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  • What to do after ICNT in Cambridge.

    Posted on April 25, 2015

    If you are travelling a great distance to be in Cambridge why not consider rewarding yourself and staying on in England for a week or more? There are so many exciting things that you can do. In this post I want to pique your interest. I want to get you thinking and then start you planning. I know you will be very glad you did.
    This post concentrates on the things you can do in the part of South East England that is north of the Thames (North of London). For those who want to go further, or have more time, consider Kent to the South, or the Cotswolds, or the Lakes and the North, or Cornwall (Poldark Country) or of course there is beautiful Wales. Perhaps I will post some ideas about these areas later. The main thing is that the possibilities of exploring England are endless. Do it justice and take some time. I have to admit that writing this article is causing me to have very itchy feet and my mouth is watering as I think about the scones and lunch at the Eels Foot Inn.

    Getting around:

    I highly recommend that you rent a car. Avis has offices in Cambridge and in Norwich and for a small additional charge you can choose to drop your car at a different location from the one where you rent it. Why not pick up your car in Cambridge then return it to Norwich and catch the train back to London. Stay clear of driving, renting or returning a car to London. Drop your car outside of the London area and take public transport in or to your departure airport.
    Contact information for Avis:

    Where to stay:

    There are a number of services that list Bed and Breakfast accommodation if you want to move around the area during your stay. It is good to book these in advance (if you know where you want to be each night). Have a look at AirBnB–United-Kingdom
    Our favorite is to find a central location, rent it for a week and explore from that base. In Suffolk my top recommendation is Dunwich Heath on the Suffolk Coast. Our favorite is Stonechat (formerly Coastguard Apartment #2). It is in the same building as the Tea Room and gift shop (an added bonus).
    Consider renting one of the Coast Guard Cottages from the National Trust Holiday Cottage Collection. You will never go wrong renting from the National Trust, the facilities are well appointed, in amazing locations and the rental system is first rate. In all there are 45 cottages/apartments to choose from in the East Anglia area.
    Dunwich Heath is itself a perfect location.
    Immediately next to the National Trust property is the RSPB Minesmere Reserve, a premier wetland and shorebird watching site. It is easy to walk from your NT apartment to Minesmere and to explore its trails, sit in its hides, learn and enjoy. Both Dunwich and Minesmere have small gift shops and tea room facilities.

    World Famous Scones at Dunwich Heath Tea Room

    World Famous Scones at Dunwich Heath Tea Room

    The tea room at Dunwich is famous for its scones!
    The Eels Foot Inn

    The Eels Foot Inn

    But, don’t, under any circumstances, miss out on a pub lunch or dinner at the Eels Foot Inn which is located next to the South side of Minesmere, directly accessible from the reserve footpaths and always rewarding!


    Dunwich is within easy driving distance of National Trust properties such as Sutton Hoo , Blickling, Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate (a hidden gem) and Orford Ness. Visit the town of Dunwich and it’s small but fascinating museum only a couple of miles from the Heath and learn about the impacts of sea level change on this once large coastal community most of which is now below the sea. A short drive further north will take you to the thriving town of Saxmundham where there are several fine tea rooms and a variety of stores. Or how about fish and chips in Aldeburgh at the Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop, Take them out and sit on the seaside for an evening meal.
    This list only scratches the surface. Visit Sheringham Park, Oxburgh Hall, Hosey Windpump (an imposing five-storey drainage windpump), Peckover House and Garden, Blakney Point or Bancaster Estate. There are so many Special Places to visit.
    You can get up to the minute information on Dunwich Heath on Twitter: @DunwichHeathNT And about Minesmere on Twitter: @RSPBMinsmere
    To find the best scones follow National Trust Scones on Twitter: @nt_scones

    But don’t forget LONDON:

    Really no trip to England is complete without spending some time in London, one of the most exciting cities in the world. There is so much National Trust to see in London, that it would take another article to even begin.
    A few recommendations come to mind:
    Sutton House
    The Red House
    Fenton House
    Ham House and Garden (go by boat on the river, walk along the riverside path to approach this gem from the river).
    Osterley Park and House
    2 Willow Road
    The George Inn (time you visit so that you can take in the Borough Market virtually across the road).

    Above all, come to the conference, be inspired, then drink in the magic of the English countryside and finish off with a bit of National Trust London. Nothing could be better!

    Thanks for listening!


    Bill Turner
    Want more highly prejudice travel advice? Send me an email

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