Cambridge Math Building bridgeThough the official term used for this region is East of England, among locals, this region, one of the flattest in the United Kingdom, is still widely called East Anglia.  It is so flat that they didn’t even bother naming the highest point in the region, perhaps because there are so many other things about East Anglia worth celebrating. 

The principal pride of East Anglia is Cambridge.   The University of Cambridge is responsible for making East Anglia the home to the highest number of postgraduate students in England.  Aside from the intellectual collective gathered in Cambridge, it is also gave birth to flourishing architectural movements that reach as far back as the Cambridge's early years—more than eight hundred years ago. In some colleges, such as St. John’s College, you can see 16th century buildings standing side by side an extremely modern one like the Cripps. The collection of buildings of Cambridge can be considered as a larger-than-life textbook on the history of architecture.  

Aside from its architecture, Cambridge has parks for travelers who want to take a step back from the overwhelming history and beauty of the place.  The Backs are famous gardens by the river, located at the back of many colleges.  Another one of particular interest is Christ’s Pieces, which boasts of Victorian park design, with tree-lined avenues.     

Museums and churches abound in Cambridge.  One of the best museums, as well as a kind of hidden treasure, is the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, which is actually the oldest Cambridge museum.  One of its treasures is its one million collections of fossils that date from as far back as 3 000 million years ago. And because Cambridge’s history is inextricably linked to that of the Church of England, expect beautiful places of worship in the area.        

Venture south of East Anglia, and find Suffolk, an area that contains within it some of England’s most ancient lands.  It is, perhaps, the complete opposite of Cambridge, because it does not have its own university, and it thrives on agriculture.  It is still, actually, very much overlooked by many tourists, but more and more people are becoming attracted to its countryside and beaches, as well as its picturesque villages, such as Lavenham, which saw its heyday during the 15th century, when wool and weaving were thriving industries.  Nowadays, Lavenham is not as rich as it once was, but it lives on in all its medieval glory.      

No one leaves England, or should, without having a pint of bitter in one of its authentic pubs.  And there is no better place to experience that than in St. Albans, which is a cathedral city in the Hertfordshire county.  St. Albans has the most number of pubs in all of England, and in fact, the oldest pub in the country is here—the Fighting Cocks, which is still open for business.      

For more untouched seaside, head on over to Colchester.  The Mersea Island is accessible from Colchester, though high tides can cause it to be momentarily inaccessible.  While the north of the island is marshland, the south offers so much more.  Travelers go here for the miles of beaches, and the best fish and chips in the fishing village of West Mersea.        

A more popular seaside town is the Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.  Famous for herrings, and home of the annual Maritime Festival, Great Yarmouth also has a more sedate side aside from the 17 miles of sandy beaches that it has.  North of the town, you can find calmer seaside villages, like the Winterton and Waxham.    

Lincoln, a cathedral city in the county of Lincolnshire, begs to be discovered.  Walking on its cobble-stoned streets feels like traveling back in time, for the street-planning of Lincoln still follows the Roman medieval street plan.  The town’s claim to fame is the Lincoln Cathedral, which used to be the world’s tallest structure for two hundred years, before a storm in 1549 collapsed its wooden spire.  It is still considered one of the finest Gothic structures in all of Europe.    

There is also Lincoln Castle, first established during the Norman period.  It has a pretty macabre history—its towers witnessed many hangings, and its dungeons housed many criminals.  Now it is simply a Victorian prison museum detailing many of the horrific events that took place there.      

Unlike the rest of England, East Anglia has a dry climate, and so it is friendlier for travelers visiting any time of the year. 

Writer:  Kannika Pena

Click on the link to download your 30-page PDF version of EAST ANGLIA.  It contains the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.