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Issue 2 - 2011

Annual Publication - The Ultimate County Guide Historic Houses | Attractions | Museums & Arts Towns & Districts | Open Air

A welcome awaits on the THE NENE VALLEY RAILWAY




One of the finest Norman Cathedrals in Europe The burial place of two former Queens A beautiful, Gothic West Front adorned with 33 statues The oldest hand-painted Nave ceiling in the UK Guided tours including history, legends and myths An interactive exhibition and excellent souvenir kiosk First class hospitality and conference facilities Group and school visits welcome by appointment

Come along with the family and enjoy a great time on the delightful Nene Valley Railway. The Railway runs alongside the River Nene and through the 500-acre Ferry Meadows Country Park.

Mon-Fri - 9.00am to 5.30pm Sat - 9.00am to 5.00pm Sun - 12pm to 3.15pm Services may take place during these times, visit our website for details. Closed Boxing Day.

FIND OUT MORE... Call 01733 343342

The NVR is also home to 'Thomas', children's favourite engine, regularly in steam. Services run on weekends and Wednesdays until October. Santa specials operate in December.

ONE OF THE UK’S TOP 10 LANDMARKS As voted in a 2007 Fujifilm users poll

Enquiries 01780 784444 website Wansford Station (on the A1), Stibbington, Nr Peterborough PE8 6LR

CONTENTS Historic Buildings Attractions Museums & Arts The Open Air

Go to you to dow r phone’s app nlo Count ad our new store y Sign , post a free pp ! Welcome to the 2011 edition of Cambridgeshire & Norfolk County Signpost Tourist Guide, your indispensable guide to the best tourist attractions and days out the county has to offer. We hope that you find our guide, a pleasure to read, both interesting and informative, and that you will take it away with you, to use again and again.

We offer a taster of the visitor attractions and events within the County, for both locals and those who wish to visit from afar.

To be featured in our next edition please email the editor.

For a free download please visit our new map-driven, online magazine website Published by: County Signpost Ltd Editor: Adam Davison

All material in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of printing. County Signpost Ltd does not accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies which slipped through. Copyright County Signpost Ltd 2011. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

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Please mention Cambridgeshire & Norfolk Signpost when visiting any of the attractions.

County Signpost Ltd 01743 874098

County Signpost


Wimpole Estate

Step in to times past in the magnificent 18thcentury house at the heart of Wimpole Estate.

The mansion is set amongst parkland, complete with an eerie Gothic tower, Chinese bridge and serpentine lakes, created by the greatest landscapers of their day - Bridgeman, Brown and Repton.

Bought in 1938 by Elsie Bambridge, the hall’s last owner, it was devoid of any furniture or paintings. What you see today at Wimpole is a culmination of development of the earlier owners and the collection assembled by Captain George and Elsie Bambridge. Stroll around the colourful parterre garden and wander through the pleasure grounds, filled with majestic trees and daffodils. The grounds extend

Anglesey Abbey

Wandering around our park, you’ll see our rare livestock grazing amongst regal trees. At Wimpole you can gain a fascinating insight into all aspects of running a large, active estate. Talk to our farmers about the challenges being faced as we convert the farm towards a self-sufficient, organic future, or the more green-fingered can get some handy tips from our gardeners. Wimpole Hall & Home Farm Arrington, Royston, Cambs SG8 0BW Telephone 01223 206000 Email

© NTPL/Robert Morris, F o r a t a s t e o f 1 9 3 0 s c o u n t r y h o u s e li v in g , An g l es ey A bb e y n ea r C a mb r i dg e i s h a rd t o b ea t

Lord Fairhaven wanted to inspire and surprise guests to his first home and, some 70 years later, the estate still has the same effect on visitors. Behind its Jacobean-style exterior, Anglesey Abbey is a vision of the golden age of English country house living.

The Dining Room is the heart of Anglesey Abbey. Originally the monastic 'calefactorium' or 'warming room', it was the only space in the priory to have a fireplace. It was here that the monks relaxed between religious duties. Lord Fairhaven turned this wonderful space into his Dining Room.

There is something to admire all year round in the gardens of the Abbey, with blooming hyacinths in spring, beautiful herbaceous bor-

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out to the walled garden, abundant with fruit, vegetables and herbaceous borders.

ders and wildlife in summer, exotic dahlias in autumn and a winter garden showing dramatic contrasts of texture and colour.

Anglesey’s Lode Mill dates from the 18th century, but early records, including the 1068 Doomsday Book describe a building on the site. The mill was restored to working condition in 1982 by the Cambridgeshire Wind and Watermill Society. Today you can step inside and see how the power of water is harnessed to grind tens of tons of flour every year, and pick up your own freshly ground flour and oatmeal by the bag. Anglesey Abbey, Gardens & Lode Mill Quy Road, Lode, Cambridge CB25 9EJ Telephone 01223 810080 Email

© NT/Fisheye Images, R e l a x i n g i n t h e p a r k a t W i m p o l e E s t a t e

Signpost - page 3 Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve Lode Lane, Wicken, Cambs CB7 5XP Telephone 01353 720274 Email

Peckover House & Garden

Peckover House is a secret gem, an oasis hidden away in an urban environment. A classic Georgian merchant's townhouse, it was lived in by the Peckover family for 150 years.

The Peckovers were staunch Quakers, which meant they had a very simple lifestyle; yet at the same time they ran a successful private bank. Both facets of their life can be seen as you wander through the house and gardens. The simple elegance of the exterior belies the elaborate interior decoration of the house, a wealth of plaster and wood in the tradition of the very best 18th-century craftsmen.

Wicken Fen At Wicken Fen you’ll discover an ancient fenland with an abundance of amazing wildlife.

There are more than 800 species, including a spectacular array of plants, birds and dragonflies. Look out for our wild deer strolling around the land, our famous herds of Konik ponies or have a go at bird watching from one of our many bird hides throughout the reserve.

Wicken Fen, which celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2009, has always played an important role in the social and economic life of the area, providing materials for thatching local houses, bedding and feed for animals, as well as fish and fowl for food, and peat for food.

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Peckover is a hands-on house, with dressing up clothes for children of all ages, a working piano and three floors that give an insight into the fascinating lives of both the family and servants. The Victorian gardens themselves are two acres of sensory delight, complete with orangery, summerhouses, croquet lawn and rose garden with more than 60 species of rose.

There are engaging displays about the Peckover family throughout the house, as well as a relaxing tea-room, shop and second hand bookshop. Peckover House & Garden North Brink, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 1JR Telephone 01945 583463 Email

Wicken Fen © NTPL/Paul Harris, T h e i co n i c w i n d p u m p at W i c k en F e n

Enjoy the peace of wandering through lush groves, whilst the raised boardwalk allows easy access to a lost landscape of flowering meadows, sedge and reed beds, where you can encounter rarities such as hen harriers, water voles and bitterns.

The Wicken Fen Vision is an ambitious landscape-scale project, at the forefront of modern nature conversation. It will open up new lands and routes to explore, as well as safeguard the rare wetland species of the Fen, and offset habitats lost on the coast. As part of the Vision, you can now cycle eight miles along the Lodes Way from Wicken Fen to Anglesey Abbey. Peckover Reed Barn © NT/Fisheye Images, R e l a x w i t h f r i e n d s a n d f a m i l y a t P e c k o v e r ' s R e e d B a r n t e a - r o o m

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Blickling Estate

At the heart of this 5,000 acre estate is the magnificent Blickling Hall. Inside, you can follow four centuries of history: from Tudor England and the Anne Boleyn connection to the outbreak of the second world war.

You can enjoy a real Edwardian ‘upstairs, downstairs’ experience at Blickling. Upstairs, you can imagine yourself as a guest at one of Lord Lothian’s parties in the 1930s and, downstairs, you listen to the actual stories of the people who kept Blickling going, including Lord Lothian’s cook, Mrs Wadlow.

