Luxury cottages Cambridgeshire

Luxury cottages CambridgeshireLuxury Cambridgeshire cottages are ideally placed for visitors seeking a base from which to explore England’s vast East Anglian region and this historic county. Landlocked Cambridgeshire lies between neighbouring Lincolnshire (to the north), Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex (east), Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire (south) and Northamptonshire (west). With the A1, M11 and East Coast Main Line railway running through it, the county offers quick and easy access to the capital, London, just 50 miles away.

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Much of the county is low-lying and was once fenland drained by the Great Ouse, Britain’s fourth-longest river. Notable settlements include ‘Jewel of the Ouse’ St Neots, with its attractive Georgian market square, and ancient Ely, whose magnificent, towering cathedral has long been known as ‘the ship of the Fens’. But it is on a tributary of the Great Ouse that the county’s most popular tourist destination is to be found.
Cambridge, and the neighbouring ‘poets’ village’ of Grantchester, lie on the banks of the River Cam whose water meadows have long been a popular place to idle away the long, lazy days of summer.
With its rich academic heritage and glorious architecture Cambridge is renowned the world over, boasting all the trappings of a modern tourist destination.
Contrastingly, on the county’s northern border lies the sprawling, modern giant, Peterborough. Rapid growth during the Industrial Revolution and further expansion in the Sixties to house the London ‘overspill’ have seen this ‘New Town’ far outstrip its historic limits. At the heart of Peterborough’s busy, modern shopping precinct stands its beautiful Norman cathedral, an oasis of calm where Katharine of Aragon rests in peace having outlived her infamous husband, Henry VIII.
The market town of Huntingdon, located at a strategically important crossing point on the Great Ouse, also played its part in English history as the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell. His former school room houses the town’s Cromwell Museum.
Between these towns and cities stretches Cambridgeshire’s gently, undulating countryside with a series of national nature reserves protecting the fragile fenland landscape. On higher ground, the Wandlebury Country Park was created to protect rare chalk downland, part of the Gog Magog range of hills to the south-east of Cambridge.
From luxury cottages Cambridgeshire and its many hidden gems await discovery.

While staying at one of our luxury Cambridgeshire cottages here is a ‘Top Ten’ list suggesting things to see and do.

1. Go punting
No trip to Cambridge would be complete without taking to the water to view the magnificent architecture along ‘The Backs’. With a number of organisations offering punts for hire on the River Cam, the only decision which needs to be made is whether to opt for a professional guide to propel your craft or to go for the DIY method. While attempting to propel a punt with a long pole can be great fun, hiring a guide can be a more informative and waterproof way to travel.

2. ‘Bag’ a cathedral
Cambridgeshire is home to two of the nation’s greatest cathedrals, Ely and Peterborough, as well as a large number of other historic ecclesiastical buildings. Featuring splendid architecture and stories which link up with some of our history’s most powerful people, both cathedrals should feature on any visitor’s itinerary. Take advantage of their guided tours to discover the hidden secrets of these architectural gems and consult their websites to ensure your visit coincides with events of interest. Both have cafes.

3. Discover dinosaur bones
The Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences houses a collection of around 2 million rock and fossil specimens spanning 4.5 billion years of our planet’s history. Part of the University of Cambridge, the museum is named in honour of the father of British geology Adam Sedgewick (1785-1873), a Cambridge-educated Professor from Dent, in Cumbria. The museum prides itself on its family-friendly displays while, at the same time, maintaining a high research profile. The museum is open Monday to Saturday and admission is free.

4. Go to Grantchester
The Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester was extensively used for the filming of ITVs recent dramatisation of the 1950s detective series the Grantchester Mysteries, starring James Norton and Robson Green. The village has long been a popular destination for students and tourists from nearby Cambridge, travelling out on foot or by punt to picnic in its scenic water meadows or visit the famous Orchard Tea Gardens. One such fan was First World War poet Rupert Brooke, who lodged in Grantchester’s Old Vicarage during his student days. It was a time he later recalled with nostalgia and immortalised in his poem The Old Vicarage, Grantchester.

5. Catch up with Cromwell
The tiny Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon pays homage to the 17th-century Roundhead leader who led the Parliamentarians to victory against Royalists and, temporarily, deposed the English monarchy. For anyone wanting to gain an insight on this turbulent period of the nation’s history, a visit to the museum – in Cromwell’s former school building – is a must. Cromwell, who was born in Huntingdon, lived for 10 years down the road in Ely; his story is also told there, where his former house is also open to the public.

6. Check out the chapel
With its breathtaking architecture, King’s College Chapel is one of the jewels in the crown of Cambridge if not the country. Built by a succession of English monarchs, the chapel’s highlights include its fabulous vaulted ceiling, soaring stained glass windows and magnificent rood screen. No visit to the city would be complete without a tour of this historic building, or hearing its world-famous choir sing.

7. Get computing
The Centre for Computing History aims to chart the progress of the Information Revolution with its collection of computers, games consoles and calculating devices. Based in Coldhams Road, Cambridge, it claims to make the history of computing relevant and fun and its latest venture, Tech Odyssey, aims to tell the ‘epic story of the computing revolution to anyone – young and old, techie and non-geek alike.’ The centre is open five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday.

8. Dig deep
Find out how our prehistoric ancestors lived at the Flag Fen open-air archaeology park near Peterborough. This unique site with its reconstructed Bronze Age huts and wet room, where the timbers of an ancient wooden causeway are being preserved for posterity, provides an insight on the past and also the chance to stroll around and take in the wildlife here. Like other tourist attractions, the site also caters for the 21st-century with its visitor centre, shop and cafe.

9. Go wildlife-watching
The National Trust’s Wicken Fen is one of the country’s oldest nature reserves and a wildlife habitat of international significance, home to the rarely seen bittern. The reserve has nine wildlife hides, a visitor centre, shop and cafe. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has three major sites in Cambridgeshire – at Nene Washes (Peterborough), Fen Drayton Lakes (Cambridge) and the Ouse Washes (Ely). Nene Washes attracts large flocks of wildfowl in winter when the River Nene is in flood and is also known for its birds of prey. Fen Drayton Lakes are former gravel pits, favoured by a range of wading birds, including common terns, snipe and wigeon. The low-lying Ouse Washes form the largest area of winter-flooding grassland in Britain and are important for black-tailed godwits, garganeys, snipe, wigeon and tree sparrows.

10. Fly high
The Imperial War Museum’s Duxford site has a fascinating story to tell about its role as an aerodrome during the major wars of the 20th Century. Ideal for a family day out, this entertaining and informative museum has plenty of interactive exhibits, live displays and impressive artefacts which help to bring the past alive for visitors of all ages. The collection here marks Duxford out as a leading centre of European aviation history.

From luxury cottages Cambridgeshire, its rich heritage and lovely countryside invite exploration.

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