Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ENGLAND-EAST

(does not include London, Midlands, Southeast England, and Southwest England; does include, e.g., Cambridge, Essex, Norwich, Southwold & Suffolk)

BEDFORDSHIRE (includes Bedford & Flitwick)
Hotels
Embankment – 6 Embankment; 011-44-12-3426-1332; embankmentbedford.co.uk; contemporary rooms.
Flitwick Manor – Church Road (Flitwick); 011-44-015-2571-2242; menzies-hotels.co.uk; 40 minutes from Heathrow; small Georgian country house in wooded parkland; 1st-rate dining.
Luton Hoo – Luton; 011-44-0158-273-4437; lutonhoo.co.uk; mansion house converted into luxury hotel called Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa; 228 bedrooms & suites; Luton Hoo Estate possesses 5-acre octagonal walled garden established by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, in late 1760s; has appeared in many films including A Shot in the Dark, Never Say Never Again, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Eyes Wide Shut, The Secret Garden, Princess Caraboo, Wilde, The World Is Not Enough, Quills, Enigma, De-Lovely & Bright Young Things.

Restaurants
Embankment – 6 Embankment; 011-44-12-3426-1332; embankmentbedford.co.uk; highly regarded; atmospheric.

Shopping
Rogan’s Books – 27 Castle Road (Bedford); 011-44-12-3427-2475; rogansbooks.co.uk; children’s books.

Sights & Sites
Bedford Castle Mound – Newnham Road (close to modern town center, less than 100 yards from Bedford Bridge & High Street); 011-44-12-3426-7422 (Bedford Borough Council); bedfordshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/archivesandrecordoffice/communityarchives/bedford/bedfordcastle.aspx; Bedford’s medieval castle’s remnant; Bedford Borough Council built sloping retaining wall on south side, facing river, which incorporates few pieces historic masonry; paved path leads round mound side to top, which is flat circular grassy area.
Bedford Park – Park Road (1 block south of St. Andrew’s Road); 011-44-12-3471-8453; bedford.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/parks_and_open_spaces/bedford_park.aspx; town’s largest urban park; located directly north of town center; retains many original features from its Victorian design & construction, including cricket pavilion & bandstand, both still in use
Cardington Airship Hangars – Shortstown on A600 (near Bedford, 8 miles from Shefford); airshipsonline.com/sheds/Cardington.htm or cardington.weebly.com; not open to public, can view only from highway (road); hangars used to shoot scenes for movies such as Batman Begins, Dark Knight & Inception; hangars can be seen from Bedford Bypass.
Church of St. Peter de Merton with St. Cuthbert – De Parys Avenue; 011-44-12-3435-4543; stpeter.org.uk; contains some of oldest architectural remains in Bedford, most ancient being 2 monoliths; Saxon church.
Embankment & Mill Meadows (River Great Ouse) – River Great Ouse passes through town center & is lined with gardens known as “Embankment”; 011-44-12-3426-7422 (Bedford Borough Council); bedford.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/parks_and_open_spaces/the_embankment_and_mill_meadow.aspx; within these gardens, opposite Rothsay Road, stands WWI memorial designed in 1921 by sculptor Charles Sergeant Jagger, depicting knight killing dragon.
Higgins Art Gallery & Museum – Castle Lane; 011-44-12-3471-8618; thehigginsbedford.org.uk; in recreated Higgins Family’s Victorian home (Victorian brewers) & modern extension; local history collections; also, some galleries have notable collections of ceramics, drawings, glass, lace, prints & watercolors.
Panacea Museum – 9 Newnham Road; 011-44-12-3435-3178; panaceatrust.org/the-panacea-museum; tells Panacea Society story, religious community formed in early 20th Century.
Priory Country Park – Barkers Lane; 011-44-12-3421-1182; priorycountrypark.co.uk; located on River Great Ouse’s northern bank in eastern Bedford.
St. Paul’s Church – St. Paul’s Square; 011-44-12-3434-0163; stpaulschurchbedford.org.uk; Bedford’s principal church; on square at historic town center; tall spire is among town’s main features; church onsite by 1066; work on present structure began in early 13th Century, but little remains from period; both John Bunyan & John Wesley preached here; from 1941 to WWII’s end, BBC’s daily service broadcast from St. Paul’s.
Woburn Abbey – Milton Keynes (Woburn); 011-44-015-2529-0333; woburnabbey.co.uk; Bedford Dukes’ grand county seat; 3K acres with abundant wildlife.



CAMBRIDGESHIRE (includes Bourn, Cambridge, Chesterton, Coton, Grantchester & Madingley)
Bars & Nightclubs
Hotel Du Vin – 15-19 Trumpington Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2322-7330; hotelduvin.com/hotels/Cambridge; candelit, fashionable bar.
Haymakers – 54 High Street (Chesterton); 011-44-012-2336-7417; thehaymakerspub.com; live music venue.
Jamie’s Italian – Old Library, Wheeler Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2365-4094; jamieoliver.com; beautiful building; lively.

