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A Fenland Meander

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Take a relaxing midweek excursion through the wide open spaces of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, stopping off at the fine City of Ely, where the great Gothic cathedral – known locally as ‘the Ship of the Fens’ – towers  high above the many noteworthy buildings. Interestingly the Cathedral came first; when it was built Ely was only a small settlement, the town grew up around the Cathedral. The Benedictine monks’ only concern was to glorify God, and nothing less than a grand building on a truly majestic scale would do.

Nearby is Oliver Cromwell’s house, a fine old timbered building where the interesting kitchen actually dates from 1215. The eight period rooms have been carefully restored to show visitors just how they would have looked when it was the Cromwell family residence. All around, Ely boasts an enviable range of small independent shops too.

But this tour is not just a visit to a worthy destination; we also enjoy the distinctive Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire terrain amid the delightful yellow and gold autumn shades. A special treat is in store for those dining with us too.

We depart at a civilised time from our London and Hertfordshire joining stations heading through Royston and Cambridge, arriving at Ely at lunchtime. It is a short uphill walk – though not steep – to the Cathedral and city centre or you can take a stroll along the gently winding River Great Ouse. Pause for refreshment at a riverside café or pub, or simply sit and watch the world go by.

After a break of around three hours our tour continues as we head through the heart of Fenland, criss-crossing little country lanes and man-made waterways. Having passed through March and the village of Whittlesea (or it is Whittlesey?) we glimpse Peterborough then head through the bucolic farmlands by way of the ‘tulip capital’ of Spalding.

Still heading north we skirt Sleaford and soon another imposing cathedral spire dominates the skyline. We are now of course passing Lincoln, which is as far north as we shall reach today. We now head west to Newark and finally our pace quickens as we return homeward via Grantham and Huntingdon.

We have three classes of accommodation on this tour. Those travelling First Class Dining will enjoy a memorable seven course banquet late lunch – a really memorable experience.

First Class Dining includes breakfast and a seven-course banquet late lunch.

Standard Adult£69.50Limited
Standard Junior£59.50Limited
First Non-Dining£89.50Good
First Dining£185.00Good
First Dining Party of Four£720.00Good

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

London King's Cross09.3519.15
Potters Bar (for M25)10.0018.55
Welwyn Garden City10.2018.35

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