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Popular Suffolk seaside sailing town, famous for its fresh fish sold from the seashore, the Scallop sculpture by Maggi Hambling and the Aldeburgh Festival, started by the composer Benjamin Britten, who lived in the town and whose house, the Red House, can be viewed. The main concert venue is at Snape Maltings, just up the road. Aldeburgh also boasts a fine Tudor Moot Hall and a Napoleonic Martello Tower - the latter is not open to the public, but is available for holidays. Aldeburgh is a fairly buzzy place, with a variety of shops, pubs, restaurants and a cinema.
A lovely Tudor town hall, dating from c1550, and a symbol of Aldeburgh's prosperity at the time. The ground floor would have been occupied by shops, with meetings taking place on the first floor. Greatly restored in Victorian times, it now houses a good local museum. The building would once have been more at the centre of town - now it is close to the beach, an indication of shoreline erosion in this part of the UK.
Audley End is one of the largest Jacobean mansions in England, but is smaller now than when it was first built (1605-14) by Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk. It stands on the foundations of a Benedictine Abbey and is named for Sir Thomas Audley, Howard's grandfather, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, who was granted the abbey in 1538. It was briefly owned by Charles II. The 1st Baron Braybrooke commissioned Capability Brown to landscape the grounds and Robert Adam to design new reception rooms. It was sumptuously redecorated in Jacobean style in the 1820s. Now owned by English Heritage, highlights include the Staterooms, Nursery, Stables (complete with horses), Service Wing and Gardens.
Ruined remains of motte and bailey castle at Berkhamsted dating from 11th to 15th centuries. Berkhamsted was home to kings, besieged by the French and scene of the Saxon surrender to William the Conqueror in 1066. And it's a great place for a picnic.
In the Middle Ages, the small village of Blakeney was a thriving port handling exotic products like spices. Silting of the harbour changed its fortunes and it’s now an attractive tourist destination and a good base for exploring north Norfolk. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Norfolk Coastal Path passes through the village and the whole area is a magnet for walkers and wildlife lovers. The harbour and surrounding marshes are owned by the National Trust and is a nature reserve. Within the village are the remains of the medieval Blakeney Guildhall, the twin-towered medieval St Nicholas church as well as pubs and restaurants. The largest seal colony in England can be visited by boat to Blakeney Point, which (with restrictions to protect wildlife) can also be walked to from nearby Cley-next-the-Sea. Samphire is grown on the point and, as well as seals, ringed plovers, oystercatchers, brent geese and common teal can also be spotted.
Flint-covered remains of a 15th century merchant's house, with a fine brick-vaulted undercroft. It later became the guildhall for local fish merchants. Worth seeing if you're in town; it's just by the quayside.
English Heritage property managed by Blakeney Parish Council.
Blickling is a large estate and stately home, with walks, gardens and a splendid house to enjoy. Much is made of it being Anne Boleyn's childhood home; she is even said to haunt the place, especially on 19 May, the anniversary of her execution. And she may well do so, but there is no visible trace of the house that Anne knew - so don't be fooled.
Blickling is actually recorded in the Domesday Book. Anne Boleyn’s great-grandfather, Geoffrey Boleyn (1406-63), bought the property in 1452. The red-brick Jacobean mansion we see today was built by Henry Hobart (1560 - 1626), sometime after 1616, designed by Robert Lyminge, the builder of Hatfield House. Great changes were made to the property in the 19th century. The last owner, Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian (1882 - 1940), an influential politician and diplomat, left the estate to the National Trust. A particular feature of the house is the wonderful and unique library in the long gallery.
During the Second World War, part of the Blickling Estate became RAF Oulton, a bomber station, with service personnel billeted in Nissen huts in the grounds and officers in the house. itself. The National Trust has set up a museum on the site to commemorates this period in Blickling’s history.
The Broads in East Anglia, usually known as the Norfolk Broads despite part of the area being in Suffolk, cover an area of 117 square miles (303 sq kilometres).
This is a place to mess about in boats, spot wildlife and is only a couple of hours by train from London. It is low-lying – the highest point is Strumpshaw Hill in Norfolk at just 125 feet (38 metres). The ‘broads’ are lakes, formed from flooded medieval peat pits dating back to at least the 12th century. Now they provide a 125 mile network of navigable waterways and rivers with a back-drop of fens, woodland and picturesque villages.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is an internationally important area of protected wetland and contains more than 25% of Britain’s rarest wildlife. Birds, like bitterns, grebes, marsh harriers, teals, wigeons and warblers can be spotted. Clearly, there are plenty of fish and, if you’re lucky, you might see an otter too. The Broads is also home to hundreds of invertebrates and is the only place where Britain’s largest butterfly, the swallowtail, can be found.
The Broads was established as a national park by Act of Parliament in 1988.
Principal settlements in the Broads include: Stalham, Wroxham, Brundall, Acle, Loddon, Beccles and Oulton Broad.
Cambridge developed around an Anglo-Saxon bridge, the Danes used it as a trading post and William the Conqueror built a castle there. The city’s greatest fame, however, derives from being home to Britain’s second oldest university, established sometime after 1209. The first of Cambridge’s residential colleges, Peterhouse, was established in 1284 and it is these self-governing institutions that make up the university. The entre of Cambridge is King’s Parade, where you’ll find King’s College (founded in 1441) with its breathtaking chapel and, close by, other colleges – like St John’s (1511) and Trinity (1544) – which can be visited. In parallel with King’s Street are the Backs – a stretch of riverside gardens and lawns linking several colleges. The university boasts more Nobel Prize winners than you can shake a stick at, as well as a multitude of well-known graduates including politicians, writers and entertainers.
Wander along in and out of colleges, , take a punt on the Cam, stop for a coffee, ice-cream, or a pint. For visitors, Cambridge also offers notable churches (including one of only 5 round churches in England), outstanding botanic gardens, several museums with interests ranging from archaeology, computing, earth sciences and the polar regions – though the most famous is probably the astonishing Fitzwilliam Museum, which includes world-class artwork as well as major collections from antiquity. Theatres and cinemas offer a variety of entertainment and there is a large general weekday market as well as specialist arts and crafts ones at weekends. Nearby attractions include Duxford air museum, and the Cambridge American Cemetery just outside the city is a thought-provoking place to visit.
The Cambridge American Cemetery commemorates almost 9,000 Americans who died while based in the UK, or travelling here, during the Second World War. It is the only World War II American military cemetery in the United Kingdom. The site was established as a temporary military burial ground in 1943, on land donated by the University of Cambridge, and has been granted free use in perpetuity by HM Government. It was dedicated in 1956, covers 30.5 acres and lies on a gentle slope overlooking farmland. Simple, white marble, headstones – mostly crosses – mark the resting place of 3,811 of America’s war dead - the missing are listed on large panels. There is a fascinating, and moving, visitor centre as well as an impressive memorial building.
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