambridge, located in the eastern part of England, is an English town famous for its prestigious University, for its beautiful colleges, its libraries and gardens ideal for relaxing with a book.
After visiting what the city offers you, we suggest you get away from the chaos for immerse yourself in the silent countryside where there are beautiful landscapes with villages, parks and country residences.
Here's what not to miss around Cambridge!

Index

  1. Grantchester
  2. Ely
  3. Lavenham
  4. Ickworth House
  5. Greenwich
  6. Warwick Castle
  7. Oxford and
  8. Audley End House & Gardens
  9. Brighton
  10. Bletchley Park
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Grantchester

This village, nestled in the English countryside, is located 4 Km from Cambridge and is the ideal place for a trip out of town.
You can walk among the delightful cottages with white walls and thatched roofs and walk in the small town where the beautiful medieval church is located.

The Orchard Tea Garden is a tea room, famous for having always been the meeting place of poets and writers such as Virginia Woolf, Rupert Brooke and Bertrand Russell. Take a seat in a comfortable armchair and sip a steaming cup accompanied by scones.



  • Range: 4,2 km
  • it can be reached on foot following the Cam embankment (45 minutes). Alternatively bus 18 departs from Downing College stop and arrives at Burnt Close stop in Grantchester in 17 minutes (£ 3,00 / € 4,00 approximately) - Get Directions
  • the village is always accessible. The Orchard Tea Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 am-00pm

2 - Ely

A pretty British town, it's perfect for a day trip.
To visit the imposing cathedral founded as a monastery in 673 by the Saxon princess Eteldred, which from 1109 onwards became one of the largest churches in England.
Going up one of the towers you will enjoy the beautiful view over the town or you can see it in the distance from Dean Meadow Park.

You can also visit Olivia Cromwell's house who in 1600 led the revolt that led to the fall of the English monarchy and the birth of the Commonwealth Republic.



  • Range: 24 km
  • you can reach it in 50 minutes by car or by train in 19 minutes from Cambridge to Ely station (£ 6,00 / € 8,00).
  • the cathedral is open all week 7: 00-18: 30; the tower from Monday to Friday, guided tours 10:30 am, 11:45 am, 13:00 pm, 14:15 pm, 15:15 pm; Saturday 10:30, 11:45, 13:00, 14:15, 15:15; Sunday 12:30, 13:30, 14:30
  • entrance to the cathedral and tower £ 16,50 (€ 18,00); Sunday £ 9,50 (€ 11,00)

3 - Lavenham

This Tudor-era village, nestled in the English countryside of Suffolk, it is well preserved and it is possible to admire the numerous medieval buildings.
Also known as the city of crooked houses, strolling through its streets you will see many houses with strange shapes.

As well as these half-timbered buildings and thatched cottages we suggest you visit St Peter and Paul Church and Lavenham Priory, a building that originally housed the Benedictine monks and is now a B&B.

A note: this location is the hometown of Harry Potter, in fact, here the scenes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were shot and it is possible to recognize the birthplace in what is now called De Vere House.

  • Range: 64 km
  • it can be reached in 1 hour by car or by train towards Bury St Edmunds; then from Railway Station bus 86 to Arc Shopping Center and from there bus 753 to The Swan in Lavenham (cost £ 18,00 / € 21,00, approximately 2 hours) - Get directions
  • always accessible

4 - Ickworth House

Heading north towards Bury St. Edmunds is one splendid residence in Italian-neoclassical style managed by the National Trust.
This villa commissioned by the fourth Earl of Bristol was built between 1795 and 1829 and has many rooms, but only a few are open to the public.
The Rotunda is the wing of the house that was to house the family while the side areas were to be used to preserve the art collections.
The gardens and park are also very beautiful, ideal for a walk at any time of the year.
Part of the residence hosts a hotel, a restaurant and a cafe.



  • Range: 46 km
  • it is located 46 Km from Cambridge, 50 minutes by car following signs for The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds. Alternatively the train from Cambridge station to Bury St Edmunds takes 40 minutes; from here bus 14 arrives at the villa in 10 minutes (cost £ 10,00 / € 12,00) - Get directions
  • all week from 9:00 to 17:00
  • £ 16,00 (€ 18,50)

5 - Greenwich

Famous for being the place where the "zero meridian" passes, a reference point for the time zones of the world, Greenwich is a district of London.
Do not miss Greenwich Market which has a very ancient history and it hosts many antiques stalls as well as food stalls.
Nearby is also the Anglican church of St. Alfege surrounded by numerous tombs.
Then we suggest you take a walk in the park where you will meet several birds, numerous deer and some squirrels; inside there is also the Royal Observatory which houses the astronomy center and planetarium.
Finally, if you have time left, visit the Cutty Sark, the great ship launched in 1869 which sailed the seas and followed the routes of the indies and today it has been transformed into a museum.