Outside, there is always something new to see as the gardens change with the seasons. Thousands of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths create a spectacular display in the spring and the parterre and herbaceous borders are sizzling with colour in

Houghton Mill Almost demolished in the 16th century, Houghton Mill is the only working watermill on the great Ouse.

The five-storey building was saved by local villagers and restored to working order to carry the tradition of milling on this site, which continues to this day. Corn is ground by a pair of millstones powered by the north waterwheel, which was re-instated in 1999.

The hands-on exhibits, including traditional hand querns (stone devices for grinding flour) and models that show how the mill uses the power of the River Great Ouse, provide a fascinating learning experience for young and old.

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the summer. Walk through the park and be surrounded by the rich reds, oranges and browns of autumn and, in the winter, enjoy the winter flowering shrubs in the new Orangery Garden.

For some great seasonal, local food, stop off at the restaurant or café and relax awhile. Bookworms will enjoy browsing the secondhand bookshop and there’s a plant centre for the green-fingered. The only decision that’s left is where to go next – Felbrigg Hall and Sheringham Park are only half an hour away!

Blickling, Norwich, Norfolk NR11 6NF Enquiries 01263 738030 or

Houghton Mill copyright NTPL/Robert Morris

Set in an idyllic location, on an island on the River Great Ouse, Houghton Mill has inspired artists and photographers for generations. Come and experience the sound and atmosphere of a traditional working mill, have a go at making flour or lose yourself in the tranquillity of the riverside setting. The tea room offers delicious treats to refresh you after your visit.

Houghton, nr Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2AZ Telephone 01480 301494 Email

© NTPL/Rod Edwards, E x p e r i e n c e l i f e u p s t a i r s a n d d o w n s t a i r s a t B l i c k l i n g H a l l

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Felbrigg Hall

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Horsey Windpump

The iconic windpump sits within the beautiful landscape of the Norfolk Broads. It’s an internationally important site for wildlife and, if you climb to the top of the windpump you can enjoy striking views over Horsey Mere.

Bursting with wildlife, especially during the summer, you may be lucky enough to spot the Swallowtail butterfly, Britain’s largest and showiest butterfly. The wildflower meadow is heaven to bees and hoverflies but you might catch a glimpse of a grass snake, Chinese water deer or barn owl too. Young Marsh Harriers are often about, if they’ve had a successful breeding season. You might hear them, noisily begging for food from their parents, while learning the art of hunting for themselves, quartering low over the ground. Look out for cuckoos as they prepare to leave: adults first in late summer, followed by the orange-coloured juveniles in September.

The accessible ponds, surrounded by sensory plants, are teeming with life and there is a circular walk with access to the beach at Horsey Gap. While you’re here, you can pick up a souvenir at the small gift shop and find out more about the area. Light refreshments are available too, including tea, coffee and ice-creams. Horsey Staithe Stores, Horsey, Great Yarmouth NR29 4EF Enquiries 01263 740241 or

© NT/Fisheye Images, C l i m b t o t h e t o p o f H o r s e y W in pu mp f o r a m az i n g v i ew s o v e r t h e N o r f o lk B ro ad s

© NTPL/John Millar, T h e l o v e l y c o u r t y a r d s et ti n g o f Fe lb r ig g H a ll 's c a fe a n d b ra s se ri e

Tucked away near the north Norfolk coast, Felbrigg Hall has been scratched and torn-at by the Norfolk weather, revealing a building of many contrasts.

A mixture of opulence and homeliness, Felbrigg has been lived in by some interesting characters and there are tell-tale signs everywhere. William Windham II returned from his Grand Tour in 1742 with a wonderful collection of books and pictures which you can see today, but his fascination with fireworks ended in an explosion, destroying his workshop and windows in the service yard!

Food is celebrated everywhere. In the Dining Room you can read what was on the menu in 1860. In the kitchen, you can see where meat and

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fresh produce from the estate would have been prepared. In the kitchen garden, you might spot a gardener or two tending to vegetables or fruit that’s grown and used in the brasserie. Not only is a visit to Felbrigg a great opportunity to have your gardening questions answered, but you can also enjoy some great local produce that’s been lovingly cultivated just a few steps away. If you’re not already a regular visitor to Felbrigg, you won’t want to miss the Chilli Fiesta in August each year – it’s hot!

Felbrigg, Norwich NR11 8PR Enquiries 01263 837444 or

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Oxburgh Hall

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Sheringham Park

For a real sense of space, peace and tranquillity, Sheringham Park is hard to beat. There are lots of waymarked walks and spots to stop and take in the beautiful coast and countryside of north Norfolk.

Set within 50 acres of the estate, this wild garden of mature woodland contains one of England's most extensive collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias. May and June is the best time to see the rhodies. If you climb to the top of the viewing towers, you can look out over the colourful canopy and out to sea – it really is breathtaking. You may also spot a passing steam train – the Poppy Line can be caught from Weybourne which is a pleasant 40-minute walk away.

Stop off at the visitor centre and you’ll find the ‘Red Book’ that landscape designer Humphry Repton used to showcase his designs for Sheringham Park in 1812. Full of beautiful illustrations, Repton’s Red Books were considered the ‘coffee table’ books of the day.

Relax after your walk with a drink in the courtyard and visit the shop for a souvenir of Sheringham Park. Felbrigg Hall and Sheringham Park are only ten minutes apart so you can see both in one day!

Wood Farm Visitor Centre, Upper Sheringham NR26 8TL Enquiries 01263 820550 or

© NT/Fisheye Images, T h e m o a t a t O x b u r g h H a l l

No one forgets their first sight of Oxburgh Hall , a romantic moated manor house, built by the Bedingfeld family in the 15th Century,

The Gatehouse is completely unchanged and rises eighty feet above the atmospheric moat. On the first floor is the King's Room where Henry VII stayed on a visit in 1487 and nearby is a room displaying the Marian Hangings. These are panels of needlework embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots during her captivity at Sheffield Castle, and brought to Oxburgh as part of a bride's dowry in the 18th century. From the roof, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding gardens and the intricate French parterre.

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Gain an insight to the family’s Catholic history, complete with a secret priest’s hole which you can crawl inside and a private chapel built with reclaimed Tudor materials.

Relax after exploring the hall in our Old Kitchen tea-room, or pick up something to take away in the well-stocked gift shop, including local Norfolk products. There are also plant sales for the green-fingered in the family and a secondhand bookshop.

Oxburgh Hall, Oxborough, King’s Lynn PE33 9PS Enquiries 01366 328258 or

© NTPL/David Levenson, Do n't m i ss th e m ag ni fi c en t d i sp la y o f r h o d o d en dr o n s at Sh e r in gh a m P a r k

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The Place to be in 2011 2010 was a tough year for the UK as we struggled to battle through the recession and dust ourselves off but one positive that remains is a greater appreciation for what we have in our lives and what wonders we have here in the UK. A new type of holiday has even been founded as a result of looking for novel things to do at our own front door. Regional days out, weekends away or ‘Staycations’ as they are known are now a top priority for those looking for low cost activities and exciting days out.

So, suppose you were told of a top 10 UK landmark residing in beautiful surroundings in the heart of a bustling and cosmopolitan city centre, with plenty on offer for all to enjoy including culture, heritage, music and the arts…would your immediate thoughts be of London, Manchester…Liverpool perhaps? Well no, think again…

You may not be aware but in the heart of the beautiful and vibrant region of Cambridgeshire lies an ‘undiscovered gem’ in the awe inspiring shape of Peterborough’s one and only breath-

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The West Front

taking Norman Cathedral - voted the sixth favourite landmark in the whole of the UK, even coming out ahead of London Tower Bridge!*

With close to 100,000 visitors each and every year, Peterborough Cathedral provides a wonderful haven of tranquillity and beauty amid the cosmopolitan array of shops and restaurants that line the streets today and has something to offer everyone at this beautiful sacred space.

