Your Tour Options In East Anglia
London to Cambridge
The fast way
Route 1 on the map . . .
Take the slightly off-track option
Via Waltham Abbey
Route 2 on the map . . .
or Via Finchingfield and Audely End House
With attractions like
Finchingfield, and Audley End.
Route 3 on the map . . .
Or via Constable Country
Route 4 on the map . . .
Constable Country to / from Cambridge
From Constable Country you also have two ways of getting to or from Cambridge.
The direct way
Route 6 on the map . . .
The interesting way – via Lavenham.
Route 5 on the map . . .
Travelling north from Constable Country you can follow the Norfolk Coast to Kings Lynn and on to Peterborough.
Route 7 on the map . . .
The main attraction is Sandringham House, the Queen’s winter retreat.
These tour options will take you to the world-famous university city of Cambridge, but the region has much more to offer than just the beauty of this ancient seat of learning.
Norfolk county is famous for the Broads – vast areas of pancake-flat land. So level, in fact, that you can swing through a 180 deg arc of dead-flat horizon.
The region was originally swamp land, but in the 17th century a Dutch engineer name Vermuyden developed a system of drains and rivers that dried the peaty soil, turning it into the rich farm land you see today.
As the water drained away, the peat dried and shrank so that the drains ended up higher than the surrounding countryside. They built levees to hold the water back with the result that in some places you may see a river boat coasting along above you.
This was never coal mining or industrial country. Its fortunes were built on wool and Norfolk woollen goods were exported to the world. Towns like Lavenham grew prosperous on the trade and it shows in the fine buildings still there to be admired today.
In many ways, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are classic English countryside counties and were immortalised in the paintings of John Constable.
If you are in London, go to the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum to see his famous works such as Dedham Vale and The Haywain (pictured) then take a detour to Constable Country to see the landscape he so perfectly captured in oil on canvas.
Don’t be surprised, however, if the real scene is slightly different to his paintings. The old boy cheated a bit – let’s call it “artistic licence”. If a painting would look better with a church spire in the distance he simply shifted it in from a few miles away. Who cares – the scenery is still beautiful and well worth the diversion.
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