Cambridgeshire Tourist Attractions

Glorified by poets and university students alike, Cambridgeshire is certainly a county of educational relevance. Where else can you get a better glimpse of old aristocratic England than the birthplace of some of its most celebrated historical characters? Home to one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, Cambridgeshire has borne an eclectic variety of poets, politicians, scientists and thinkers, the legacies of whom continue to draw tourists from across the globe. But there's more to this leafy East Anglian county than dusty libraries and living museums; in fact, Cambridge's green spaces form the backdrop to some of the most popular music, arts and sporting events in the British calendar. Even if you're not fortunate enough to touch down whilst these seasonal shindigs are in full swing, there's a plenitude of other fascinating attractions for the culture hungry!


IMG_1577 - flckr - Matt PrestonThe Imperial War Museum, Duxford
Set within the expansive grounds of the former World War II airbase, The Imperial War Museum Duxford is an impressively spacious converted hangar housing some of the most iconic aircraft in the world. IWM lays claim to one of the largest collections of privately owned pre-Second World War planes, including Sally B, the 1930's Boeing B-17 immortalised in Monte Merrick's feature film 'Memphis Belle' (1990). Discover over 200 rare aircraft specimens, plus tanks and land craft in the magnificent AirSpace Hall, which includes a nod to various 20th Century innovations such as the legendary Spitfire. Explore the refurbished RAF hangars and American Museum, in which you'll gain a fascinating insight into the birth of aviation Stateside and it's relevance throughout British history. Finally, don't miss your ticket aboard IWM's hottest attraction: Concorde - you can even relax in First Class!


Wimpole Estate (NT) 12-05-2012 - flckr - Karen RoeWimpole Hall and Farm, Arrington, Royston
Less than 8 miles from the historic city of Cambridge lies Wimpole Hall, arguably the county's largest stately home and one of the few working estates still operational in the UK. Constructed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and William Eames in the 18th Century, Wimpole Hall's parterre gardens command impressive views across the 3,000 acres of parkland and have little changed in 300 years. The Walled Garden features numerous unique specimens of exotic plants and shrubs, coupled with an ornate summerhouse designed by neo-Classical architect Sir John Soane. Guided tours take in nearly all of the rooms at the great mansion, including the Yellow Drawing Room, a magnificent guest hall renovated in 1793 by Soane. Discover the traditional workings of the estate with a visit to Home Farm. Here visitors are encouraged to experience what life was life for the 100-strong estate team with various guided activities, including egg collecting, donkey grooming and cattle herding, along with fascinating cooking demonstrations during the summer months!


Oliver CromwellOliver Cromwell's House, Ely
There are some who might refer to Oliver Cromwell as the protagonist of his own demise, but, whether or not you agree with his methods, the family home at St. Mary's Street, Ely, offers a fascinating insight into his early life. The Huntingdon MP spent the first 40 years of his life at Ely sharing the 13th Century house with his brother and later, his wife. Largely reliant upon selling eggs and wool to cut a living during those early years, the propagandist soon gained a local following as he sought to change fenlander rights. Today, the Tudor timber-framed building overlooking the manicured town green has been transformed into a living period museum with guided audio tours and permanent exhibitions documenting his life right up to the Civil War. Diary excerpts, news cuttings and an array of personal effects showcase the many victories of Cromwell's career, and give an insight into the family man modernly dubbed history's most controversial political character.


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