The Sixteen - 30th September 2011 International Choral sensation making their third visit to the Cathedral in the last twelve months. See the website for details of these and other events :

As well as still operating as a thriving Christian Church, today the Cathedral offers a wide array of activity including an interactive exhibition, fascinating historic and Cathedral tower tours, an exciting array of arts and crafts based events not to mention a popular new coffee shop and first class education, hospitality and conferencing facilities.

Special Events

Seth Lakeman - 10th May 2011 Singer/songwriter performing music from his recent albums – ‘Hearts & Minds’ and ‘Poor Man’s Heaven.’

Heritage Festival - 25th & 26 June 2011 This event attracted over 20,000 visitors last year, and included a Viking camp, Roman fights and dancing in a Tudor court.


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County Signpost hand as well as enjoying the panoramic views of Peterborough from on high. Alternatively, our Cathedral tours of the building and/or the Precincts will divulge fascinating facts about Cathedral history, myths and legends associated with the Cathedral’s colourful past.

Heritage Days

As well as the wonder of the building and the vibrant events programme available, the Cathedral also holds enormous appeal for those with an interest in nature and the outdoors. With stunning grounds and beautifully green Precincts, the Cathedral is blessed with an abundance of breath-taking open spaces, not least the captivating Deanery Gardens, which are now open for public viewing approximately 3 times a year.

For those more interested in the architecture and the exquisite stone masonry why not take a Cathedral tower tour to see the stonework first

Open 364 days a year (closed on Boxing Day) for visiting from around 9am until around 5.30pm weekdays and 9.00am to 5.00pm Sat and 12pm until 3.15pm on Sundays, there is no charge for admission to Peterborough Cathedral but donations are invited as the Cathedral has charitable status and receives no funding from the state to raise the £1.3 million required each year to maintain its operation. With excellent railway links and easy access to this beautiful attraction in the heart of the up and coming, city of Peterborough – the Cathedral is one not to be missed as a top 10 Landmark in the UK* (as voted by Fujifilm users in a 2007 poll).

For more information on what Peterborough Cathedral can offer or any of the many events held throughout the year please visit or call the Cathedral Office switchboard on 01733 343342.

THE MANOR The house was recreated and made famous as the house of Green Knowe by Lucy Boston in her series of children's books, now regarded as classics. Her son Peter's illustrations depict many of the things in the house and garden. The attic contains toys used by the fictional children of the past; thus visitors get the feeling of 'walking into the books'. She wrote about family belongings in the house and her son Peter Boston illustrated the books, drawing many of these as well as the house and garden.

In the winter, as well as writing, Lucy Boston made many exquisite patchworks, most of which are on display. Rarely can such an important collection be seen in the house in which the exhibits were made.

coming to unexpected parts which are unanticipated from the first impression gained by looking down into it from the public footpath along the towpath beside the river Great Ouse. With its large herbaceous borders of mainly scented plants the garden gives the feeling of being a cottage garden full of favourite plants in a rather formal setting of lawns with topiary coronation shapes and chess pieces in their black and white planted squares.

The Garden

The garden is open daily from 11am to 5pm (dusk in winter). No appointment is needed.

The House

The House is open throughout the year but strictly by appointment.

This moated house is surrounded by four acres of garden renowned for its collection of over 200 old roses and a collection of irises containing many famous Dykes medal winners, most of them dating from the 1950s. There are hidden corners in the garden so visitors find themselves

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Telephone 01480 463134

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Location, Location, Location Ely Cathedral may be famous for being the only UK building to be listed as ‘one of the seven medieval wonders of the world’ but now it can also add another accolade, as one of the hottest film locations in East Anglia. ‘The King’s Speech’ which has already accumulated a total of 7 BAFTAs including Best Film, Best British Film and Best Actor, and 4 Academy Awards, (including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay) used the Cathedral as a location for one of the key scenes in the film.

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The film was based at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, and the creative team spent 10 days in Ely Cathedral building an impressive set to transform the Transepts, Nave and Octagon into the interior of Westminster Abbey. The scene in question shows the reluctant King George VI (Colin Firth) visit the Abbey with his unorthodox speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), on the eve of the coronation. Those who know Ely well will easily spot the magnificent shot of the Nave as Geoffrey Rush enters from the West Door, or the distinctive ‘Choir’ as Rush and Firth have altercations with Derek Jocobi who plays The Archbishop of Canterbury.

This is the fifth time in as many years that Ely Cathedral has been used as a prominent film location. In 2007 the Cathedral won the award for ‘Best Location’ at the Creative East Awards for Elizabeth: The Golden Age featuring Cate Blanchet & Clive Owen and was nominated again in 2009 for The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman & Scarlett Johansson.

To celebrate the film’s success Momentum Pictures have allowed a special screening inside the Cathedral to be shown in the evening of the 29th April, which coincides with the day of the Royal Wedding. In addition the Cathedral hope to have a small display of stills & shots of the filming at Ely on display plus the Coronation Chair used in the film, an exact replica of the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey which has been used to crown almost every English monarch since Edward II.

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Crossley family who are continuing to play an active role in the conservation of the house and grounds and enjoy living in this magnificent mansion.

Somerleyton Hall & Gardens

The Dining Room

who hired John Thomas, Prince Albert’s favourite architect, to carry out extensive rebuilding.

Carved Caen stone was used to dress the exterior red brick of the original house, sumptuous materials utilised to embellish the interiors, paintings commissioned for the house and the parkland was completely transformed and redesigned.

With two major attractions and the Duke’s Head gastro pub Somerleyton Estate has everything you need for a great day out – or stay a little longer in one of the Fritton Lake woodland lodges where you are well placed to explore the Norfolk Broads. All sorts of adventures can be organised for you, from hot air ballooning to river and sea trips or just enjoy life in the slow lane around the estate and picturesque village.

History of Somerleyton Hall

The grounds of Somerleyton Hall have been home to high status buildings since the post con-

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Aerial view of the maze, with with Somerleyton Hall in the background

quest Norman era. In 1240 the existing manorial Hall was rebuilt by Sir Peter Fitzosbert as a magnificent country house on the site of the original medieval Hall. Four centuries later the house was further enlarged and restyled by John Wentworth and transformed into an archetypal East Anglian Tudor-Jacobean mansion.

This flurry of activities came to an abrupt end when the money ran out and Samuel Morton Peto went bankrupt. The house was sold to Sir Francis Crossley, the son of a Yorkshire-based carpet manufacturer who purchased the Somerleyton estate in 1863. Since mid-19th century the estate has remained in the hands of the

Explore the 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, get lost for a while in the famous 1846 yew hedge maze, one of the finest in England. Take a guided tour of the Hall then enjoy the home made delights of the Wintergarden Tearooms.

Fritton Lake

Nearby on the estate is Fritton Lake. The jewel in the estate crown, with lakeside walks, nine hole golf course, fishing, horse-riding, rowing and guided boat trips. The children will enjoy its Viking fort, children’s adventure playground, boating lake, pony rides and wellie trail.

Keep the children amused

For children there is no shortage of things to explore including an adventure playground, a maze and gardens, a Viking fort, pony rides, cycle trail and wellie walks.

Relax and unwind

The less energetic will find abundant spaces to unwind, relax and chill. There is also a charming local village and The Duke’s Head pub in Slug’s Lane rated for its food, beer and friendly atmosphere. Open April - October. Telephone 01502 734901

The Hall’s final and most drastic alteration took place in 1843 under new ownership of a wealthy Victorian entrepreneur Samuel Morton Peto

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Steam and slam-doors!

