East Anglia by train

Sep 20th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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East Anglia by train

We will be traveling to Cambridge in December and would like to explore East Anglia without renting a car. Is this feasible? Any advice on places to stay or visit? We are interested in medieval and literary history.

Thank you!
museosignora is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 06:32 PM
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You can reach the largest of the towns on the train. Go to www.angliarailways.co.uk and click on route map and stations. A rental car does give you a lot more choices. Enjoy Cambridge. You can buy a ticket for a bus right outside the train station that is good for all day and you can get on and off as you please. The commentary is very good.
SandyBrit is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 06:40 PM
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It is quite easy to travel in East Anglia by public transportation. I have travelled in the area last October for 10 ningts without a car.

For rail/bus routes planning and timestables,if you could check: www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk and Angliarailways.co.uk.

How long will you being stay? I found the" Anglia Plus 3 days pass" a very good buy: 20 pounds for unlimited train travel(iucliding lovely bittern line,plus some buses) for 3 days.

This area is a treasure box for medieval churches, painting history, well-kept old villages,towns and castles,great houses and gardens (perhaps not in December),lovely walks and wildlifes(birds and seals),beaches and boards.

I stayed at Cambridge for 5 nights as base to visit Suffolk, 5 nights at Norwich for touring Norfolk, both with excellent bus/train networks,good accommadations and restaurants.
JudyC is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 11:01 PM
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I come from Suffolk, part of East Anglia, and would recommnend you visit or stay in Bury St Edmunds (try the Angel Hotel). Bury is on the rail network. It has plenty of medeival history - an ancient abbey, churches etc, plus Charles Dickens stayed at the Angel and mentions the town in his books. Plus it's a lovely place! I am convicned you would love Lavenham and Long Melford in Suffolk but you would have to reach them by public transport - i.e. bus from Bury. This might not be as bad as it sounds as the bus journey itself would take you past many lovely villages and wouldn't take too long.
Morgana is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 03:23 AM
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Hi there

I too live in East Anglia, Bury St Edmunds to be exact, having also lived in Suffolk for 24 years and Cambridge for four (as a student). Bury is a lovely place to visit, although the late trains to and from the town aren't particularly frequent.

In Bury itself we have the remains of the Abbey, a Norman tower, and a wonderful medieval town centre, not to mention the world-reknown Greene King brewery... (well, some people like it..!)

Cambridge by train is about thirty five minutes away, and is a really lovely city to explore. Make sure you spend some time around the colleges and go punting (of course).

Please feel free to get in touch if you need any more advice, remove the nojunk from the address:
[email protected]unk
Jimbo is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 09:13 AM
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I am coming over from the US in November and want to visit my elderly auntie in Norwich and then see a friend in Lincoln. Is there train transport between the two cities, or am I better off renting a car and driving?
fairfax is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 09:32 AM
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Fairfax, it's about a 3 hour train journey from Norwich to Lincoln, with a change of train in Peterborough. See www.qjump.co.uk.

It would be a 2 hour + drive. I don't think a car rental would make any sense simply for this journey, but perhaps if you have other journeys ...
ron is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 11:37 AM
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Ron - I checked Qjump.com and it looks like some of the trains go through London anyway. Do you think it's easier to just do two one-day trips from London, where I will be based? I am not pressed for time, so that's not an issue.
fairfax is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Fairfax, I would certainly avoid a journey from Norwich to Lincoln that involved going through London, since that involves different train stations in London. But if there are reasonable connexions via Peterborough, I would do that.

Both Norwich and Lincoln are worth a full days touring time (at least); both have great medieval cathedrals, Lincoln has an interesting castle, Norwich has very interesting museums. So, spending a night in each, doing some touring, visiting your friends/relatives, would be very satisfying, I think.

I have spent a couple of nights in Lincoln, but only visited Norwich on a day trip from London. I stayed late in Norwich to attend a choral service at the cathedral; I was amazed at how a city that I did not find very interesting during the day became incredibly atmospheric and medieval after dark.

FlannerUK's advice, in your other post, to visit Peterborough cathedral if connecting times allow is sound; a very fine cathedral in an otherwise pretty depressing city.
ron is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 05:46 PM
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I toured through East Anglia in June of 2002.

