Updated: October 10, 2023 | Has affiliate links

15 Best Day Trips from Cambridge UK

My favorite 15 day trips from Cambridge UK

Cambridge is my favorite day trip from London. However, Cambridge in itself is a beautiful location to explore for more time. From some of the oldest buildings in Europe to beautiful museums and parks, Cambridge offers so many things to see and do. If you have a few more days in the Cambridge area, you can also explore some beautiful places within easy driving distance. Come along with me as we explore my favorite day trips from Cambridge UK.

Assuming you have already explored Cambridge on foot, I love showing you my favorite day trips from Cambridge UK. Any practical day trip should not require more than 2 hours to get to your destination. I am obviously not including London in the list, since most people would be visiting Cambridge from London.  So, let’s explore my 15 favorite day trips from Cambridge UK.

1. Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle represents my favorite of day trips from Cambridge UK
Beautiful view of the bridge across the lake leading to the Leeds Castle entrance
See my photos from Leeds Castle

My favorite day trip from Cambridge UK, is Leeds Castle located in the country side in Kent. Leeds Castle is also my favorite castle to visit in England. Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold and the private property of six of England’s medieval queens. This castle was also used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Leeds Castle is a slice of the entire history of England.


Driving on the M11 motorway, it would take you a little over 1.5 hours to reach Leeds Castle. Once you get into the Kent country side, the drive becomes beautiful. Checkout the Leeds Castle website for details on planning your visit.
Amazing Castles in UK

2. Audley’s End

View of the front of Audley End House and the River Cam passing through the property
View of the front of Audley End House and the River Cam passing through the property
See my photos from Audley’s End

As we continue exploring beautiful day trips from Cambridge UK, we come to Audley’s End which is one of my favorite manor houses in England. The people working there put on a play everyday, pretending that their masters are coming unexpectedly from London and they need to get everything ready. Audley’s End was once one of the largest and most opulent houses in Jacobean England.

The best way to reach this beautiful property is by using a rental car, since Audley’s End is located in the Essex countryside. Check out the Audley’s End website for planning your trip details here.

3. Burghley House & Stamford

Burghley House, England - Beautiful view of the south side of the house seen from the lawn in front of the house.
Beautiful view of the south side of Burghley House, seen from the lawn in front of the house.
See my photos from Burghley House

Located 10 minutes away from the stone and timber town of Stamford, Burghley House is an impressive palace. Planning to see both Burghley House and Stamford creates one of the best day trips from Cambridge UK.

Stamford has 17th and 18th-century stone buildings, older timber-framed buildings and medieval churches. Because of its many stone buildings and quaint setting, Stamford is a frequent filming location.

Stamford, Lincolnshire, England - Beautiful view of Albert Bridge over River Welland.
Beautiful view of Albert Bridge over River Welland in Stamford.
See my photos from Stamford

Located about 1 hour drive from Cambridge (via A14 and A1), Stamford is easily accessible and beautiful to visit.

4. Ely

Ely, England - The East half of Ely Cathedral seen from the south from Black Hill.
The East half of Ely Cathedral seen from the south from Black Hill.
See my photos from Ely

Ely is the easiest of day trips from Cambridge UK by taking the A10 motorway. Located well under 1 hour driving from Cambridge, Ely boasts one of the largest and oldest cathedrals in England. In addition, Ely has the family home of Oliver Cromwell which is a great place to visit with your family. Walking by the Ely Cathedral through the Jubilee Gardens to the River Cam was one of my family’s favorite walks. Ely is quiet and beautiful especially during the spring.


If you are interested in following the steps of Oliver Cromwell, you can also visit the nearby town of Huntingdon, where he was born and went to school.
Walking Tour of Ely UK

5. Duxford Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum Duxford, England - The
The “Sally B” B52 bomber which played the role of The Memphis Belle in the Hollywood movies.
See my photos from Duxford

I love the Imperial War Museum in Duxford! This museum houses every imaginable airplane kind from old World War 1 biplanes to super modern spy planes to an actual test Concorde.
If you are interested in understanding more about World War 2 and its impact on England, then Duxford museum should come very high on your list of day trips from Cambridge UK. Located only about 15 minutes drive from Cambridge UK, the IWM Duxford (click for map location) makes for a very easy trip. Checkout the IWM Duxford website in order to plan your trip.

5 WW2 Museums in London

6. Sandringham

The Sandringham Estate is the summer retreat of the Royal Family.
The Sandringham Estate is the summer retreat of the Royal Family.
See my photos from Sandringham

Sandringham is the royal residence in Norfolk.  This beautiful stately home is mostly known as the place where King George VI made the famous radio proclamation after England declared war to Germany in World War 2. You can actually see the actual room where King George made the BBC Radio speech addressing the entire nation. This historic event made the subject of the famous King’s Speech movie. While a bit further, visiting Sandringham is one of my favorite day trips from Cambridge UK.

7. Holkham Hall

Rear view of Holkham Hall
Rear view of Holkham Hall
See my photos from Holkham Hall

Located near Sandringham, on the Norfolk coast of England, Holkham Hall is another strong entry on my list of day trips from Cambridge UK. Lavishly decorated, Holkham Hall is a beautiful English manor house and worthy tourist destination.

