Drives near me: Best drives near Cambridge for the perfect day out

Cambridge is not only a wonderful city to visit itself but it’s also near some other fascinating locations. Once you’ve had your fill in Cambridge, it’s worth branching out further afield. Driving out from the city takes you to some idyllic destinations with some beautiful scenery along the way.

These are five of the best drives within a 90-minute drive of Cambridge.

Saffron Walden, Essex

Distance from Cambridge: 20.1 miles

Time to Drive: 30 minutes

Saffron Walden is a pretty, medieval market town in north-west Essex where a market has been held since 1141.

Market days are now Tuesdays and Saturdays for those hoping to browse the stalls which offer everything from plants, flowers and clothes to fresh fish and jewellery.

At the heart of Saffron Walden lies St Mary’s Church, the largest parish church in Essex – just one of several interesting historic buildings in the town.

Meanwhile, Saffron Walden Museum has everything from mammoth tusks to mummies, from an early Tudor bed to a natural history museum gallery. The ruins of the Castle keep, which dates back to the 1130s or 40s, can be found in the museum gardens too.

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Distance from Cambridge: 28.4 miles

Time to Drive: 37 minutes

Bury St Edmunds is surrounded by countryside and boasts 1,000 years of history.

The town is the home of Saint Edmund, the original patron Saint of England.

Its most famous landmarks are its impressive abbey ruins and their adjoining gardens.

Once a great monastery, the abbey was built around a shrine to Saint Edmund, which for centuries was a point of pilgrimage for peasants, kings, and everyone in between

Other historical sites include St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the only cathedral in Suffolk, and The Angel Hotel, a Georgian coaching inn frequented by Charles Dickens on his trips to Bury St Edmunds.

There’s also the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal – the only surviving Regency playhouse in Britain.

Stamford, Lincolnshire

Distance from Cambridge: 46.2 miles

Time to Drive: 54 minutes

Stamford is a picture postcard-worthy market town.

Visitors will enjoy spending time walking around the quaint town centre and exploring the shops and restaurants Stamford has to offer.

Beer drinkers should check out All Saints Brewery, a Victorian steam-operated brewery, established in 1825. It has since been restored and redeveloped as a micro-brewery specialising in fruit beers.

Stamford’s biggest claim to fame is neighbouring grand stately home Burghley House and its gardens and deer park.

Burghley is one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age. It was built and mostly designed by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587.

Lavenham, Suffolk

Distance from Cambridge: 42.8 miles

Time to Drive: 59 minutes

Lavenham is widely acknowledged as the best example of a medieval wool town in England.

It boasts some 320 listed timber-framed buildings.

Lavenham is host to an array of galleries where visitors can find unique examples of local and international arts and craft.

Also in the town is found the spectacular large 15th-century church of St Peter & St Paul as well as the Old Grammar School, which was open from 1647-1887.

The school is a Grade I listed building whose many pupils have included famous painter John Constable.

Norwich, Norfolk

Distance from Cambridge: 63.4 miles

Time to Drive: One hour 16 minutes

Slightly further afield, Norwich is the most complete medieval city in the UK and is the only English city in a National Park, the Norfolk Broads.

It was also England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Norwich has a flourishing arts, music and cultural scene, superb independent as well as High Street shopping, lively restaurants, bars and nightlife.

The city has a majestic Norman Cathedral, cobbled streets and the largest permanent undercover market in Europe.

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