I used the rail and had a wonderful time. Taking the Bittern Line was a beautiful way to get from Norwich to Cromer. There are several small towns that are stops along the way. I could easily spend a few days taking the train a short distance and stopping at another town for an afternoon or a night.


Here's a link to a pre-registration thread when I was posting as David. David was taken when I registered so I became indytravel.


Here's another thread about medieval churches in East Anglia:

indytravel is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2003, 05:11 AM
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Ron - I've been to Norwich a ton of times, as my auntie lives there, so touring isn't high on my list this visit. Mainly, I want to spend some quality time with my auntie - she's old and not in good shape, so this may be my last time to see her.

I would like to see Lincoln, since I've never been there. It does seem to be far off the beaten path, as everyone has mentioned. Once I get to Lincoln, I will be with friends who can chauffeur me around, so the car would only be for getting from Norwich to Lincoln. I know there's a lovely cathedral in Lincoln which I'd like to see, and my friends should have some other ideas.

I have also posted this question under the heading Norwich to Lincoln (or vice versa) and people have given me good advice there, as well.

fairfax is offline  
Sep 29th, 2003, 10:00 AM
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Hello all - thank you so much for all of the wonderful advice. We plan to spend about 10 days in East Anglia, although my husband may not be able to make the trip. From the looks of it this area is pretty safe for a woman to be traveling about on her own, correct? So far I am looking at staying in Lincoln, Norwich, Cambridge, and/or Bury St. Edmunds and venturing out from there. JudyC, where did you stay, and would you recommend them? Thanks again!
museosignora is offline  
Sep 30th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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To museosignora: As a female traveled solo in East Anglia, I walked around the Fen, Suffolk countryside and along coastal paths,didn't feel any uneasiness. If is quite all right to travel alone.

In Cambridge,I stayed at Sleeperz Hotel, right across train station. It is Very basic,the only merit is the location. But,I am not paticular about accommafdation, as long as it is clean and conveniently-located. I am not sure this hotel will suit everyone.

In Norwich, I stayed at Pearl Continental Hotel. Again, it is near train station, but a nice 2 stars. I got a very good rate through www.smoothhound .co.uk.

Besides the excellent suggestions from above posts, don't miss Ely Cathedral-so gloriously beautiful. Only 15 minutes train from Cambridge.

If you are interested in archaeological sites, perhaps you would like to visit Sutton Hoo-short bus ride from Woodbridge(a lovely town too)
JudyC is offline  
Sep 30th, 2003, 05:51 PM
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JudyC, I stayed at sleeperz too. I thought it was a hoot. I swear I've been in bigger cruise ship cabins, but I didn't mind. I rarely do much more than sleep and shower in a hotel.

Museo, in Norwich I stayed at a very nice 2 star, the wedgewood. It was run by Nigel & Elsbeth in June 2002 when I was there. They're a lovely couple. Like JudyC I found it on smoothhound.

I stayed at a little B&B on the main green in Ely. It was run by a charmingly frazzled lady. Ely cathedral is amazing.
indytravel is offline  
Sep 30th, 2003, 06:32 PM
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The Sutton Hoo Exhibition Hall is only open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday beginning 1 November thru 28 February.

In May we were able to walk completely around the grounds. You can get further details on Sutton Hoo and other attractions in East Anglia at www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

We stay with family when we return so unable to help with places to stay in East Anglia. However, we have found some nice B&B's on www.smoothhound.co.uk for other parts of England. We also find www.theaa.com helpful and www.tripadvisor has lots of good information.

SandyBrit is offline  
Oct 1st, 2003, 02:54 AM
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Hello again,

I wanted to second that the area is very safe but of course as everywhere these days you need to take the usual safety precautions. Days are very short in December and it gets dark early.

You may want to look at some of the local papers to get a feel for the area. Try www.eveningstar.co.uk

www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk for Cambridge or do a Google search.

Sorry to hear that your husband may not be able to explore East Anglia with you. Is he still able to do the Cambridge portion?
SandyBrit is offline  
Oct 5th, 2003, 05:29 AM
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What a great thread. I'm topping so you can inspire others to stay awhile in East Anglia. J.
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