Hotels
Cambridge University – cambridgerooms.co.uk; dorm rooms when classes not in session; breakfast in impressive dining rooms.
Hotel Du Vin – 15-19 Trumpington Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2322-7330; hotelduvin.com/hotels/Cambridge; renovated town house near Fitzwilliam Museum; 41 rooms with classic, Victorian bathtubs.
Varsity Hotel & Spa – 24 Thompson’s Lane (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2330-6030; thevarsityhotel.co.uk; modest furnishings and great views of St. John’s College and Cam River.

Restaurants
Alimentum – 152-154 Hills Road (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2341-3000; restaurantalimentum.co.uk; among Britain’s top restaurants; Art Deco-style dining room draws relaxed crowd.
Calcutta Club – 44 Mill Road (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2332-2267; calcutta-club.co.uk; lunch place for students; Indian food; addictive dosas.
Fitzbillies – 52 Trumpington Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2335-2500; fitzbillies.co.uk; charming bistro; good for brunch.
Jamie’s Italian – Old Library, Wheeler Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2365-4094; jamieoliver.com; beautiful building; no reservations; good bar.
Orchard Tea Garden – 45-47 Mill Way (Grantchester); 011-44-012-2355-1125; orchard-grantchester.com; where E.M. Forster, Bertrand Russell, and Virginia Woolf hung out.

Services
Scudamore’s Punting Co. – Granta Place, Mill Lane (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2335-9750; scudamores.com; punting lessons; alternatively, rent kayak and paddle to Orchard Tea Garden.

Sights & Sites
ADC Theater – Park Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2330-0085; adctheatre.com; celebrated comedy troup’s home; where Hugh Laurie got his start.
Cambridge American Cemetery & Memorial – Coton (3 miles west of Cambridge, on A-1303 and 60 miles north of London); 011-44-019-5421-0350; abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/cambridge-american-cemetery; 30.5 acres; among 14 permanent American WWII military cemetery memorials erected on foreign soil by American Battle Monuments Commission; established as temporary military cemetery in 1943; later selected as only permanent American WWII military cemetery in British Isles; about 42% of those temporarily interred in England and Northern Ireland during war reinterred here; high proportion were crew members of British-based American aircraft; most others died in France and north Africa invasions, in UK training areas and Atlantic.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden – 1 Brookside (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2333-6265; botanic.cam.ac.uk; covers 40 acres; holds plant collection of over 8K plant species from all over world; created for University of Cambridge in 1831 by Professor John Stevens Henslow (Charles Darwin mentor) & was opened to public in 1846.
Fitzwilliam Museum – Trumpington Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2333-2900; fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk; historical antiquities and art museum; visit outdoor sculpture museum.
Hemmingford Grey – Norman Court (Huntingdon); 011-44-014-8046-3134; greenknowe.co.uk; built in 1130s & among oldest continuously inhabited houses in Britain; during early 18th Century, home to the “Beautiful Miss Gunnings,” sisters Maria & Elizabeth Gunnings, who were reputed to be among most beautiful women in Europe; Maria later married Earl of Coventry; Elizabeth married twice, firstly to Duke of Hamilton & secondly to Duke of Argyll (she had 2 sons with each & became mother of 4 Dukes); house made famous by its long-term resident, Lucy M. Boston, who bought it in 1939 & rechristened it as Green Knowe & wrote several books set there; apart from fictional St. Christopher on side of house, almost everything in books can be found at Manor; during WWII, she gave gramophone recitals for nearby airmen; house remains much as Boston left it on her death in 1990; open for visitors by appointment; gardens, which were laid out by Lucy Boston, are surrounded by moat & have topiary, old roses, award-winning irises & herbaceous borders.
Kettle’s Yard – Castle Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2374-8100; kettlesyard.co.uk; designed as “anti-museum” half century ago; 4 cottages converted in 1950s into modern art display space; Brancusi and Miro, among others, represented.
Madingley Hall – Madingley; 011-44-012-2374-6222 (call for permission to visit); madingleyhall.co.uk; set in magnificent gardens; built in 16th Century; within 7 acres spectacular gardens & grounds, designed in the 18th Century by ‘Capability’ Brown.
Polar Museum – Lensfield Road (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2333-6562; spri.cam.ac.uk/museum; memorializing Robert Falcon Scott’s expeditions.
University Zoology Museum – Downing Street (Cambridge); 011-44-012-2333-6650; museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk; has 3 Darwin Galapagos finch specimens.
Wysing Arts Center – Fox Road (near Bourn); 011-44-019-5471-8881; wysingartscentre.org; enormous visual arts complex.



