To continue from my last post we had a wonderful early morning walk in Cambridge, right round the river to The Backs where Mark continued his trespassing tendencies. This photo was taken inside the grounds of Trinity College, in the most delightful garden full of tulips.
Trinity really does have the most exquisite buildings
Along the river, with the punts lined up ready for the day.
So many beautiful little bridges across the river.
and some exquisite detailing on Corpus Christi College. I am obsessed with the architectural details.
At this point I might talk about our travel strategy as a few people have asked me. We don’t book accommodation much in advance, and sometimes not at all, trusting to serendipity. We did a road trip around the South West of England in 2016 relying on the internet to tell us where to go and I rather felt as though we had missed a few important sights, so this time I bought this book to help guide our travels. It has been really good and we’ve visited places that we would not have given much thought to.
The other thing we notice is that if we plug our destination into Google maps we get directed to Motorways and spat out at the other end, seeing very little along the way. This time we put all the small towns and villages we wish to visit en-route to the final destination for the day, and we are able to do detours at whim. There is also the ability to tell Google maps that motorways should be avoided but we decided against doing this as sometimes they have a useful function and a whole day of driving down little country lanes gets a bit taxing.
We used the book to guide us in our explorations around Cambridge and nearby towns and villages, and followed the map to Saffron Walden which is a 12th century market town full of half-timbered buildings and interesting architecture.
The weather was glorious but it didn’t really warm up until early afternoon, so I had to throw the Anais jacket from Stitch Diva over my Phoebe Bib and Tucker overalls from Pattern Union.
I have to say that I love the crooked buildings the best and took many photographs. I shall choose my favourites for you.
This lovely building is in Lavenham, another spot we were directed to from the book.
Lavenham is full of gorgeous buildings. It used to be the centre of the wool trade and seems to be full of leaning medieval buildings.
Most are whitewashed but not all. We may have visited these tearooms!
I think this building was the Guild Hall.
We visited Ely to check out the cathedral, which was vast and beautiful (of course!), but I found a sewing and knitting shop, which I thoroughly enjoyed but came out empty handed.
We had a picnic lunch in the beautiful Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. I spent quite a lot of time trying to work out the layout of the Abbey, but couldn’t manage it in spite of a 3D model on display.
We sat on this bench which marks the site of the world’s first internet bench. Apparently there was some sort of dial up connection under the bench and people could sit with their laptops and access the internet. Pretty amazing for 2001. Ah, those years before wireless!
Our final stop was Aldeburgh Beach, as recommended by @judithrosalind.
It’s a very picturesque town with lots of pastel coloured houses, and of course, the shingle beach, which Mark described as a rock beach! This was the first time he’d been on a beach such as this and was quite astonished by it. Although the weather had been beautiful, by the time we got to the sea it was late in the day and the water was grey and very unappealing. There were people lolling about on the pebbles though!
This was our last day in Cambridge, and we planned to move on to York. Stay tuned to see where we finished up!
17 thoughts on “Cambridge and surrounds”
i love your travel posts. I was in Cambridge in 1994 and it was so lovely to have another look. Thanks.
My pleasure! It’s probably changed a bit since you were there, but they seem to be preserving the buildings well.
So pleased that you are visiting some lovely spots in the south east. These bring back lots of memories for me.
It has been absolutely wonderful. We are further north now and that’s fabulous too!
Another lovely trip with you! Love the small towns and winding roads in England & Scotland!
I do too! Such a pretty place.
I visited Cambridge in 2016 — and loved it! Wanted to move there right then and there. Will be looking forward to more of your travel posts.
I understand why you loved Cambridge, it really is a beautiful city.
York is very nice, there’s also a large and amazing railway museum, if you’re into trains (I am)
There are also small companies that do excursions in the surrounding countryside – well worth it
We are planning to get to York in the next couple of days, so will check it out. Thank you!
Definitely visit Betty’s tea room in York it’s worth it despite always being very busy! I’m glad you are enjoying yourself in the UK!
We saw one in Harrogate, but the queue was enormous. We bought cakes at the shop though. If there’s one in York we’ll definitely try to visit.
This is how I travel too! Do enough research to pick a route and have some not-to-miss stops or know if there are festivals and what not going on to know if you won’t be able to find a hotel room. Then leave the rest up to what feels good on that day and maybe come across cool recommendations from travelers or locals along the way.
Yes, we’re about to be caught up in the Tour de Yorkshire which is causing a problem with accommodation where we’re headed so I’ve booked ahead for once. We use the guidebook as a starting point and then talk to anyone who will talk back!
I like your road trip strategy, very clever. Lonely Planet has the best guides in my opinion. Lovely pics and fun to see your Phoebe bibs in action xx
We could not have done without this guide. Whilst it doesn’t have everything it has helped us to prioritise.