Come with us to Constable country to see the great artist’s house by the river Stour, then on to the glittering spires of Cambridge University where the careers of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton started.
Cambridge and Ely
The university town of Cambridge exudes an air of learning. Wander among the Colleges and hear about world enriching discoveries or try punting on the River Cam. The cemetery at Madingley is the last resting place of 3,811 American service personnel from WWII.
The market town of Ely houses a part-Norman Cathedral with a stained glass museum, plus the house where Oliver Cromwell lived during 17thc.
Cambridge and Duxford
Many of the 31 colleges of Cambridge University are open to visitors, but the “jewel in the crown” is probably King’s College Chapel.
Nearby Duxford, an outpost of the Imperial War Museum, is situated at an old Battle of Britain airfield and houses an amazing collection of aeroplanes from a 1917 Bristol Fighter to an American B-52 Stratofortress. It hosts several air shows each year.
Constable Country and Lavenham
Constable Country is the area associated with the artist John Constable, who was born in East Bergholt in 1776. Some places are still recognisable from his paintings.
East Anglia is a very scenic part of Britain and villages like Lavenham have many half-timbered houses, some dating back to 15thc. Many American airmen were based nearby in WWII. Long Melford is another attractive village.
Woburn Abbey and Shaw’s Corner
Woburn Abbey has been the home of the Dukes of Bedford for 400 years. The Abbey contains a priceless collection of art, furniture, silver and porcelain. 10 species of deer roam in the park, separated from the lions and tigers in the Woburn Safari Park. An Antiques Centre has been opened in the old stable block.
George Bernard Shaw lived at Shaw’s Corner from 1906 until his death in 1950. See the Writing Hut in the garden where most of his famous works were written.
St Albans and Hatfield House
In St Albans (named after the first British martyr, a Roman soldier) you can visit the Verulamium Museum, which explains the history of one of the most important towns in Roman Britain, shop in the market, marvel at the Cathedral or have lunch at the Olde Fighting Cocks pub, recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest pub in Britain.
Later spend time at Hatfield House, where Queen Elizabeth I was staying when she became sovereign in 1558. The home of the Marquess of Salisbury today, it houses a fine collection of pictures, tapestry, furnishings and armour, plus there is a delightful formal garden dating from 1611.