Our top nine ideas on getting out and about this summer
- Credit: Terry Harris/Facebook/Oliver Cromwell's House
The sun is out, lockdown is easing, and time to get out and about and explore Cambridgeshire and the Fens.
But we all like value for money, and if you’ve a growing family that’s even more important.
Here’s some suggestions for family days out, ideal for sightseeing, picnics, and a soupcon of culture and history thrown in.
Landbeach Tithe Barn
It is only one of a handful of buildings of its type, but after urgent repair works, Tithe Barn aims to breathe new life for visitors after lockdown.
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The building, in Landbeach near Ely, is run by the Tithe Barn Trust and for history fans, this venue could be a worthwhile trip back in time.
Work to renovate the barn’s thatched roof finished last year, which also boasts a timber granary and brick threshing floor that is believed to originate from medieval times.
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Visitors can also look forward to a country pop-up market and visual artwork reflecting the Covid-19 pandemic later this summer, too.
For more information, visit: https://tithebarntrust.org.uk/.
If you’re looking for something to do while out in the Fens, this piece of history could do the trick.
Flag Fen is the only place where original Bronze Age remains can be seen in situ, dating back over 3,000 years.
Located near Whittlesey, the site was also awarded £70,000 from Historic England for the conservation and protection of rare Bronze Age log boats, another attraction to see.
For more details, go to: https://www.visitpeterborough.com/things-to-do/flag-fen-archaeological-park-p875681.
Ely Eel Trail
Deemed as the “best way to explore Ely” by tourist information website Visit Ely, this 90-minute trip aims to teach you facts you perhaps never knew about the city.
The Ely Eel Trail includes over 70 bronze eel plaques, 18 stops such as Ely Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell’s House, while you can also hop off at any point for some retail therapy, or a spot of lunch.
To find out more, search ‘Ely Eel Trail’ at: https://www.visitely.org.uk/.
Wicken Fen Nature Reserve
Home to more than 9,000 species, if you are into wildlife, Wicken Fen Nature Reserve could be the place for you.
Rare species such as plants, dragonflies and birds can be found here, plus konik ponies and highland cattle to admire.
The nature reserve received funding to help visitors understand its cultural value, with more activities becoming available, including cycle routes for all the family.
For more details, head to: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wicken-fen-nature-reserve.
Explore-a-book bench trail
The ‘explore a book’ bench trail is something for everyone, all in a bid to get people returning to some kind of normal life.
If you’re heading into West Norfolk, you may find seven of the artistic benches in the likes of King’s Lynn and Hunstanton, with more benches being designed by local people in these towns as well as Downham Market.
To learn more about the trail, visit: https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/news/article/950/explore-a-book_bench_trail_launches.
It is one of the largest pet charities in the UK, and 97 years on, Wood Green Animal Shelter is still going strong.
Not only have they helped pet owners at their Godmanchester home, but entertained the wider public on TV, such as on Channel 4’s The Dog House where the charity seeks a forever home for unwanted pets.
To find out more about Wood Green’s services, visit: https://woodgreen.org.uk/home.
If you’re travelling through Fenland and wondering what to see, take a trip to the lowest Iron Age hill fort in England.
Stonea Camp near March also played host to a major battle between the conquering Romans and the Iceni tribe around 60 to 61 AD, whose queen, Boudicca, led an uprising against Roman forces.
You can find Stonea Camp, situated around two metres above sea level, off Manea Road, Wimblington, PE15 0FD.
Come rain or shine, the regularly flooded Nene Washes is an area many can spend time enjoying at what is also an area of significance.
The Washes, found at Whittlesey, is a 15-square kilometre Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Ramsar internationally important wetland site, meaning they are of significant value to the country and humanity, too.
You may also spot some friendly visitors as well, including a garganey and the short-eared owl.
You can find the Nene Washes at 21a East Delph, Whittlesey, PE7 1RH or visit: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/nene-washes/.
Cambridge American Cemetery
Donated by the city’s university, tourists can once again be able to visit the grounds of the Cambridge American Cemetery from April 12.
In total, the remains of 3,811 of the country’s war dead lay in the cemetery, while over 5,000 people are recorded on the Walls of the Missing.
Visitors will have to wait until at least May to learn more about the US’ allied victory with Europe during the Second World War, but certainly worth waiting for.
For more information, visit: https://www.abmc.gov/Cambridge