Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Cambridgeshire

"Cambridgeshire, (Cambs.) inland eastern county of England; bounded North by Lincolnshire, East by Norfolk and Suffolk, South by Essex and Herts, West by Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire; greatest length, North and South, 48 miles; greatest breadth, East and West, 28 miles; average breadth 16 miles; area, 524,935 acres; population 185,594. The North section of the county, including the Isle of Ely and part of the Great Bedford Level, is a large flat expanse of country, which, for the most part, formerly consisted of fen and marsh. It is now intersected in all directions by wide trenches or canals. The land, thus drained and reclaimed, is a rich, black soil, and bears excellent crops. From this tract the pleasant vale of the Cam stretches away to the south-west, and contains a great number of excellent dairy farms. Cambridgeshire comprises 17 hundreds, 172 parishes with parts of 7 others, the parliamentary and municipal borough of Cambridge (1 member and Cambridge University 2 members), and the municipal borough of Wisbech (pronounced Wizbeech)."
[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]

A couple of excellent family attractions, and Cambridge delights all but the very young; otherwise the county's appeal is largely to older people, quiet and civilised, with enjoyable hotels and inns The opening of the imaginative new American Air Museum at Duxford adds quite a bit to a place that's already an outstanding draw - enjoyable even if you're not plane-minded. Linton Zoo is another first-class family attraction. The M11 puts both these - and stately Wimpole Hall - within easy reach of London.

Cambridge itself is also an easy day out from London. Arguably Britain's most attractive ancient university city, it has lots of interesting places to visit, and a grace and charm that makes for delightful short stays. Three of its museums (Fitzwilliam, Archaeology & Anthropology and Whipple) are among the first two dozen outside London to be designated as of national importance by the Heritage Secretary - and they are by no means the only really interesting ones here. The city's at its best during the university terms, as it's the college students who put life and context into the medieval lanes, buildings and gardens. In summer, when it is host instead to foreign students, its popularity with coach tours means that particular places can suddenly overflow with visitors, so perhaps the best time of all is spring or autumn. In winter, like the rest of the county, it can be very chill. Further afield, the Nene Valley Railway between Wansford and Peterborough, the Peakirk wildfowl garden, the Hamerton wildlife centre and the Sacrewell country centre at Thornhaugh are all enjoyable family destinations. Flag Fen just E of Peterborough is an intriguing window on prehistoric life around here - and on the intricate detective work needed to piece it together. Older people like quiet Ely with its graceful cathedral (and a decent museum), Anglesey Abbey at Lode, and Elton Hall. This is a good county for pottering around villages. Hemingford Grey is one of Britain's most attractive, and several others are very pretty, often with fine churches. In many more, subtle points of interest reward a patient stroller with an eye for detail. The countryside is a touch monotonous for most people - especially the North's flat silt fens and vast level fields. But there are those who love the misty bleakness in autumn, say, and this area has a lot to offer bird watchers. Wicken Fen has a much broader appeal, showing what the area was like before intensive agriculture took over; the Prickwillow Drainage Engine Museum gives another interesting slant on these fenland landscapes. To the west, the land's drier and more rolling, with stonebuilt villages more reminiscent of Leicestershire. Cambridgeshire's Tourist Information Centres are among the best - very helpful with information, maps and trails.

Arundle House Hotel
The Arundel House Hotel occupies one of the finest sites in the city of Cambridge overlooking the river Cam and open parkland. It is only a short walk across the park, known as Jesus Green, to the city centre and the wealth of historic buildings for which Cambridge is famous. For guests travelling by car the hotel has a large car park.

Cambridgeshire England
- Arundle House Hotel

Louise Riley-Smith

The Downs Croxton
Cambridgeshire England