Being able to go on days out is such a freedom, and one I love doing. For me it’s really important to show N there’s life off the farm, and children can learn so much from fun days out. Educational or just a lot of fun and family time being together. Both are important and can create brilliant memories.
Our last break before Covid lockdown was a bit of a road trip enroute to visiting my best friend over at her parents’. We took in a night in Cambridge, then moved on up to Lincolnshire and Humberside. Being brought up near Oxford, it’s always nice to visit Cambridge and compare cities, and what there is to do for families.
Our stay in Cambridge was only fleeting. We arrived early so we could spend the day exploring before checking into our hotel, then visited places on the way to our next stop. We didn’t do as much as I’d have liked thanks to hideous weather. So I would like to return and spend more time there. There’s plenty more for us to visit with N, but it would also make a great weekend break with friends too.
Here’s some recommendations for family days out in Cambridgeshire, from our visit and other bloggers.
Museums and historical buildings
Museum of Cambridge – one of those quirky little museums that just keeps going in different rooms. You can find out lots about the different places and types of people who lived in Cambridge. A bit of local history with rooms set up from different ages. Don’t miss the room with all the toys including some for children to get out and play with.
IWM Duxford – even if you’re not a war or plane fan, Duxford is worth a visit, if only to get on a Concorde! There’s so much to see, spread across a large site of hangars. There’s a small play area, and a couple of places to get food, although they do get busy. We loved it, even though we only had time for around half the site.
Cambridge American Cemetery – a place of contemplation and memorial, maybe more suitable for older children. The cemetery was donated by Cambridge Museum, and has a visitor centre to find out more.
Natural History Museum Cambridge – find out about the natural world, in the midst of the university buildings.
Fitzwiliam Museum especially good for those who love finding out about ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.
Sedgwick Museum – set on one floor, essential for dinosaur fans.
Peterborough cathedral – founded originally as a monastic abbey, this Norman cathedral is the burial place of 2 queens.
Peterborough museum – over 200,000 exhibits in a historic manor house. For budding doctors there’s a Victorian operating theatre to learn about surgical exhibits. Plus there’s underwater and fossil finds, plus the story of the first prisoner of war camp.
Ely Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell’s House. Ely is walkable even with young children.
Fen Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey, Cambridge – with tractors, toy area, interactive displays and the ruins of Denny Abbey to explore, there’s plenty to see.
Houghton Mill and Waterclose Gardens, near Huntingdon – get active by walking, cycling or even canoeing here. Or explore the 18th century working mill.
Peckover House and garden, North Brink, Wisbech – discover the Georgian manor house, and enjoy the 2 acres of Victorian garden.
Wimpole Hall and Home Farm – two in one. The hall for the grown ups, and Home Farm, which is a working farm for the children. Let them dress up, have a go in the farming interactive barn, and meet the animals. Some lovely grounds to walk in too.
Anglesey Abbey – this is one of our favourite National Trust places we’ve visited. A huge natural play area with things to play music on and some great play areas. Plus you can get yourself lost in the woods, and there’s some beautiful cathedral of trees areas alongside meadows to sit and picnic in. We didn’t make it to the mill, but there’s so much to see. Definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area.
Outdoors and wildlife
Linton Zoo – see big cats, birds, lemurs, tortoises and dinosaurs.
Cambridge Botanic Gardens – 40 acres of gardens and greenhouses to enjoy.
Ferry Meadows Country Park at Nene Park, just outside Peterborough – watersports, walks, cycling or enjoy the countryside. Or visit one of the other 5 parks that make up Nene Park for other activities and exploring.
Wicken Fen Nature Reserve – National Trust reserve where you can walk the boardwalks, follow the adventurers trail and enjoy the great outdoors.
Try punting or take a boat out on the River Cam
Bus tour of Cambridge – you can buy a 24 hour pass, and stop on and off at different stops. A good way to see the city (if it’s not raining), but be warned, traffic in Cambridge is awful, so you can be sat in traffic for part of it
Railworld wildlife haven, Peterborough – hands on model railways with an environmental side.
Nene Valley steam railway – a living heritage railway, run by volunteers, learn about and ride the steam trains from various stations.
Places to eat
Afternoon teas – 22 places to have afternoon tea in Cambridge, for all budgets
Doubletree Hilton Cambridge – free warm cookies, we had a great welcome, and good for using as a base out of town
As with most attractions, do check their websites for opening times before visiting. Let me know how you get on, or drop me any other places that are great for family days out in Cambridgeshire you like that I’ve missed.
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