ESSEX (includes Colchester)
Sights & Sites
Beth Chatto Gardens – Elmstead Market (Colchester); 011-44-012-0682-2007; bethchatto.co.uk; eco-garden.



HERTFORDSHIRE (includes Chiswell Green, St. Albans & Tring)
Sights & Sites
Butterfly World – Miriam Lane (Chiswell Green, off Noke Lane); 011-44-017-2786-9203; butterflyworldproject.com.
Knebworth House – Knebworth; 011-44-014-3881-2661; knebworthhouse.com; Bulwer-Lytton family home since 1490 (when Thomas Bourchier sold manor reversion to Sir Robert Lytton); built around central court as open square; in 1813-16, house reduced to its west wing[(remodelled in Tudor Gothic style by John Biagio Rebecca for Mrs Bulwer-Lytton); then transformed in 1843-45 by Henry Edward Kendall, Jr. into present condition; in 1913-1914, leased by Russia Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich and his morganatic wife Natalia Brasova; most famous resident was Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Victorian author, dramatist, and statesman; he embellished gardens in formal Italianate fashion; much of interior redesigned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who simplified main parterre; herb garden in interlaced quincunx design drawn by Gertrude Jekyll in 1907 but not planted until 1982; numerous films shot at Knebworth, including: Shooting Party (1985), Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire (Yule Ball Staircase Scene), King's Speech (2010), and Hour (2011 BBC TV series).
Natural History Museum (Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum) – Akeman Street (Tring); 011-44-020-7942-6171; nhm.ac.uk/tring/index.html‎; taxidermy; bird annex is largest in world, includes Darwin’s Galapagos finches and numerous stuffed dogs.
St. Albans Cathedral – 4 St. Peter’s Close (St. Albans); 011-44-017-2786-0780; stalbanscathedral.org.
St. Albans Museum – Hatfield Road (St. Albans); 011-44-017-2781-9340; stalbansmuseum.org.uk.
Verulamium Museum – St. Michael’s Street (St. Albans); 011-44-017-2775-1810; stalbansmuseum.org.uk; make sure to see mosaics and roman amphitheater.



NORFOLK
Bars & Nightclubs
Frank’s Bar – 19 Bedford Street (Norwich); 011-44-016-0361-8902; franksbar.co.uk; premier late-night spot for intellectuals and students; open until 2:30 a.m.
Library Bar & Grill – 4a Guildhall Hill (Norwich); 011-44-016-0361-6606; thelibraryrestaurant.co.uk; in onetime, 19th Century library; especially good for lunch.

Hotels
St. Giles House Hotel – 41-45 St. Giles Street (Norwich); 011-44-016-0327-5180; stgileshousehotel.com; boutique hotel and spa.
Victoria Hotel – Park Road (Wells-Next-the-Sea); 011-44-013-2871-1008; holkham.co.uk/Victoria.

Restaurants
Library Bar & Grill – 4a Guildhall Hill (Norwich); 011-44-016-0361-6606; thelibraryrestaurant.co.uk; in onetime, 19th Century library; especially good for lunch.
St. Giles House Hotel – 41-45 St. Giles Street (Norwich); 011-44-016-0327-5180; stgileshousehotel.com; French-style bistro.

Shopping
Book Hive – 53 London Street (Norwich); 011-44-016-0321-9268; thebookhive.co.uk; independent bookstore with regular book events, readings, and signings.

