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24th – 28th April 2018 Visit to Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

 In September this year Ron and Marie made sure we enjoyed a very pleasant five days in The Lake District. Well, next Spring they will take us for another five days to Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

Day 1: We board our comfortable Executive coach at the four pick-up points in the Kingston area and travel

to Wimpole Estate (NT), a working estate with an impressive mansion and Home Farm. The mansion, at the heart of this estate, is evidence of Elsie Bambridge’s success in creating a home. We can purchase lunch here before continuing on to Newmarket and our hotel, the 3* Best Western Heath Court Hotel where we will stay for four nights on HB basis.

Day 2: Our first visit today is to Bury St. Edmunds where we can wander through one of the most successful traditional street markets in the country with its most colourful history going back to the time before William the Conqueror. The town is one of the hidden gems of Suffolk and is probably most famous for the ruined Abbey that stands near to the town centre surrounded by the Abbey Gardens. We can purchase lunch here and then continue to Kentwell Hall and Gardens where a private guided tour

of the house is included. The house has essentially remained the same for 500 years as created by the Cloptons in the early 16th Century.

Day 3: Today’s first visit is to the city of Ely which is full of charm and beauty and is home to one of England’s most magnificent cathedrals (entrance not included) whose towers dominate theskyline for miles around and is known locally as the ‘Ship of the Fens’. The cathedral is also home to the only Stained glass museum offering a display of original stained glass panels dating from the early 13th century to the present. An audio guided tour is included.

Ely’s most famous historical resident is Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England. Apart from Hampton Court, his house here (entrance not included) is the only surviving former Cromwell residence and shows how his family would have lived in the mid-17th Century. We then continue on to the nearby University City of Cambridge where we begin with a 1 hour panoramic coach tour of the city and surroundings. For those who wish to partake, afterwards there will be an included brief walking tour which will cover some of the interesting sights and colleges, or you may use this time to explore at your own pace before we return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 4: Today we will visit Saffron Walden, a picturesque, medieval town with a rich heritage of old buildings reflecting its wealth as a rural market town. After some free time you will have a choice between two options (this needs to be pre-booked and

indicated by each person on the booking form):

  1. An included visit to Audley End (EH) one of England’s grandeststately homes with an impressive formal garden. The house is truly magnificent and was built to enter- tain royalty.
  2. An included visit to IWM Duxfordan historic airfield and museum of aviation history. Here you will dis- cover the stories of people who lived and worked at RAF Duxford. Explore the new American Air Museum, now transformed. From privates to presidents, you hear about those men and women whose lives have shaped, or been shaped, by their experience of war, from the First World War to the present day.

Re-grouping later this afternoon we return to the hotel for our evening meal.

Kingston U3A Winter 2017 Newsletter Page 8

Day 5: Having checked out of the hotel after breakfast we begin with an included guided tour by coach of some of the famous areas of ‘Constable Country’ which is characterised by open spaces and ever changing skies. The Dedham Vale and Stour Valley is full of picturesque villages, rolling farmland, rivers, meadows, ancient woodlands as well as a wide variety of local wildlife. We will visit Flatford Mill (NT), a grade 1 listed watermill, built in 1733, and the attached 17th century miller’s cottage. The mill was at one time owned by John Constable’s father and John Constable made the mill and its surroundings the subject of many of his art works. The tour will finish in the pretty village of Lavenham. You may choose to visit the Lavenham Guildhall (NT) of Corpus Christi, A visit to Little Hall, one of the oldest timber framed buildings is included.

Departing here mid-afternoon, we retrace our steps homeward to our original departure points later in the day.

Dates: Tuesday, 24th – Friday, 28th April 2018

Cost: £ 529.00/549.00 (depending on numbers) HB – sharing a twin/double room

Downloadable Application Form  KU3A Waterloo application form KU3A – Visit to Canbridgeshire and Suffolk application form