Travel Letter Index

Visit to Cambridge

Written by Beryl.

The aim was to arrive in Cambridge before lunchtime and be able to spend much of the day looking round and sure enough we arrived in the city at a reasonable time but it took us well over an hour to get to the hotel because of the dreadful traffic and the fact that some roads have bollards in the middle of them to stop you using them.

So we checked into the hotel before doing anything else. We had chosen the Cambridge Garden Moat House Hotel because it had a gym and a pool and was right in the middle of the city. Picture here In fact it is just yards from the Fitzwilliam Museum . I had been unwell since Sunday and by the time we had had lunch it was apparent that I would not be able to tour the whole city.

View from the hotel window.


Alan suggested that we just visit the Macclesfield Psalter Exhibition just around the corner. It was quite crowded but you were still able to spend a few bewitching moments looking at the figures. They were enchanting and much different looking at the originals to looking at them on the web as we had already done.

From there we went on to The Cambridge Illuminations Exhibition which was a spectacular two-venue exhibition of over 200 world-class illuminated manuscripts – many on public view for the first time – dating from the sixth to the sixteenth centuries. We were completely engrossed for hours. Fortunately, we were able to buy copies of the Psalter and the Illuminations guide so that we will always be able to go back and look again. There was certainly too much to take in on one visit.


After this we went for a walk around a part of the city and we caught it a magical time: the darkness lit up by Christmas decorations, live music playing, a crowded market with the accompanying smells of food, and lots of people. It was very cold though and after a while I needed to dive into a shop to warm up. A Rohan store came in to view and I was able to buy myself some smart trousers whilst Alan chose another top. We didn't come out until I was thoroughly warm. I didn't want to get cold again so we went back to the hotel. I had planned to eat in a restaurant but in the end we had a superb meal in the hotel.

Next day we did not use the gym or the pool but instead went back to the two exhibitions and had another look. After that we had quite a stroll around the city, enough to convince us that we would go back again another day.

View of Kings College - very private.

Our journey took us on to Bury St Edmunds where we had lunch and then on to Ipswich where we collected a light fitting we had ordered and finally on to Felixstowe where we arrived just after the girls came home from school.