Today's NVR is the preserved heritage railway which operates along 7.5 miles along the former Peterborough to Northampton line which closed under the Dr Beeching regime in 1966. Wansford station, next to the A1, is the main headquarters and sports the loco depot (visitors may walk round), excellent refreshment room and shop. This is the railway where countless television programmes have been filmed as well as being the setting for two James Bond epics – Octopussy starring Roger Moors and Golden Eye starring Piers Brosnan! The rock group Queen filmed their video ‘Breakthrough’ on the NVR.

The Railway is the home to the original ‘Thomas’, the children’s favourite engine – it was named in 1972 by the Rev Awdry who wrote the books about the little blue engine which became so popular with youngsters. Thomas is in steam at all the Bank Holidays and for special events.

The Railway is open every weekend, Wednesdays, plus more weekdays in the summer season. There are in addition some superb galas – Steam, Diesel, Wartime Weekend, Vintage Vehicles – something for everyone. The Railway often gives demonstrations of its Travelling Post Office showing how mail was collected and dropped off at speed – quite a spectacle! In addition, the NVR is famed for its Santa Specials – the first heritage railway to run such popular trains. Telephone 01780 784444

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Langham Glass was established in 1979 by Master Glassmaker Paul Miller and his aim is to make modern glass by hand to the highest standard of craftsmanship. Experience a fascinating demonstration of glass making with informative live commentary. Watch as molten crystal is transformed using age old, traditional methods into the antiques of the future.

including a selection for the children. Glass engraving is now available or shop online at

Finally, take a break and relax in the tearoom over a light lunch or one of the delicious homemade cakes and coffee – the perfect way to reflect on your visit……

Make it

* Create your own glass masterpiece alongside the experienced glassmakers. (Over 16’s only and booking essential). £49.50 per person. * Have your child’s hand cast in glass as a memento of your day or why not keep as a gift for that someone special. Prices start at £25.00. * Finally let your child paint their very own piece of glass or even have a go yourself. £5.95 per person.



Spring is without a doubt the zoo keepers’ favourite time of year. The zoo gardens are looking stunning with beds of colourful spring flowers, including hundreds of vivid hyacinths that will soon be coming up to their best. The giant tree ferns are beginning to throw up their new fronds and everywhere is becoming green again.

If you want a little more than just a zoo visit you can book in advance a “keeper experience” for adults and children. Introduced last year were the “Keeper’s Little Helper” designed especially for 5 to 8 year olds and the “Big Cat and Large Mammal Experience” for age 18+, both have proven very popular. All of these special keeper days make awesome birthday presents or simply treat someone special to an experience of a lifetime. Times of activities are displayed on the official website: click on news. Check the website for more information or telephone: 01223 891308.

Tracy meets the Amur tigers in the Big Cat & Large Mammal Experience

Enjoy it

Toys and Games from the Past. Whether you are 6 or 66 why not enjoy their range of delightful toys and games, such as marble runs, wooden puzzles and bagatelle.

Buy it

In the Factory shop there is a great range of both 1st quality signed glass together with great value factory seconds too. Lots of other gifts are stocked and feature many made in Norfolk,

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Telephone 01485 529111

Adult keeper experiences meeting the Brazilian tapirs

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In addition to the passenger services to Wymondham, they also run fairly regular commercial freight trains, as well as the occasional railtour. These result in a wide variety of locomotives visiting Dereham from the main line from time to time, in addition to the fleet of heritage diesel locos.

Shepreth Wildlife Park was celebrating back in November after the successful removal of a tumour from their tiger Amba, who is now recovering well, but the good news didn’t end there. The team at Shepreth also heard not only had they won Best Education Project: schools and educational institutions at the 2010 BIAZA Awards, but also won Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the 2010 Regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence. Dr Miranda Stevenson, Director of BIAZA said: “The award-winning programmes showcased today demonstrate the huge investment of energy and resources made by our leading zoos to improve animal welfare and raise environmental awareness. These awards recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that our members are making to conservation and education each year.”

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Amba’s winter coat

“We have been simply over-whelmed this week, we were so delighted to hear we had won the BIAZA award for education. Lainie works tirelessly to provide all schools with a fun and dynamic way to learn about the natural world, so she truly deserves this recognition. Then to win the very next day at the Regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence was just sensational! The team at Shepreth are exceptionally passionate about their jobs, and this reaffirms that what we do to conserve and educate our visitors is worthwhile and obviously works!” Rebecca Willers, Animal manager, “But of course, for us the real award was seeing our beautiful tiger fit and well again.”

So there couldn’t be a better time to visit Shepreth Wildlife Park, especially with the recent launch of the cost-saving ‘Season Tickets’ and Adoption Packages, all available from the information packed website at :

Many people are surprised to learn that the railway is entirely volunteer-run. The volunteers get up to a wide variety of tasks, including driving the trains, maintaining the track and lineside, getting greasy inside engines, and many other interesting jobs besides.

9466 at Hardingham

The Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust was established in 1995 with the aim of buying and restoring the then-disused line between the Norfolk market towns of Dereham and Wymondham. We currently own 28km (17.5 miles) of track and trackbed through central Norfolk's most attractive countryside, making us one of the largest preserved railways in the UK today. The line is operational between Dereham and Wymondham, and the Trust owns the disused northern section from Dereham as far as County School. The line is intact (although derelict) as far as North Elmham, and a further mile of track will need to be re-laid in order to reach County School. The long-term aim is to reach as far as Fakenham.

The rate of progress in restoring and upgrading the railway has been very rapid over the last few years. Current projects are aimed at improving the railway's infrastructure, including track and signalling. In particular, they are working on building the first signal box, which will control the yard at Dereham; and they are busy restoring the line north of Dereham to operational condition. They have restored Dereham Station to its former glory, and installed run-round loops at Dereham and Wymondham. Future plans include the building of a passing loop at Thuxton, and the provision of further signal boxes. Telephone 01362 690633

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County Signpost


The American Air Museum is built around one of the biggest aeroplanes that you will ever see, the B-52 Stratofortress, an awe-inspiring presence at Duxford. Equally stunning is Imperial War Museum Duxford’s newest exhibition, AirSpace, which tells the story of British and Commonwealth aviation whilst surrounding you with 30 of the most iconic aircraft produced, including the fastest-ever Concorde.

Duxford is huge and with over 10 acres undercover, it delivers a wonderful day out for all, Award-winning Imperial War Museum Duxford takes you on an unforgettable journey through the history of aviation, in times of war and peace.

Set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside, atmospheric Duxford is a living, breathing aviation museum. It is the best preserved Second World War Royal Air Force airfield in the world.

Whatever your interest, there is something at Duxford to inspire you, be it the Blackbird – the highest-flying aircraft ever – or the legendary Spitfire.

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Step back in time in exhibition Hangar 4: Battle of Britain where the sights and sounds of the aerial battle enable you to fully experience Britain’s ‘finest hour’. In the restored Operations Room, still tucked behind its original blast-walls, listen to a recreation of an air raid on Duxford in 1940.

These fascinating exhibitions are brought vividly to life through the stories of the many men and women who contributed towards Duxford’s history and the transformation of aviation

Battle of Britain Exhibition

whatever the weather. Keep an eye on the sky, as you may well see some historic aircraft in flight.

The Museum is open daily except 24, 25 and 26 December. Facilities include a restaurant, two cafes, visitor centre with a souvenir shop, outdoor picnic tables and children’s play area. Imperial War Museum Duxford is just south of Cambridge at junction 10 of the M11motorway, approximately 40 minutes from the M25 and 10 minutes away from Cambridge city. Ample free parking is available. Throughout the year the Museum holds air shows, exciting events, family activities, talks and tours and much more.

