The Senate House, Cambridge

We spent two nights in Cambridge because there’s a lot to see in the area and we had friends to meet too. The first time we actually went into the town it was night time but very busy with students flying all over the place on their bikes. You’re in real danger of getting knocked down by them, I’ve never seen so many cyclists before. The bike is King in Cambridge. There are so many all padlocked up that people often have trouble finding their machine amongst the many and have to give up and walk home! The above photo is of the Senate House, just a few bikes there. There weren’t so many around during the day and there were graduations taking place at this time.

This is Clare College, a very handsome building and lovely setting. The college buildings in Cambridge are very much smaller than I had imagined they would be. I thought that the whole place would be full of Hooray Henrys/Henriettas but it wasn’t, in fact the students at St Andrews are much more inclined to be snooty and loud mouthed.

Clare College, Cambridge

Below is the entrance to Christ’s College.

Christ's College entrance

And this is what you see when you walk through the doorway, very pretty.

Christ's College quad 1

Look in the other direction and you see this side. It’s all very Brideshead Revisited, although that was set in Oxford, but this quad seems really small compared with St Salvator’s at St Andrews. No students were seen wandering around with their teddy bear. Shame!

Christ's College quad 2

As you can see this is where you go if you want to go on a punt but it was actually raining quite heavily at this point so the punts were all tied up, nobody being mad enough to want to take a trip on the Cam.

Bridge over Cam

There’s obviously a lot of money in Cambridge and there are lots of privately owned shops and boutiques. Not the sort of shops which you get around most universities. But the natives are very friendly and although people in the south of England are always being slagged off for being cold and stand-offish, they definitely aren’t at The Pickerel Inn anyway. We’ll probably be going back sometime as there’s still plenty to see in the county. Our friend from Yorkshire who lived temporarily in Cambridge says that the people in Yorkshire have a reputation for being warm and friendly but he says that they’re bloody miserable buggers. Well, I suppose he should know. He’s moving to Edinburgh soon. I wonder what he’ll think of Edinburghers!

I’m Back!

Well I did have every intention of blogging while we were away but we packed so much into every day that we were too exhausted to do anything in the evenings except turn the TV on and vegetate whilst wondering who would be the next MP to do something crazy, we didn’t have long to wait did we! Over five days we visited:

Moffat (on the way down)
Lincoln (very nice but it chucked it down with rain)
Grantham (the only place we didn’t like much)
Stamford (very pretty with quirky houses and grand buildings)
Cambridge (lovely but smaller than I had imagined)
Newmarket (also worth visiting)
Grantchester (made famous by Rupert Brooke, lots of thatched cottages)
Madingley (very beautiful but sad American war cemetery)
Ely (lovely cathedral and ancient town)
Braintree (where we used to live, all very different in a good way)
Witham (where I used to work)
Silver End (to see art deco buildings)
Coggeshall (a re-visit for us, very chocolate boxy)
Great Dunmow (more ancient quirky buildings )
Thaxted (stopped briefly to snap – amongst other things – Gustav Holst’s house)
Saffron Walden (I really loved this place, very old fashioned)

So you can see why we were exhausted! Very naughtily I bought 15 books from second-hand bookshops, details later. So I hope you enjoy photos of old towns and villages as I’ll be blogging about our travels soon. It’s just as well that Jack still has another week of holiday time left, recovery time!

A Road Trip in England

We’re going to be going on another road trip sometime during the up and coming school holidays. We’re visiting places that we’ve never been to before because there’s so much of Britain that we haven’t seen.

So the list of places we’re definitely visiting this time consists of:

Stamford (where they filmed Cranford)

Then as we’ll be so far south by then we decided to re-visit Braintree in Essex to see how much it has changed in the 33 years since we bought our first house there. We only lived there for a couple of years and ended up going back to live in Scotland for quite a lot of reasons. My dad was very seriously ill so I had to help with caring for him but apart from that we were very homesick anyway, me in particular and it was very annoying that whenever we opened our mouths people commented on our accents. It’s true that there weren’t many Scottish accents around in deepest darkest Essex in those days but it was a bit like being a circus act as people asked us to say something!

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see the place again. If anybody who knows the above towns and areas could give us information on ‘not to be missed’ places to visit there, please leave a comment!

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to blog whilst on the trip but you never know really so I’ll probably schedule some posts, just in case.