MOUSEHOLE, CORNWALL, ENGLAND
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND – I’ve now been to Oxford and Cambridge.
And it’s Cambridge I prefer.
It’s a 45 minute train trip from King’s Cross Station in London with no stops (approx. £16 return). A ten minute walk and you’re in the heart of this thriving university town. I found it smarter, neater and easier to explore for a day trip outside of the city.
Everyone I spoke to said you have to go bunting when you’re in Cambridge. It’s basically a gondola ride (think Venice) on a narrow river that passes through the university. Best to go with a guide. I saw a lot of people trying it for themselves but it was nerve wracking to watch them. They bumped into everything a lot including our little boat but they managed to stay dry.
I did the St. John’s College tour and it was a good pick. It wasn’t too busy on the day that I went and it was nicely geared towards tourists. Well marked and with the right amount of information to keep you busy. When you finish the tour you’re outside in the park areas surrounded by trees and plenty of spring flowers.
I loved walking through the streets too. So many nice, cute shops to keep you busy and interested.
There was a graduation ceremony on the day that I was there and so there were many students in their robes. It was odd but the tourists were taking random photographs of them. All in all it was a good day out and I highly recommend it.
A few weeks ago my friend put together a surprise getaway for us. We got in the car and headed to Bath for the weekend. I’d been before years before, but it was good to go back and take a walk around again.
Weather was a bit chilly but that didn’t stop the crowds. This is a popular city. There’s good shopping and some good sites to see like the small cathedral (free).
We didn’t go and see the actual Roman Baths which I suppose is the main reason why people used to come to the city years ago . We just didn’t want to fork out the cash (about £13). But as we love Jane Austen we took the tour which I highly recommend. It’s not actually located in a home she lived in, but on the same street where she used to live. It sort of felt special to walk around Bath and think of the spaces that were her inspiration. I think the one thing that I took away from the tour was that perhaps her motivation for writing was not just out of sheer love of writing or the need to tell her stories. She seemed to have a financial motivation. Her family was not well off and during her last months at Bath the family was so hard up that they were living in the same area as the city’s prostitutes, where before they were near genteel society. It’s hard to imagine Jane near prostitutes…
After the tour we did pop by Sally Lunn’s a restaurant that sells buns which according to the website is ‘part bun, part bread, and part cake’ and has been a part of Bath for so long that even Jane used to enjoy them too. We got there early enough to miss the queue. I ordered mine with cinnamon sugar and it was tasty and sweet.
The rest of the time was spent walking around Bath, shopping and eating. You only really need one day to see Bath. It’s fairly close to London and easily accessible by car or train.
All this talk of Bath reminds me of some of my Jane Austen films/shows…Pride & Prejudice (the one with Colin), Sense and Sensibility (with Emma Thomson) and another film that I highly recommend is The Jane Austen Book Club. Really sweet and funny. Perfect for a night in.
HENLEY, ENGLAND – If you head to Henly, I highly recommend a boat ride along the Thames River.
It leaves from the centre of town and takes you down the river for what is a very pleasant ride, weather permitting.
Bottom line: A fun and relaxed way to pass the afternoon with a friend or loved one.