2011 Air Show Dates:

Spring Air Show, Sunday 22 May Flying Legends, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July The Duxford Air Show, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September Autumn Air Show, Sunday 16 October Air Shows at Imperial War Museum Duxford

Email: Website: Telephone: +44 (0)1223 835 000

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County Signpost

THE FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM, CAMBRIDGE The Fitzwilliam contains an extraordinary collection of manuscripts, including beautiful and rare medieval illuminated books from the Middle Ages, as well as literary manuscripts by Keats and Hardy and original musical scores by Mozart and Handel. A striking collection of coins and medals is also on offer, from the very earliest examples to contemporary art medals, as well as outstanding collections of Oriental and applied arts, with pottery, porcelain, and one of the most significant collections of Korean ceramics outside South-East Asia. Visitors can also pay a visit to see the Sculpture Promenade on the lawns outside the Museum. This unique, annually-changing display, set against the imposing backdrop of the Museum’s neo-classical architecture, showcases contemporary sculpture by some of the most accomplished artists working today. The Fitzwilliam Museum is the perfect place for a family day out, with year-round activities, workshops and trails for visitors of all ages – often completely free. The first Saturday of every month is ‘Family First Saturday’ at the Fitzwilliam, when families can visit the Fitz

Located in the heart of Cambridge, and occupying an extraordinary historic building housing almost half a million objects, the Fitzwilliam Museum has been hailed as ‘the finest small museum in Europe’ – and admission is completely free.

Founded in 1816, the Museum houses the University of Cambridge’s extensive collection of art and antiquities. From Egyptian coffins to Impressionist masterpieces; illuminated manuscripts to Renaissance sculpture; rare coins and medals to Oriental applied arts - these worldclass collections of art and antiquities span centuries and civilizations.

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Visitors can discover a world-class collection of paintings, drawings and prints boasting work by Titian, da Vinci, van Dyck, Ruebens, Breughel, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Dürer and Constable, with masterworks of French Impressionism by Matisse, Degas, Monet and Renoir and PreRaphaelite treasures by Millais, Rossetti and Holman Hunt. The Fitzwilliam also presents art from the 20th and 21st centuries, including work by Pablo Picasso, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, and Howard Hodgkin. Elsewhere within the Museum, the superb antiquities collection ranges from Ancient Egyptian sarcophagi and funerary figurines to Roman sculpture, including Greek vases, mosaic, and artefacts from Ancient Cyprus and Nubia.

Family Welcome Point and collect drawing materials, activities and trails to use throughout the Museum. Families can also pick up a free ‘FitzKit’ activity box all year round from the entrance desks, containing drawing materials and actitivies to lead younger visitors on an exciting trail around the Museum’s galleries. For adults, the Museum offers a wide range of activities, including free lunchtime talks, curators’ tours and workshops from printmaking to calligraphy, led by experts. Visitors to the Fitzwilliam Museum can take a break from the galleries in our peaceful Courtyard Café, where a tempting variety of food and drink, from coffee and cake to filling hot dishes. The adjacent Courtyard Shop is a treasure trove of striking and unusual gifts for all ages, offering postcards, greetings cards, calendars, posters, books, cards, stationary, crockery, scarves, distinctive jewellery and more. Telephone 01223 332900

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County Signpost


The original President and Chairman are still in post and as enthusiastic and active as ever today. There is a large band of “Friends” who support The Museum who live both locally and also spread all over Britain.

It was housed, until 2000, at Potter Heigham in one the old Herbert Woods boat sheds, then moved to The Poors Staithe at Stalham.

The main Wherry and Marshman buildings are in what were warehouses for the goods carried by the trading wherries from Great Yarmouth, housing a faithful life-size reproduction of a “cuddy” in which the wherrymen lived on board their boats. The office was added at some time as a shop to sell domestic goods to the wherrymen, now the reception area, tea room and shop for the modern visitors The Marshman’s Building is dedicated to the lives and crafts of these men and the products of their labours, “the best thatching reed in the world”. The drainage of the land by wind pumps, and later works to improve the water quality are also illustrated, along with examples of local wild-life.

Falcon trip at Hunsett Mill

In 1966 a small group of enthusiastic people concerned over the possible loss of any record, in words or artefacts, of the history of The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, decided to establish a museum.

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The Discovery Building contains a time-line putting the development of The Broads in its historical context. There are several hands-on models to demonstrate how bits of boats work, alongside painting and colouring equipment for the younger visitors to use. Also a video is running giving the evolutionary history of the early broads, explaining how it was discovered that they were man made.

The Boat Shed houses the larger exhibits including Maria, a Lateener, “the fastest racing yacht on the Broads in the 19th. century”, an “Airborne Lifeboat” designed by Uffa Fox, the famous yacht designer, many of which were built at Potter Heigham and saved the lives of numerous aircrew in W.W.2.

Outside, under covered areas, is a collection of significant boats, including a Commissioners’ Launch, a fore-runner of those policing the Broads nowadays for the Broads Authority, one of the early wooden Wayfarer dinghies built in Wroxham, and a unique “Weed Cutting” boat.

Inside the Boatshed

There are approximately 50 volunteers who either man reception or carry out all the refurbishment and domestic maintenance of the buildings and their precious contents. Over the last few years they have made major improvements to the site, for both the collections and visitors, including the addition of audio guides. For details visit the website:

The Museum is open daily from Easter to the end of October from 10.30am-5pm.

There is also a Victorian “gentleman’s steam launch”, built for the owner of Lacon’s Brewery in Gt. Yarmouth. Now restored, she is available for trips on the river on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, plus private hire for special occasions.

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Cromwell Museum

Grammar School Lane Huntingdon PE29 3LF

Burwell Museum

Mill Close Burwell Cambs CB5 0HL 01638 605544

Burwell Museum is a rural history museum depicting life through the centuries on the edge of the Cambridgeshire fens, includes an early 19th century windmill.


Oliver Cromwell is one of the most famous names in our history. He became the Lord Protector, the head of a British Republic. The Cromwell Museum tells his story, located in the old grammar school in Huntingdon, the town where he was born. The collection includes portraits and objects associated with Cromwell, including many on loan from his descendants.

Open all year April – October Tues-Sun 10.30am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 4pm January – March November – December Tues – Fri & Sun 1.30-4pm Closed on Bank Holidays except Good Friday, and on 24th – 28th December. Free Admission

Signpost - page 32 The Folk Museum was set up in 1936 by leading members of the town and university with the aim 'to interest the ordinary citizen in aspects of local social life which were fast disappearing in Cambridgeshire', an ethos which is still held today. The museum is housed in a 17th-century timberframed building, which was formerly the White Horse Inn for 300 years.

The wonderful and varied collections are displayed in nine room settings including the bar, the kitchen, the fens and folklore room and the playroom. Each room is filled with intriguing objects, some dating back to the 1600s, as well as familiar household items. These displays come to life with the temporary exhbitions, which encourage visitors to explore

Open Easter Sunday to Last Sunday in October Opening times 2 - 5pmThursdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays

life in the past.

Open Tues - Sat 10.30am - 5pm Sun 2pm - 5pm Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays (2 - 5pm) and pre-booked groups. Last admission 4.30pm

Admission Charge Adults: £3.50 Concessions: £2.00 Children (5 - 12 yrs): £1.00 (1 child free with every paying adult

Cambridge Museum of Technology

The Old Pumping Station Cheddars Lane Cambridge CB5 8LD Tel: 01223 368650

Victorian Pumping Station and Working Museum. Based in the original sewage pumping station for Cambridge, the Museum of Technology exists to preserve and exhibit material that is relevant to the Cambridge area, either by its use or its invention. The collections include: •The pumping station's original equipment and other engines. •A number of products manufactured by W.G. Pye of Cambridge. •Letterpress-printing equipment ranging from early hand operated presses to power machinery. •Instruments from Cambridge Instrument Company. •Information and artefacts from local industries.

