Attractions Nearby Cambridge, Day Trips and Excursions
(Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK)
If you've had your fill of Cambridge university history and local attractions, then you may well like to consider a few day trips. Many interesting towns and cities are located within comfortable reach of the city, being easiest to reach if you have your own set of wheels.
Roughly a 30-minute drive away is the town of St. Ives, situated within the boundaries of Huntingdonshire county. St. Ives is home to the Grade II-listed Corn Exchange building, which dates back to the middle of the 19th century and has recently been saved from demolition, following major structural problems.
Further tempting excursions from Cambridge include the attractions of Ely Cathedral, Grantchester village, the town of Saffron Walden and the market town of Newmarket, which lies some 21 km / 13 miles to the east and is famous for its thoroughbred horse racing heritage.
Located to the north-west of Cambridge and close to the Wyton Airfield, St. Ives is a lively Cambridgeshire market town and is a perfect spot for walking along the picturesque riverbanks. Downstream from the river you will find Great Ouse, another market town with strong connections with Oliver Cromwell and featuring a museum celebrating the life of Cromwell.
Ely is home to the famous Ely Cathedral, which is often referred to locally as 'The Ship of the Fens', due to the expanse of surrounding countryside. Dating from 1081, Ely Cathedral is one of the major attractions here and features the famous Octagonal Tower and the stunning Lady Chapel. Other highlights in Ely include the 17th-century Cromwell family home, which was once the house of Oliver Cromwell, leader of the Parliamentarian forces in the English Civil War and also Lord Protector of England.
Situated to the south-east of Cambridge, Grantchester is a charming village full of thatched cottages and meadows of wild flowers next to the idyllic Granta River. Sightseers in Grantchester may also like to check out its historic church, the plentiful walking trails and the scenic surrounding countryside.
Newmarket, home of British flat racing, is within easy reach from central Cambridge, being approximately 25 minutes away by car. One of the main attractions in Newmarket is the National Horseracing Museum, which covers the history of horse racing in the United Kingdom and includes numerous interesting exhibits and displays, a gallery area and a racehorse simulator. Nearby the National Stud provides a real insight into English horse racing.
Uttlesford, home to the beautiful medieval market town of Saffron Walden, has recently been voted one of the nicest places to live in the whole of the United Kingdom. Famous for its precious saffron crop, Saffron Walden is also home to historic markets which are reputed to be amongst the earliest markets in Essex, dating back almost 900 years.