8. Norfolk Coast

Wells Next the Sea, England - Colorful boats anchored on The Quay.
Colorful boats anchored on The Quay in Wells Next the Sea.
See my photos from Norfolk Coastal Villages

A little bit North of Sandringham we find the Norfolk Coast. The beaches on the Norfolk Coast of England while beautiful to visit, are not particularly inviting. However, the villages that dot the Norfolk Coast are lovely to visit.  Tiny villages like Cley-next-the-Sea and Wells-next-the-Sea together with the larger Hunstanton make for a great Cambridge day trip. This “out of the way” area will give you a different taste of England, one much more peaceful and local.

 9. Anglesey Abbey

Anglesey Abbey, England - Beautiful view of Anglesey Abbey
Beautiful view of Anglesey Abbey
See my photos from Anglesey Abbey

Located only 15 minutes drive from Cambridge, Anglesey Abbey is the easiest place to visit from Cambridge UK. The beautiful grounds, including a small birch tree forest and an old mill, will give you a great picture of the English past.  Our kids enjoyed seeing grain being ground up and flour being made at the old water powered mill. Being in such easy driving distance, Anglesey Abbey comes high on my list of day trips from Cambridge UK.

Anglesey Abbey First Impressions

10. Quaint Villages

Houghton, England - Older thatched roof house in Houghton.
Older thatched roof house in Houghton.
See my photos from Houghton

One of my favorite day trips from Cambridge UK is to visit three villages in the Cambridgeshire country side. These places are largely known only to locals, but they are lovely to visit.  My favorite walk through the Cambridgeshire country side is to start in the quaint old Houghton where I visit the old Houghton Mill then cross both arms of River Ouse into the tiny Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey villages.


Walking through the large meadow towards the Hemingfords is peaceful and quiet. The local church in Hemingford Abbots is one of my favorite country church in England as it is very quaint. As an interesting mostly unknown fact, the Manor House in Hemingford Grey was completed in 1160 and it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in England.

Hemingford Abbots, England - Beautiful large thatched roof house on High Street.
Hemingford Abbots, England – Beautiful large thatched roof house on High Street.
See my photos from Cambridgeshire Villages

11. Peterborough

Peterborough, England - Peterborough Cathedral seen from the south side.
Peterborough Cathedral seen from the south side.
See my photos from Peterborough

Peterborough is another city out of the tourist path, but very close to Cambridge. Known primarily for the 12th century large Cathedral, Peterborough has a pretty old town centered around the 17th century Guildhall building.  Peterborough Cathedral is largely known as the burial place of the famous Catherine de Aragon (English queen and Henry VIII’s wife).

12. Wimpole Hall

Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, England - Beautiful view of Wimpole House.
Beautiful front view of Wimpole House.
See my photos from Wimpole Hall

Currently owned by the niece of the famous British author Ruyard Kipling, Wimpole Hall is a beautiful property to visit when you are in Cambridge. Located very close to Cambridge, in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Wimpole Hall has beautiful gardens and well maintained grounds.

13. Bury St Edmund

Bury St Edmunds, England - Beautiful view of St Edmundsbury Cathedral from Abbey Gardens.
Beautiful view of St Edmundsbury Cathedral from Abbey Gardens.
See my photos from Bury St Edmunds

This old market town, located less than one hour from Cambridge UK, has a beautiful park and abbey. The town is associated with Magna Carta. In 1214 the barons of England are believed to have met in the Bury St Edmund Abbey Church and sworn to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, the document which influenced the creation of the Magna Carta.

14. Norwich

The Round Church is the usual starting spot on any Cambridge walking tour.
Norwich Cathedral is a beautiful historical place to visit
See my photos from Norwich

The city is the most complete medieval city in the United Kingdom, including cobbled streets and half-timbered houses and the old Norwich Castle. Located about 1.5 hours by car or train from Cambridge, Norwich makes for a great day trip from Cambridge UK.  Its large cathedral and many historical attractions make Norwich very interesting to visit.

15. Bedford

Bedford, England - Beautiful view of the Bedford Town Bridge and The Embankment at dusk
Beautiful view of the Bedford Town Bridge and The Embankment at dusk
See my photos from Bedford

Bedford is largely known as the town of John Bunyan, the famous Christian writer of “The Pilgrim’s Progress”. Bunyan is known to have written this 17th century masterpiece while imprisoned in Bedford.  Our family enjoyed walking by River Ouse especially at sunset as the stone bridge and water reflections made for a nice evening stroll.

Plan your Day Trips from Cambridge UK

Hire a Car. The best way to explore the Cambridgeshire country side is by hiring a budget car. Use the Cambridge Train Station as the point to pick up your rental car. Hertz and Europcar are located nearby.

Stay in Cambridge. Find a budget hotel in Cambridge and explore this beautiful area for longer.

Is it Worth Taking Day Trips from Cambridge UK?

If you have allocated a few days to stay in this area, taking a few of my favorite day trips from Cambridge will give you a glimpse of some beautiful places. We especially loved Leeds Castle, the few large manor houses as well as the Duxford Air Museum.

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