Admission Charge Adults (over 16 years) - £3.00. Under 5s - FREE Children (5-16 years) - £1.00. Season tickets available

Cambridge and County Folk Museum

2/3 Castle Street Cambridge CB3 0AQ Tel:01223 355159

Opening times The museum is open, but not in steam

Cambridge Museum of Technology

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County Signpost Easter to October - Every Sunday 2-5pm November to Easter - 1st Sunday in month 25pm

Admission Charge Non steam days - Adults £3 Children under 7 and concession £1.50 Steam Days – Adults £5 Children under 7 and concessions £3.00

Chatteris Museum

14 Church Lane Chatteris PE16 6JA Tel: 01354 696319

In 1995 the museum moved to its present location into what had been the doctors’ surgery in Church Lane and it shares the building with Chatteris Town Council.

Opening times Summer (Easter to end of October) Thursdays - 2 – 4.30 pm Saturdays - 10 am – 1 pm

Winter (End of October to Easter) Thursdays - 2 – 4 pm Saturdays - 10 am – 12 noon

Closed Christmas and New Year Entry Free

Ely Museum

The Old Gaol Market Street Ely CB7 4LS Tel: 01353 666655 Chatteris Museum

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Displays include original prison cells, fossils that can be touched, Roman remains and an archive film of the Fens including punt guns and eel catching.

Summer Opening Times Monday — Saturday 10.30am — 5.00pm Sunday 1.00pm — 5.00pm Winter Opening Times Monday — Saturday* 10.30am — 4.00pm Sunday 1.00pm — 4.00pm *closed on Tuesdays except for school and group bookings

Admission Charge Adults £3.50 Concessions £2.50 Up to 4 children (16 yrs and under) FREE with each paying adult.

Ely Road Waterbeach Cambridge CB25 9PQ Tel: 01223 860988 Ely Museum

Ely Museum, a bright and friendly local history museum, located in the Bishop's Gaol in the centre of the historical city of Ely. The Museum

Opening times 1st April – 31st October 12 noon -5pm weekdays 10.30am-5pm weekends and Bank Holidays

A museum guide, children's guide to the galleries, toilets and a gift shop make this an ideal destination for all of the family.

Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey

Chatteris Museum is a small local museum concentrating on the town of Chatteris and the surrounding Fenland area.

The Chatteris museum collection was first started in 1942 as a result of an interest in local history by Mr Charles Dobb, then clerk to the council. Initially his little collection was housed in a small glass cabinet in the old Urban District Council offices in Grove House, but the collection continued to grow. In 1963 a complete room full of display cabinets was officially opened as Chatteris Museum. Eventually the museum took over the middle floor of Grove House and before long there were enough exhibits to fill 4 rooms.

is the history centre for the Isle of Ely & the Fens and it takes you on a journey through time from prehistory to the twentieth century.

The Museum collects, preserves and displays social history artefacts and agricultural machinery related to the history of rural Cambridgeshire.

Farmland Museum

Admission Charge Adults £4.00, Events days £5.00 Concessions £3.00. Events Days £4.00 Children £2.00. Events Days £3.00 Family tickets £10.00 Events Days £15.00 Entrance is FREE for children under 5

March & District Museum

High Street March PE15 9JJ Tel: 01354 655300

March Museum is a volunteer run local folk museum with displays showing the life and times of the late 19th and early 20th century. It is hosed in the old Girls Grammar school erected in 1851. In 1976 the building was purchased by March Town Council to be used as a museum which opened in 1977. Opening Hours Wednesday and Saturday 10.30am – 3.30pm All year except Christmas and New Year Entry to the Museum is free however donations are much appreciated.

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The Norris Museum

County Signpost

The Broadway St Ives Cambridgeshire PE27 5BX Tel: 01480 497314

Middle Ages potter Jim Newboult demonstrates his craft in the Museum's attractive riverside garden.

Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum

Admission Charge £4.50 Adults £3.50 Concessions £2.50 Children Children under 5 FREE FAMILY TICKET £12.00 (2 Adults & 2 Children 5-14 inclusive)

1 South Brink Place Wisbech PE13 1JE Tel: 01945 476358

The Birthplace House was built in about 1740 on Wisbech’s South Brink. As a Grade II* listed building, it is particularly important as a building of outstanding architectural or historic interest. The museum celebrates the life and legacy of Octavia Hill, conservationist, artist, social reformer, writer and teacher. Please see website for opening hours Admission Charge Adults £3.50 Concessions £2.50 (senior citizens and Nation Trust Members) Children £1.50 Family ticket £8.00 ( 2 full paying adults and 2 children)

The Norris Museum is the museum of Huntingdonshire. It tells the story of this historic County from earliest times to the present day.

Royal Anglian Regiment Museum

Ramsay Rural Museum

Ramsey Rural Museum

Wood Lane Ramsey Huntingdon Cambs PE26 2XD Tel: 01487 815715

The Ramsey Rural Museum, housed in 17th century farm buildings, is set in open countryside on the edge of a friendly market town. So why not step back in time and find out how life was lived in small fenland community. On site there are many areas showing a variety of machinery, implements and vehicles spanning 200 years of rural life.

Opening times May – September Monday to Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm Sunday 2.00-5.00pm

Our exhibits and displays depict: past working methods, occupations, trades and traditional farming techniques, such as cutting peat, digging ditches, thatching and being a Blacksmith.

October to April Monday to Friday 10.00-4.00pm Saturday 10.00an -1pm

Opening times April until end of October Thursdays 10 am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 2pm to 5pm Other times by appointment

Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Admission FREE

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Victorian School Session at the museum

Duxford Airfield Duxford Cambridge, CB2 4QR Tel: 01223 497298

Display at Royal Anglian Regiment Museum

The Museum is designed to inform the public about the Regiment's history and accomplishments by collecting, recording and conserving items associated with the Regiment in attractive, up-to-date displays. The Royal Anglian Regiment is the Regiment of the ten Counties of East Anglia and the East Midlands and was the first Large Regiment of Infantry in the British Army.

The Museum covers the history of the East and Royal Anglian Regiments since the amalgamations of the former County Regiments from 1958-60.

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County Signpost

Opening hours: Summer – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission Charge Adults £3.50 Concessions £2.50 Family group £7.00 (up to 4 must include 1 child under 16) Joint Admission Tickets Joint Admission Tickets are available for the Cathedral and the Museum. Adults £8.70 Concessions £7.00

During the winter, apart from a few selected dates, the Museum Gallery in Land Warfare will be closed.

The Museum office at Duxford will remain open for enquiries during this time.

Admission: Admission to the Museum is free after paying to enter the Duxford complex, which is open seven days each week.

St Neots Museum

The Old Court 8 New Street St Neots PE19 1AE Tel: 01480 214163

A lively local museum tells the story of this busy market town on the River Ouse, from prehistoric times to the present day. Opening times February, March Wednesday – Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm April to December Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm last admission 4pm Closed January

Admission Charge Adults £2.00 Children 5-16, concessions £1.00 FREE for residents of St Neots

The Museum of Fenland Drainage - Prickwillow Trust

Stained Glass Museum

The Stained Glass Museum offers a unique insight into the fascinating story of stained glass, an art-form that has been practised in Britain for at least thirteen hundred years.

Opening times Daily at the following times Summer Monday to Friday -10.30 - 5.00 Saturday - 10.30 - 5.30 Sunday - 12 noon - 6.00 Winter (from 28 October When Clocks go back, to Easter) Monday to Friday - 10.30 - 5.00 Saturday - 10.30 - 5.00 Sunday - 12 noon - 4.30 Last admissions are 30 minutes before closing

The museum is a registered educational charity, primarily concerned with the history of the unique landscape of the fens and the principles of drainage which created it over the course of several centuries.

