East Anglia Travel Guide

Hunsett Mill, Norfolk © Acme, Cristobal Palma Photography

Introduction and Overview

The East Anglia Travel Guide explores the East of England region, highlighting local attractions and useful tourist information. The area guide features travel information on local transport and travel, facts & figures, entertainment, events, maps and accommodation.

The region includes the Norfolk Broads in the north, Cambridgeshire in the West and Colchester in the south.

The region does not have the large metropolitan cities that are evident elsewhere in the UK, which is reflected in a more relaxed pace of life. The best known places here are Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich, East Anglia enjoys a climate that is better than most of the UK.

Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and the original Roman capital; it has the largest surviving Norman keep in Europe.

Colchester has a rich and well documented history, Colchester museum is a popular place to visit whilst in the town, and it covers Colchester’s varied history.

Many of Colchester’s ancient buildings remain to the present day and these are open to tour, the Town Hall is also a prominent place to visit. Whilst the town is steeped in history is does also have a modern feel to it.

It is also a university town thanks to the University of Essex ensuring there is also a modern vibe. The zoo is located on the outskirts of Colchester; it plays a leading role in international breeding programmes and runs educational courses on various aspects of wildlife.

The world famous university town of Cambridge is at the heart of the fens that are open flat land that used to be under water. With the land so flat it is ideal for cycling, you do not have to be a cycling enthusiast to enjoy cycling here.

The atmosphere in tranquil and classical Cambridge is known for its thriving arts and culture scene, knowledge and fun from Cambridge University that is based here.

The relaxed atmosphere, calm and wonderful surroundings have long seen admired by others cities with perhaps a passing hint of envy.

When compared to its scholarly rival Oxford, visitors find Cambridge to be smaller with plenty of charm and character. Cambridge is not just for book worms either; visitors can explore the great outdoors here.

There are a number of colleges located here on the River Cam and have great lawns that go all the way down to the river banks. The archetypal picture perfect postcard seen can be viewed here especially in the summer where many an afternoon can be spent relaxing on the river bank.

You can enjoy a cruise on the River Cam and see Cambridge in its glory; you can also relax and watch the world go by at a quayside pub.

Many visitors enjoy wondering around the historic cobblestone streets of Cambridge and visiting any of the 31 colleges, The King's College is one of the most famous to visit. Other Cambridge highlights include the Fitzwilliam Museum, which has a most impressive collection of antiquities and includes works of art by Rembrandt and Turner to name but a few.

The Saxon Church of St. Ben’s has now been amalgamated with the university and is linked by a passageway that dates back to the 16th century. There is also a market held in the square outside Great St. Mary's Church.

The delightful county of Cambridgeshire is host to one of most beautiful small cities you will find anywhere, Ely. The spectacular cathedral dominates all around it you can explore the narrow streets that are lined with historic buildings, famous residents include Oliver Cromwell.

St. Ives is a riverside market town and nearby Huntingdon is the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell and you can visit his museum in the school he attended. St. Neots is the largest town in the county; here you can enjoy a stroll in the Riverside Park. The town of Wisbech, is at the heart of a fruit and flower growing area in the county.

The town offers fine examples Georgian street architecture in the UK such as the North Brink and Museum Square.

In the county of Suffolk, you can visit the remains of the abbey can be visit at the historic and attractive market town of Bury St. Edmunds.

Those that enjoy racing are well catered for at the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket, seen as birthplace racing. Thetford Forest has good walking routes, cycling and other activities.

The coast is a delight the best exploring is to be found on Suffolk Coast Walk. Aldeburgh is a quiet and scenic seaside town that makes for a relaxing, enjoyable visit.

Bury St. Edmunds is situated in the heart of East Anglia. It is a picturesque town, it has been around since medieval times.

Historic parts of the original Bury St. Edmunds Abbey remain, these include St. James’ Tower that dates back to the 12th century and the gatehouse dates back to the 14th century and links the Abbey Gardens to Angel Hill.

The Abbey Gardens surround the ruins, are very much a now a beauty spot with wonderful floral displays, they are popular with visitors. The Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery gives visitors the opportunity to see new artists with new work and new ideas. There are works from both home grown UK and overseas artists and designers.

If you like places that are charming and have a penchant for the arts, Norwich is worth visiting.

The city was once one of the largest and prosperous cities in Norman England and has undergone a transformation from a predominantly textile and industrial city in to its current guise as a modern cosmopolitan boom area that is flying high. In Norwich you can walk to many of the attractions and major landmarks.

The highlights include the Clock Tower, Norwich Castle and Norwich Cathedral. History has been well preserved here and Norwich’s ancient buildings and streets are on the whole still in tact, it all adds to the experience when visiting.

Despite having examples of the ancient city of Norwich, there are also modern buildings such as The Forum and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, located in the University of East Anglia. For those that like nightlife, Norwich has a hip club scene and it seen as one of the best in the region.

East Anglia has a delightful coastline stretching some 250 miles from The Wash to the River Thames. It can be argued the areas are not overly commercial and the beaches are unspoilt, add the crumbling cliffs for scenery and mudflats and salt marshes and you have a region that has its own distinct character.

There are areas that have been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the region is popular among sailing enthusiasts, birdwatchers and botanists, given the plethora of flora and fauna in the region.

The coastline is dynamic and constantly evolving, in some areas the sea is retreating, that results in salt marshes and marshes whilst in other areas, the sea is gaining inwards. This has given rise to East Anglia's constantly evolving coastline.

East Anglia is a region in the UK that is sometimes missed by visitors, the region does not have the highest profile among visitors; however there is plenty to see, do and enjoy here.

Visitors after something a bit different can find world famous cities such as Cambridge along with its wealth of attractions along with the Norfolk Broads, a boaters paradise and a number of charming towns and villages in Suffolk and Norfolk.

For a trip in the UK away from the crowds, with plenty of open spaces, natural scenery and great coastline, East Anglia is well worth a visit.

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