  • Range: 99 km
  • it can be reached by car in 1 hour and 30 via the M11 and A12 exit Greenwich. Alternatively, train from Cambridge to King's Cross and from there by tube to London Bridge and then by another tube to North Greenwich Station (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes, cost £ 25,00 / € 29,00) - Get directions
  • Greenwich Market: January and February 10: 00-17: 30, closed on Mondays; from 12 February to December 10: 00-17: 30. Cutty Sark: from 10:00 to 17:00; from 20 July to 30 August from 10:00 to 18:00; Royal Observatory from 10:00 to 17:30
  • Cutty Sark £ 15,00 (€ 17,50); Royal Observatory £ 16,00 (€ 18,60)
  • Tickets for the Greenwich Observatory and the Cutty Sark; London: Greenwich Observatory Tour with Audio Guide

6 - Warwick Castle

Warwick is a medieval town west of Cambridge, a historic town located on the banks of the River Avon which has about 25 inhabitants.
The small town is famous for its castle, one of the most important, beautiful and best preserved in the country.
We suggest you visit the towers, ramparts and keep as well as the Victorian apartments and the Mill and Engine House.
Often the management of the castle organizes shows with actors, storytellers who reproduce fascinating historical attractions.



  • Range: 143 km
  • it can be reached by car in 1 hour and 50 following the A14 and A46. Alternatively by bus 777 from Cambridge Parkside to Coventry Pool Meadow Bus Station and from Coventry to Warwich Castle by bus X18 (total duration 3 hours, cost £ 14,00 / € 16,00 - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun 10: 00-16: 00; closed on December 25th
  • from £ 14,00 (€ 16,35)
  • Warwick Castle: Admission Ticket

7 - Oxford

It is one of the most famous cities in Europe and the United Kingdom thanks to its wonderful architecture and renowned universities.
Also known as the city of dreaming spiers, we suggest you start visiting them there Christ Church College & Cathedral, the most beautiful and oldest university college dating back to the Middle Ages.
Then reach Cornmarket Street, the commercial street where you will meet several street artists and you can visit the covered market housed in a th century building.

Continuing on you can visit the Sheldonian Theater where graduation ceremonies take place, the Radcliffe Camera, an old library and the St. Mary The Virgin Lookout Tower.

  • Range: 135 km
  • it can be reached by car in 2 hours and 15 via the A421. Alternatively the direct bus X5 connects Cambridge from Castle Street to Oxford Gloucester Green Bus Station (duration 3 hours, cost £ 21,00 / € 25,00)
  • guided city tours start at 11am or 00pm and last 14 hours - book online
  • guided tours start from € 21,00
  • city ​​and university walking tour Harry Potter film locations tour Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided tour

8 - Audley End House & Gardens

It is one of the largest mansions in England not too far from Cambridge and perfect for a day trip.
Built as a country house in the th century, it is located outside Saffron Walden in the English region of Essex.
This huge Jacobite style villa today is the property of English Heritage, and is located right on the land that once housed the medieval Walden Abbey.
During a guided tour you can admire the numerous rooms furnished with different styles and tastes, the kitchen, the laundries and the historic stable.
Do not miss also i wonderful gardens with perfect lawns.

  • Range: 32 km
  • it can be reached by car in 35 minutes following the M11 or by train in 40 minutes from Cambridge station to Audley End Rail Station. From here with bus 59 you get to High School and then in 5 minutes on foot you reach the residence (£ 20,00 / € 23,00) - Get directions
  • are always subject to change, it is advisable to visit the official site of the attraction
  • admission £ 20,40 (€ 24,00)

9 - Brighton

In the south of Great Britain, not too far from Cambridge, this seaside resort it's the perfect place to spend a spring or summer day.
Highlights to see are the pebble beach with completely free blue and white striped lounge chairs and Brighton Palace Pier.
The pier inaugurated in 1899 is the only one to be in operation and besides being a port it is the place where theatrical and entertainment performances take place.

Also not to be missed is the Royal Pavilion, an Indo-Saracen style building built by George IV, Prince of Wales in 1787 with beautiful gardens.
Finally visit the historic district of The Lanes which once housed a fishing community and today it is full of antique shops and boutiques.

  • Range: 190 km
  • by car, following the M11 / M23 it takes about 2 hours. Alternatively you can take a train that leaves from Cambridge and arrives at London Kings Cross and from there another train to Brighton (duration 30 hours and 2, cost £ 30 / € 47,00) - Get directions
  • Royal Pavilion October-March from 10am to 00pm; April-September from 17:15 to 9:30;
    Brighton Palace Pier October - March 11am - 00pm; April-September from 17:00 to 10:00
  • Royal Pavilion £ 15,50 (€ 18,00)
  • Brighton Custom Private Tour with a Local 5 Hour Brighton Bike Tour Entrance Ticket to the Royal Pavilion

10 - Bletchley Park

An alternative day trip destination is this estate north west of London and west of Cambridge in the borough of Milton Keynes.
Anyone who has seen the historical film The Imitation Game knows what we are talking about; the residence, also known as Station X, was chosen by the British army during World War II as secret place to decipher the messages of the Nazis and anticipate the enemy's moves.
Today this place is it has become a beautiful and very interesting museum where it is possible to retrace the past through demonstration panels.
You can also see multimedia tools of the time and practice cryptography.

  • Range: 77 km
  • it can be reached by car in 1 hour and 15; alternatively from Cambridge Castle Street the X5 bus goes to Central Station and from Milton Keynes station the train takes you to Bletchley, a 5 minute walk from the entrance (duration 2 hours 15, cost £ 16,00 / € 18,00 , ) - Get directions
  • 1st March - 31st October from 9:30 to 17:00; November 1st - February 28th from 9am to 30pm
  • £ 20,00 (€ 23,00)

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