Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in East of England
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Made up of six schools, 31 constituent colleges, and more than 100 academic departments, the historic university boasts an impressive alumni, which includes Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and Lord Byron.
Founded in 1441 by Henry VI, King’s College is one of the most prestigious and perhaps the best-known of the Cambridge colleges. Notable alumni include writer Zadie Smith and mathematician Alan Turing; however, it’s the grounds and buildings which are of most interest to visitors. Here, explore landscaped gardens, stroll along the River Cam, and admire the 15th-century Gothic King’s College Chapel.
Founded by Henry VIII in 1546, Trinity College is the largest Cambridge University college and the alma mater of many British Prime Ministers, Royal Family members, and Nobel Prize winners. Here, visitors can explore the 17th-century Great Court, Trinity College Clock, and Wren Library among other buildings, as well as attend public lectures and rent punts for use along the River Cam.
Hailed as the most impressive work of medieval architecture and Gothic design in Britain, Kings College Chapel now ranks as the most-visited attraction in Cambridge. The church is famous for its Gothic facade and elaborate stained glass windows, and for the fact that the foundation stone was laid by Henry VI himself in the 15th century.
Dating back to the 15th century, Queens’ College is among Cambridge University’s oldest colleges. The photogenic, river-straddling campus encompasses medieval courtyards; the President’s Lodge, a Tudor-style half-timbered building; and Mathematical Bridge, a wooden arch footbridge constructed entirely from straight timber beams.
Spanning the River Cam, this wooden footbridge is often attributed to Isaac Newton, who—as the story goes—designed it in such a way that no bolts were needed to keep it in place. In reality, the bridge was built more than 20 years after Newton’s death, and is held together by bolts, though it is still recognized as an engineering marvel.
Built in 1831, this bridge spans the River Cam, linking the New Court of St. John’s College with the older Third Court. While Cambridge’s covered bridge bears only a passing resemblance to its Venetian namesake, the Grade I-listed structure—with its neo-Gothic arches and tracery windows—is architecturally significant in its own right.
The River Cam cuts through the heart of Cambridge and is one of the city’s most important natural attractions. While visitors can stroll along its banks, floating down the River Cam in a traditional flat-bottomed punt is one of the most quintessential Cambridge experiences and a convenient way to see some of Cambridge University’s most prestigious and otherwise inaccessible college buildings.
Fondly known as "the Fitz", this grand neoclassical building houses Cambridge University’s principal museum. Its collection, originally bequeathed by a Cambridge alum and nobleman in the early 19th century, has since grown to include some 500,000 artworks and antiquities; ranging from mummies to paintings by Titian, Matisse, and Rubens.
Located in Essex on the edge of the North Sea, Harwich International Port is about 85 miles (137 kilometers) northeast of London. Opened in 1883, Harwich International is a main port of call for Stena Line ferry services to the Netherlands and is used for commercial shipping. It's also one of the East Coast’s five major Haven Ports.
More Things to Do in East of England
With a wide range of animals, amusements, and activities designed to entertain families, Old MacDonald’s Farm can be a fun-filled day out whatever the weather. Meet more than 30 different species of animals including meerkats and wallabies, jump on amusing rides, and enjoy the soft play areas at this folksy park that’s scaled for young kids.
From humble sea stars to giant sea turtles and mighty sharks, the marine world of SEA LIFE® Great Yarmouth will introduce you to many beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep. Enjoy close-up views of marine life in environments that re-create their natural habitats and daily staff presentations that offer more in-depth information about the aquarium’s animals.
Get up close to sharks, scorpions, and more at Skegness Aquarium, where pirate-themed exhibits, hands-on activities, and underwater experiences offer family-friendly fun and immersive insight into coastal biodiversity. Plus, the aquarium’s prime spot on the Skegness seafront makes it easy to visit several top attractions in one day.
A state-of-the-art marine aquarium, SEA LIFE® Hunstanton takes visitors on an undersea odyssey filled with close encounters with a wide variety of sea creatures. The staff at the center, known as Rainforest Rangers, are happy to show off their jungle creatures and creepy crawlies to visitors.
Dino-loving kids and adults alike will appreciate the robust collection of fossils, bones, and crystals housed at Fossils Galore, a museum and workshop situated just 30 minutes outside of Peterborough. Highlights include a Woolly Rhinoceros skull and an Iguanadon dinosaur, as well as regular talks about fossil hunting, the chance to watch behind-the-scenes bone cleanings, and interactive exhibits.