Opening Times April & October : Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays : 11:00 to 16:00 May 1st to September 30th : Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday : 11:00 to 16:30 Admission Charge


Stained Glass Museum

The South Triforium Ely Cathedral Ely CB7 4DL 01353 660347

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Main Street, Prickwillow Ely CB7 4UN Tel: 01353 688360













Whittlesey Museum

Town Hall Market Street Whittlesey PE7 1BD Tel: 01733 840968

Whittlesey Museum, housed on the ground floor of the 19th Century Town Hall in Market Street, was opened in 1976.

The Costumes Room was once used to house the town's horse drawn fire engine. Other rooms in the museum are formed from what was once the brick floored caretaker's cottage. They lend themselves to static displays such as our current scene of a Village Post Office set in the 1950's. Other displays include brick-making, toys from the turn of the century, local archaeological finds, information on local commemoratives and Sir Harry Smith.

Outside in the museum's courtyard can be found a forge and wheelwright's bench, wash day artefacts and agricultural tools.

A life size model of the Straw Bear and an extensive collection of old photographs displaying Whittlesey scenes from the past can also be found. The museum is run by volunteers working on behalf of the Whittlesey Society. Opening hours Friday 2.30-4.30pm Saturday 10.00am-12.00noon Sunday 2.30-4.30pm Admission Adults 50p Children 20p

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Ely is very proud of it's connection with eels as the name Ely is derived from the Isle of Eels when the city was surrounded by water and marshland. Eels are still caught in the River Great Ouse. Smoked eels, now considered a delicacy can be purchased on Ely's award winning Farmers Market and dishes such as eel stew and eel pie can be regularly be found on several of the city's restaurant menus.

Nestled in the Fen countryside, Ely makes an ideal destination for a day visit or short break location. As the second smallest city in England, Ely is a hidden gem, which is often remarked upon by our many visitors. It is compact enough to ensure that nowhere is too far to walk to, yet expansive enough to fill a full day and more.

For your day visit to Ely your first port of call would be the medieval Cathedral that dominates the landscape for miles around with it's famous Octagon tower. Whilst in the Cathedral be sure to visit the Stained Glass Museum situated in the South Triforium offering a colourful experience of a stunning collection of stained glass and is the only one of its kind in the country.

Ely's most famous resident is Oliver Cromwell and you will have the opportunity to visit the only remaining home of Oliver Cromwell with the exception of Hampton Court Palace in London. The former Lord Protector lived with

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Cromwell’s House

his family in Ely for just over 10 years and the house has been transformed to give you an insight into 17th century life. Audio tours bring the story of this fascinating building to life. The house also doubles up as a Tourist Information Centre.

For learning about Ely's past the Ely Museum is situated just two minutes from the Cathedral. At the museum you will discover the story of Ely from prehistoric times to the twentieth century. The museum is housed in the city's former Gaol.

The riverside is also a hot spot for visitors wishing to relax and enjoy an afternoon tea or take a boat trip or even browse through the three storey Antiques Centre. Whilst at the riverside we strongly recommend that you follow the city's heritage public art Eel Trail that is an excellent way of seeing the historic city at it's best. This circular walk, self-guided by brass way makers takes you past the oldest parts of Ely incorporating the beautiful riverside area and award winning Jubilee gardens.

There is a fantastic and varied selection of reserves from marvellous wetlands, flower-rich meadows and ancient woodlands. In fact there are 46 in Cambridgeshire to choose from! All of the reserves are free to visit and offer a variety of different animals and habitats. Here’s a small selection of Wildlife Trust reserves to visit in Cambridgeshire :

Grafham Water: an expanse of open water, surrounded by wetlands, grasslands and ancient woods, managed with Anglian Water. The reserve, near Huntingdon, is great for birdwatching with a good change of spotting birds ranging from ospreys, black terns and greylag geese. Brampton Wood: the second largest ancient woodland in Cambridgeshire. The woodland, near Huntingdon is at least 900 years old and offers the chance to see the rare black hairstreak butterflies and dormouse.

Great Fen: The Great Fen Project - one of the most exciting habitat restoration projects ever undertaken in Britain - will create a 3,700 hectare wetland between Huntingdon and

Peterborough. This will be achieved by obtaining land adjacent to two existing National Nature Reserves, Holme Fen and Woodwalton Fen. Connecting these two vitally important nature reserves will provide a haven for wildlife and create a massive green space for people, opening new opportunities for recreation, education and business. This project is a partnership of the Environment Agency, Huntingdonshire District Council, Middle Level Commissioners, Natural England and the Wildlife Trust.

Many wildlife species and habitats have disappeared over the past 50 years. The Trust is working not just to protect what remains, but also to increase the numbers and diversity of native wild plants and animals in our countryside. They are not content with protecting what is left too much has already been lost instead they want to put something back. Visit or

To find out more about becoming a member telephone 01954 713543 or email the membership team at

Group Tours Advisor 01353 616397 or Cromwell’s House 01353 662062

Graffam Water © Pat Doody

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Family Fun

Discover - Wildlife, Family Fun Stunning Gardens, Great Shopping & Home Cooked Food There are so many ways to enjoy the beautiful surroundings here at Pensthorpe, a reserve famous for hosting BBC Springwatch. Whether you want to explore the great wildlife walks, learn about our conservation projects, indulge in a spot of retail therapy, take lunch in our Courtyard CafĂŠ, or just enjoy some of the best local gardens and birdlife for miles around, there is something to suit every taste.

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Pensthorpe Mill Garden

Pensthorpe takes it role as the 'Natural Centre of Norfolk' very seriously: supporting a wide range of conservation activities, and addressing the particular problems faced by a number of endangered and vulnerable species. Red Squirrels, Corncrakes, Cranes and other rare birds have all benefited from assistance from the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust (PCT), a registered charity based on the reserve.


From the structural beauty of the Millennium Garden, to the lush foliage in the Wave Garden; the habitat-specific Wildlife Habitat Garden and the more subtle, traditionally-managed flood plain of the Wildflower Meadow, Pensthorpe is able to provide year round colour and interest.

Pensthorpe is a great place to get children involved in wildlife and the great outdoors. Not only is there a huge variety of birds and wildlife to spot, but families can choose from a range of activities to engage everyone whatever their age.

Feed the birds at one of our specialist locations, or try your hand at pond dipping to discover just how much fun is to be had in the countryside.

The new activity booklet encourages children to explore the reserve and find out more about the plants, birds, animals and insects. Stamping stations posted throughout designated trails coax children's curiosity, whether you choose to follow the creepy-crawlies on the Bug Walk Trail, or the excitement of the Wildlife Tracker Trail. Or if something a little less energetic is your thing, the Wensum Discovery Tour* allows you to explore the reserve from the comfort of ourspecially designed Land Rover and trailer. With

Pensthorpe tracker trail

up to four guided tours each day, there is ample opportunity to take advantage of the expert knowledge of our wardens. *Seasonal Attraction, additional charge applies

What's Here

Pensthorpe is not just a great way to get close to nature and learn more about wildlife and conservation. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a little retail therapy too. Our superb gift shop offers some delightful and unusual options for presents that are so nice you won't want to give them away. Or just indulge yourself completely in our newly refurbished Courtyard CafĂŠ, whether you fancy a tasty light snack, a scrumptious cream tea or a delicious, full lunchtime meal. Telephone 01328 851465

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BEWILDERWOOD New for 2011 is daily storytelling on the park (weather permitting). Bold little adventurers can find out more about the magical BeWILDerwood world and the fascinating creatures who live there. The storytelling sessions are completely interactive, giving children the chance to dress up as the characters from the famous BeWILDerwood books, bringing the mystical tales to life right before their very eyes.

