St. Ives (5 miles from Old Riverview)
Formerly known as Slepe, in the old county of Huntingdonshire, the
ancient riverside market town of St Ives is now named after the Persian
Bishop, St. Ivo. St. Ives, now within the county of Cambridgeshire,
stands on the River Great Ouse and is world famous for the Chapel on
the Bridge. For nearly 1,000 years the wide centre of St. Ives, now
known as Market Hill, has hosted some of the largest public markets
in England. Many years ago these markets included livestock and for
a time was one of the biggest of its kind. Today the street markets
still fill the St Ives town centre on Mondays and Fridays. On every
Bank Holiday Monday however the market swells to fill almost the entire
town with traders coming from all over the country to sell their wares
to the thousands of people who attend under the watchful eye of Oliver
Cromwell, one time resident of the town, whose statue stands in the
centre of the Market Place.
Be inspired by the many beautiful museums and art galleries. Admire
the beautiful architecture and majestic college buildings. Explore quaint
passages set around the historic market place and colleges, where a
unique and relaxing shopping experience can be found. Here a blend of
independent shops is mingled with high street brands. Relax in the many
beautiful pubs, restaurants and cafes. Catch a student theatrical production,
or a show at the Arts Theatre. See live music or comedy at the Corn
Ely is a perfect one day or short break destination. The first port
of call for any visitor to Ely today will almost certainly be the Cathedral.
This imposing structure towers across the fens for miles around. Ely's
most famous historical resident of Ely was of course Oliver Cromwell.
The Cromwell family left sometime in 1647, but you can still visit their
house, which now doubles up as an interactive attraction. Ely has a
beautiful waterside area where you can explore the many cafes and antique
shops, visit the Babylon Art Gallery or listen to music in Jubilee Gardens.
A source-to-sea route on one of England’s longest rivers, it follows
the River Great Ouse on its meandering passage from close to its source
to the tidal river at Kings Lynn, linking many towns and villages. It
passes through Stowe Park to reach Buckingham, then fringes north of
Milton Keynes and Newport Pagnell. It heads via Emberton Country Park
to Sharnbrook (with H E Bates connections) and visits Bedford’s Priory
Park and passes a Danish Camp at Willingdon, then links St Neots, Huntingdon
(Cromwell’s birthplace), St Ives and Earith. After Earith, the Dutch
engineer Vermuyden worked to shorten the river across the Hundred Foot
Washes, while the Way keeps along the Old West River where the Stretham
Old Engine tells the story of the draining of the Fens. Before Ely,
with its cathedral visible on the skyline, it meets the River Cam, and
after Ely it runs in common with the Fen Rivers Way, crossing the Bedford
Level to Downham Market and Kings Lynn, where the river finally flows
out into the Wash.
There are several National Trust centres in the area such as: Wimpole
Hall, Angelsey Abbey, Houghton Mill and Wicken Fen which all offer excellent
facilities for a great day out. You might also like to explore:
The Raptor Foundation (5 miles)
A place for all the family with many species of raptors to see, with
friendly advice from trained staff, a tea room for a relaxing break,
a play area for the children, a pond where you can feed the fish, a
shop and exhibition areas.
Huntingdon racecourse (10 miles)
Voted Best Small Racecourse in the South Midlands and East Anglia by
the Racegoers Club, Huntingdon Racecourse is an intimate racing venue
with an atmosphere all of its own. The course is set in the heart of
the Cambridgeshire countryside. Home to 17 Jump race meetings, spanning
nine months of the year. Extensive hospitality, advertising and sponsorship
opportunities make it a day to remember.
Hemingford Grey Manor (7 miles)
Built in the 1130s The Manor, situated next to the river, is reputedly
the oldest continuously inhabited house in Britain and much of the original
house remains virtually intact in spite of various changes over nine
hundred years. The house and garden are open to visitors.
Grafham Water Nature Reserve
Grafham Water is one of the prime bird watching sites in the county,
with rare and scarce birds such as osprey and the occasional Slavonian
grebe alongside the more familiar resident mallards and greylag geese.
With nine miles of shoreline, and around 170 species of bird recorded
each year, there is always something to see.
Hamerton Zoo Park (20 miles)
There is all sorts to see and do at Hamerton zoo; from big cats to
primates there are animals to capture the interest of every visitor.
There are two play areas, one for babies and toddlers and the other
for older children. The enclosed picnic and garden areas are great places
to enjoy the snacks and drinks available from the coffee shop.