Sights & Sites
Church of St. Julian – 8 Kilderkin Way (Norwich); 011-44-016-0362-2509; julianofnorwich.org; reconstruction of Julian of Norwich’s (female hermit) cell, where she experienced and published her visions.
Dean and Chapter’s Library – 12 The Close (Norwich, at Norwich Cathedral); 011-44-016-0321-8327; cathedral.org.uk; visitors allowed to peruse 1st additions of old Anglo-Saxon texts.
Dragon Hall – 115-123 King Street (Norwich); 011-44-016-0366-3922; dragonhall.org; trading hall built in 1430; authentic and well-preserved.
Eastern Electricity Building – 4 Duke Street (Norwich, at Boundary Street); artist Rory Macbeth has painted entire text of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia on building’s exterior.
Grime’s Graves – near Thetford (on Norfolk-Suffolk border, 7 miles northwest of Thetford, off A134, near Brandon); 011-44-018-4281-0656; english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/grimes-graves-prehistoric-flint-mine; large Neolithic flint mining complex; worked between 3-1.9K BCE, although production may have continued well into Bronze and Iron Ages (even later); scheduled monument extends over 96 acres and consists of at least 433 shafts dug into natural chalk to reach flint seams; largest shafts are more than 40' deep and 12" diameter at surface; more than 2K tons chalk removed from larger shafts, taking 20 men around 5 months, before sufficient quality stone reached; upper “topstone” and middle “wallstone” flint seams dug through on way to deeper, 3rd “floorstone” seam (which most interested miners).
Holkham Hall – Wells-Next-the-Sea (near Holkham); 011-44-013-2871-0227; holkham.co.uk; 18th Century country house located adjacent to Holkham village, on Norfolk’s north coast; constructed in Palladian style for Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester (5th creation); 1 of England’s finest examples of Palladian revival style of architecture.
Houghton Hall – King’s Lynn; 011-44-014-8552-8569; houghtonhall.com; built in 1720s by Sir Robert Walpole (Britain’s 1st Prime Minister); among England’s grandest Palladian Houses; designed by James Gibbs and Colen Campbell with interiors by William Kent (retains most original furnishings); surrounded by 450 acre deer park, home to White Fallow deer herd (and other exotic deer); 5 acre Walled Garden includes Kitchen garden, spacious herbaceous borders, formal rose parterre, glass houses and sculptures and water feature by Jeppe Hein; contemporary sculptures include works by James Turrell, Richard Long, Stephen Cox, Anya Gallaccio, and Zan Wang; gift shop, picnic and children’s play area, restaurant.
Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library – Forum, Millennium Plain, Bethel Street (Norwich); 011-44-016-0377-4709; theforumnorwich.co.uk; Britain’s most-visited library.
Norwich Arts Centre – 51 St. Benedict’s Street (Norwich, formerly St. Swithin’s Church); 011-44-016-0366-0352; norwichartcentre.co.uk.
Norwich Cathedral – 12 The Close (Norwich); 011-44-016-0321-8300; cathedral.org.uk; 12th Century structure.
University of East Anglia – Lecture Theatre 1 (Norwich); uea.ac.uk/litfest; hosts events and readings, as well as literary festivals.



SUFFOLK
Bars & Nightclubs
Lord Nelson Public House – East Street (Southwold); 011-44-015-0272-2079; thelordnelsonsouthwold.co.uk; try local Adnams pale ale.

Hotels
Crown – High Street (Southwold); 011-44-015-0272-2275; adnams.co.uk/stay-with-us/the-crown; 14 rooms with excellent restaurant; W.G. Sebald stayed here.

Restaurant
Crown – High Street (Southwold); 011-44-015-0272-2275; adnams.co.uk; excellent.

Sights & Sites
Dunwich Heath – Minsmere Road (Saxmundham); 011-44-017-2864-8501; nationaltrust.org.uk; on Suffolk coast; home to special species, such as Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, ant-lion, and adder; from July-September, extensive faunal color (pink and purple heather and coconut-scented yellow gorse); waymarked nature trail; inspiring walks linking beach and heath; SeaWatch lookout (birds, porpoises, and seals).
Dunwich Museum – St. James Street (Saxmundham); 011-44-017-2864-8796; dunwichmuseum.org.uk.
Grime’s Graves – near Brandon (on Norfolk-Suffolk border, 7 miles northwest of Thetford, off A134, near Ely); 011-44-18-4281-0656; english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/grimes-graves-prehistoric-flint-mine; large Neolithic flint mining complex; worked between 3-1.9K BCE, although production may have continued well into Bronze and Iron Ages (even later); scheduled monument extends over 96 acres and consists of at least 433 shafts dug into natural chalk to reach flint seams; largest shafts are more than 40' deep and 12" diameter at surface; more than 2K tons chalk removed from larger shafts, taking 20 men around 5 months, before sufficient quality stone reached; upper “topstone” and middle “wallstone” flint seams dug through on way to deeper, 3rd “floorstone” seam (which most interested miners).
National Horseracing Museum – 99 High Street (Newmarket); 011-44-016-3866-7333; nhrm.co.uk; collections & records of horses & people involved in horseracing from its Royal origins to modern times; taxidermy.
Orford Castle – Castle Terrace (Woodbridge); 011-44-013-9445-0472; english-heritage.org.uk.
Orford Ness National Nature Reserve – Quay Office (Orford Quay); 011-44-013-9445-0900; nationaltrust.org.uk/orfordness; former cold war research center (obsolete nuclear bomb on-site).
Somerleyton Hall & Gardens – Lowestoft Road (Blundeston); 011-44-015-0273-4901; somerleyton.co.uk; Tudor-Jacobean mansion; private residence (dates to 13th Century) open April-September; labyrinthine hedge maze.
Southwold Lighthouse – Stradbrook Road (Southwold); 011-44-015-0272-2576; trinityhouse.co.uk; open since 1890; this is “Trinity House Lighthouse.”
Southwold Museum – 9-11 Victoria Street (Southwold); 011-44-015-0272-6097; southwoldmuseum.org; maritime museum.
Southwold Sailors Reading Room – East Cliff (Southwold, just beyond Market Square); maritimeheritageeast.org.uk; open since 1864 as religious support institution for sailors; favored by W.G. Sebald; faces sea; interesting lighthouse.

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