Magic, mystery, imagination and adventure have always been the order of the day at BeWILDerwood, the award-winning curious treehouse adventure park in Norfolk. But this year the Twiggles and Boggles have been beavering away to ensure that when the gates swing open for the year (from February half term 19th – 27th) visitors will be treated to even more treetop family fun and excitement than ever before.

As much as BeWILDerwood is famous for outdoor adventures and safe play, it offers visitors a wider cerebral experience where imaginations run as WILD as the children (and mums and dads too!)

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Literacy and storytelling have always been important features of the park - creator Tom Blofeld first breathed life into the concept of BeWILDerwood within the pages of his popular books (A Boggle at BeWILDerwood, The BeWILDerBats, The Ballad of BeWILDerwood and A BeWILDermuddle). That’s why in 2011 we’re celebrating the educational and imaginative elements of the park, and storytelling will become an even more important part of the BeWILDerwood experience.

Also new for 2011 is the Big Hat, a giant hiding place with a pointy top that’s filled with lots of handy places to rest tired feet on splishy, splashy wet days.

Aside from the park’s new additions, it remains a ‘plastic-free’ environment of magical tree houses, zip wires, wobbly bridges, mazes, swing ropes and Toddlewood, three miniature playground areas for toddlers. Take a boat across the Scaaaaary Lake, try your luck on the Tricky Tunnels or slip and slide down the Slippery Slopes. It’s a full day out, inspired by the characters and adventures from the BeWILDerwood books, including Swampy, Mildred the Crocklebog and the Thornyclod Spider. can book their tickets online, bring a reference number with them, and get into the park quickly without queuing - a real bonus during the park’s busiest times. BeWILDerwood has introduced gift vouchers, which are ideal for birthday presents. And their Annual Passes are great value if you are local or a regular visitor – and you can use them to get into all the events free!

Jo Artherton, BeWILDerwood’s Marketing Manager, said: “2011 is set to be an exciting year for BeWILDerwood. We’re well known as an active, outdoorsy family destination and now we’re in a position to establish the educational side of the park, particularly as last year Tom Blofeld published A BeWILDermuddle, the third and latest book in the BeWILDerwood series. We want children to be inspired and motivated both physically and mentally, and we aim to further bring to life the magic of BeWILDerwood”. In 2011 there will be popular annual events such as BeWILDermum’s Day on 3rd April and BeWILDerdad’s Day, on 19th June. Bring your mum or dad for free (mums on Mother’s Day, dads on Father’s Day) and make them a special present to take home!

BeWILDerwood is also planning a host of bigger and more thrilling events than ever before. These include Mildred’s Crocklebog Capers from 22nd – 29th August, a celebration of all things crocklebog; and Snagglefang’s Spooky Spectacular from 24th – 30th October, a seriously spooktacular event where you can dress up, make magical masks and lanterns and take part in the mysterious lantern parade at dusk. Online booking still remains the quickest and easiest way to enter the park. It means visitors

Last year, the park’s on-site shop underwent a big expansion and is now twice the size. It’s packed with fantastic gifts including books, soft toys, sweets, and a new range of BeWILDerwood branded gifts.

For those with eyes bigger than their bellies, BeWILDerwood has a fantastic selection of yummy hot and cold food as well as snacks available on the park. All food is organic, where possible, and locally sourced with plenty of healthy options too, giving families lots of choice. With so much more to offer, and the focus firmly on environmental and educational issues, BeWILDerwood is perfect for a family day out in 2011. BeWILDerwood is located in woodland off the A1062 near Wroxham, situated near the beautiful surrounding of Hoveton Little Broad.

For more information about BeWILDerwood and all the events in 2011 visit or call 01603 783900.

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County Signpost



The RSPB has four exciting nature reserves in The Fens and another at Fowlmere, in the chalky south west of Cambridgeshire. Fen Drayton Lakes, just a few miles northwest of Cambridge, has a jam-packed events programme with something for everyone and many trails to explore. The Ouse Washes and Fowlmere have spacious hides where you can capture the magic of the reserve.

Fen Drayton Lakes

The Ouse Washes is the winter home for thousands of whooper, Bewick’s and mute swans. The swans roost on the Washes overnight, and flocks can be seen feeding in surrounding farmland by day. Male ducks are at their most colourful in winter, trying to attract a mate before the next nesting season arrives; another good reason for getting out on a fine winter’s day.

Peer into the clear chalk springs at Fowlmere and walk trails through the reedbed there, surrounded by the sounds of birds, and reeds rustling in the breeze.

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Just over the border into Suffolk is another fabulous fenland, at RSPB Lakenheath Fen, which complements those in Cambridgeshire. This nature reserve has a small visitor centre, a busy events programme, and more fantastic birds. To find out more about these nature reserves, please visit the web site:

Bewick swans at Ouse Washes You will find directions, including public transport, and more about what to expect at each one. There are two local groups, which meet in Cambridge and St Ives, both providing an interesting programme of speakers and opportunities to see wildlife, and supporting the RSPB in a variety of ways. See for their details. Both welcome visitors to their meetings.

Kettle’s Yard house a beautiful house containing a distinctive collection of modern art

Each of these wetlands is unique, but they all offer a variety of wildlife and walks, fresh air and antidotes to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Put on your warmest clothes and boots and visit the Washes or Fen Drayton Lakes in winter to see large flocks of water birds, including swans, ducks and coots against a stunning backdrop.

Fen Drayton Lakes is easy to reach from Cambridge: there is a request stop for the Cambridgeshire Guided Bus. It is a great destination at any time of year, and a summer visit will immerse you in thousands of damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies.

Many small birds will be foraging in the drier parts of all these sites, searching for berries, seeds or bugs. These may include birds that are rarely seen in our gardens, such as skylarks, yellowhammers and reed buntings. Fine days in spring and early summer are recommended for hearing their songs, along with summer migrants, such as warblers and cuckoos. You can expect to see and hear common birds too, such as robins, finches and thrushes.

Kettle’s Yard gallery a series of contemporary and modern exhibitions Kettle’s Yard events practical art workshops for all ages, talks, lunchtime and evening concerts and much more See our website for more details and join our email list to keep up to date house open: Tuesday-Sunday, SUMMER: 1.30-4.30pm, WINTER: 2-4pm gallery open: Tuesday-Sunday, 11.30am-5pm Family at Ouse Washes

KETTLE’S YARD • admission free Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ telephone 01223 748100 •


The Rock Garden overlooks the lake at the Botanic Garden

A 40 acre oasis just to the south of the City centre, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a haven of beautiful gardens & glasshouses, recommended by the RHS Garden Finder as an exceptionally attractive botanic garden and ‘essential visiting for any garden lover’.

This heritage-listed Garden was the vision of Professor John Henslow, teacher and guiding light of Charles Darwin, and is today a treasure trove of over 8,000 plant species, including nine national collections and the finest arboretum in the East of England.

The Garden has been designed for both yearround interest and seasonal inspiration. The tree collection forms the structural backbone to the Garden and encloses the plantings to form a secluded green retreat. The magnificent conifers

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of the Main Walk create an awe-inspiring avenue, leading in one direction to a beautiful fountain designed by the respected cutler David Mellor and in the other to a pair of ornate Gates that were originally the entrance to the much smaller, city-centre Botanic Garden before it reopened on its current site in 1846. These lovely Gates were relocated at the end of the 19th century.

The Garden is a natural outdoor classroom: guided tours of the seasonal highlights take place at 11am every first Saturday of the month (pre-booking advised on 01223 336265 or email and drop-in family workshops are held between 11am-3pm also on every first Saturday.

Telephone 01223 336265

Cambridgeshire & Norfolk Signpost 2011  

annual county tourist guide

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