Coast’s Choice: Cambridgeshire

Our Coast’s Choice journey has arrived in Cambridgeshire – home to the historic university city and birthplace of many famous people, from winter Olympian Amy Williams to renowned author Douglas Adams.

Here are a few of Cambridgeshire’s hidden gems that the Coast team would recommend visiting if you’re in the area:

Elgood’s Brewery & Garden

For many of us, there’s nothing better on holiday than a nice relaxing pint of beer. Holidaymakers in Cambridgeshire can go one step closer, however, by finding out how one of the county’s most famous breweries transforms raw ingredients into its much-loved beer and real ale.

The process is carried out using equipment dating as far back as the early 1900s and visitors can see the 1910 Mash Tun where the hot brewing liquor is blended with the ground malt to make the mash, before hops are added in the 1950 Copper. Modern technology is showcased in the Tank Room, where quality control checks take place before the liquid is packed into casks or kegs. Best of all, the tour concludes with a real ale sampling session!

After the brewery, visitors are welcome to wander round Elgood’s expansive gardens, which include water features, herb gardens and trees up to 200 years old. There is also a licensed café bar serving alcoholic beverages brewed on site.
Elgood’s brewery tours £7.50 for adults and £5.00 for children – click here for further information.

Nearest caravan site: 9.6 miles

Ely Cathedral

Over 250,000 people flock through Ely Cathedral’s each year to worship at its services and admire its architecture and rich history. The cruciform building was constructed during William I’s reign in 1083, although much of it was destroyed the following century by About Richard. The oldest surviving part of the cathedral is its central tower and Romanesque western transepts, although most of the building was constructed in early gothic style between 1198 and 1215.

Many parts of the cathedral were repaired and redeveloped during the remaining gothic architecture period before the north-west transept was reconstructed after collapsing in the 15th century. Since then, additions include painted angels below the windows in the Victorian era, along with a painted wooden ceiling, which was added to the nave at the same time.

Anybody wishing to visit Ely Cathedral is advised to check the website ahead of their trip for information on closures, tours and services.

Nearest caravan site: 4.2 miles

Peckover House & Gardens

This Georgian merchant’s house was built beside the River Nene in 1722, serving as a home to the Peckovers, a family of Quaker bankers, for more than 150 years. Rooms are open to the public on three floors of the building with many notable examples of fine plaster and rococo wood interior on show.

Among the areas that visitors can go behind the scenes are the below-stairs service rooms and a museum room containing a cabinet of curiosities. There is also a supply of dressing up clothes for younger historians to become involved in the heritage of the house.

Peckover House boasts some equally stunning walled gardens containing rare trees, an orangery, over 70 species of roses and a summer house. Other delights in the grounds include a 17th century barn converted into a traditional tearoom and a second hand bookshop.

Entry to Peckover House & Gardens costs £6.30 for adults and £3.15 for children. Reduced price garden only tickets are also available. More information on facilities and opening times are available via the Peckover House website

Nearest caravan site: 9.5 miles

St Ives Bridge Chapel

St Ives has one of only four bridges in England that incorporates a chapel, built in the 1400s before becoming an important defensive base for Oliver Cromwell during the country’s 17th century Civil War. At the end of the unrest it served several purposes – including a toll house, inn, doctor’s surgery and residential property – until it was restored to its original glory in the 1930s.

Now listed as an ancient monument, the bridge chapel is free to visit and has become one of St Ives’ most photographed buildings. Click here to find out more about it.

Nearest caravan site: 1.8 miles

St Neots Museum

Perhaps the most entrancing thing about this museum is the fact that it’s located in the old Victorian police station and magistrates court. Visitors can still step inside the cells, which remain mostly unchanged from when they were first built in 1907, while the rest of the building has been converted into a quaint museum stuffed with artefacts and educational information.

Inside you can learn about St Neots himself, the town’s 17th century battle and the evolution of the area with advent of the Great North Road and Great Northern Railway. Dedicated galleries focus on school and home life in the Victorian era, while there is also an exhibition on crafts and trades through the ages.

St Neots Museum is open between 11am and 4pm from Tuesday-Saturday. Entry costs £2 for adults and £1 for children – more information is available here

Nearest caravan site: 0.9 miles

Coast can offer you a competitive quotation on your caravan insurance and motorhome insurance. For further information call our UK based sales team on Freephone 0800 614 849.