Littleport

Littleport is the largest village in East Cambridgeshire and gained its name from the port prior to the major port at Ely. Thus, it is an excellent place to explore the area as it lies centrally between Cambridgeshire and Norfolk with excellent road and rail networks.

Restaurants include the Fen House for fine dining, a steakhouse, pub by the river and two Indian restaurants. In 2003 a Harley Davidson statue was unveiled to commemorate William Harley, the father of the companies co-founder Sylvester Harley who was born in Victoria Street in 1835. Furthermore, Littleport was the site of the Littleport riots in 1816 when war-weary soldiers returned home to find little work and rising grain prices.

Ely

Ely can be reached in 8 minutes by train from Littleport station. Nestled in the Fen countryside, it is home to one of the most magnificient Norman Cathedrals in England, known locally as the ‘Ship of the Fens’. The Octagon tower reaches high above the surrounding countryside. The Cathedral is also home to the National Stained Glass Museum. Ely is steeped in rich history; It was home to Oliver Cromwell, visits can even be made to the house in which he lived. Furthermore, the riverfront provides boat trips, river walks, gourmet tea rooms and great pubs. All close to the railway station so there is no need to drive.

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Welney Wetland Trust Conservation Centre

Located on the other side of Ely, Welney takes in 1,000 acres of the northernmost part of the Ouse Washes – Britains largest area of seasonally flooded land and the setting for one of the most magical events in the UK’s nature calendar, when thousands of wild ducks, geese and swans gather for winter. In summer the site is carpeted with wildflowers and more than 300 species of butterfly.

Wicken Fen

Wicken Fen was the first Nature Reserve to be owned by the National Trust in 1899. The sedge fen creates habitats for over 8,000 plant, fungi and animal species. Walkers can make use of the reserve’s boardwalk and nature hides to experience a stunning preservation of the fenland ecosystem.

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Museums

For activities that immerse you in the local culture, there are plenty of museums in the surrounding area. Ely Museum, Burwell Museum and The Farmland Museum at Denny Abbey will transport you back in time to explore the past. Furthermore, For the technically minded, steam pumping stations can be seen at Prickwillow Engine Museum and the Stretham Old Engine. There is also the Cromwell house in Ely, Oliver Cromwell’s home, preserved as a museum.

Newmarket

Newmarket is a town rich in royal history where the thoroughbred racecourse is king and the town where British horseracing was born 350 years ago. Fancy a day at the races? Newmarket racecourse can be reached by car in 40 minutes. If seeing the races is not enough for you, you can also visit the national horse racing museum.

Kings Lynn

This historic seaport and market town can be reached by train in 25 minutes from Littleport station. Kings Lynn is a walled Hanseatic town which dates back to the 12th century. As a result, it has many museums and historical sites to visit. But not only that, being a festival town there are many options for music, arts and literature. This includes two theatres which host frequent shows, concerts and comedy.

Norfolk coastline

Hunstanton is notable for its stratified, fossiliferous cliffs: lower reddish limestone, known as ‘red chalk’ which makes this section of the coastline unique. For those looking for ‘blue flag’ sandy beaches and resorts consider going to Holkham, Wells and Brancaster where you can relax, leave behind the crowds and the daily grind. If seaside attractions interest you, Great Yarmouth, Sheringham or Cromer offer a great day out. Notably, the village of Blakeney is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Also, there is The Point, a large sandbank which provides an important breeding ground for terns and home to Common and Grey seals.

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National Trust Properties

Cambridgeshire and Norfolk have a number of national trust properties, including Wicken Fen, already mentioned above. This list also includes many old country homes and estates such as Anglesey Abbey, Peckover House and Oxburgh Hall. Whether you are looking for peaceful gardens, grandiose architecture or preserved elements of England’s iconic, natural environment, the National Trust has a day out for you.  To see a full map of National Trust properties visit their site here.