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Pre-conference activities

SATURDAY 11 July  •  SUNDAY 12 July

SATURDAY 11 July 2009

PLEASE NOTE: Activities on Saturday are NOT organised. The following are suggestions of how you can choose to organise your day:


Please see the 'Cambridge sightseeing' tab.


  • Travel by rail from Cambridge to London King's Cross (around 50 minutes).
    Online timetable and fare calculator: www.nationalrail.co.uk
    A (day) return ticket is always less expensive than two single rail tickets.
    A combined 'rail + London travelcard' ticket is usually less expensive than a Cambridge-London rail ticket plus a separate London one-day travelcard.
    A 'GroupSave' rail ticket is available, where 3 or 4 adults travel for the price of 2 adults on various off-peak ticket types. The group must travel together.
  • Or travel by coach (bus) from Cambridge to London Victoria Coach Station (around 2 hours 15 minutes, but may be less expensive than rail).
    Online timetable and fare calculator: www.nationalexpress.com
  • Pick up a leaflet with '2 for 1 London attractions' vouchers at the Cambridge railway station or bus station.
  • Browse through this online London guide: www.4london.info to find information about things you may want to see and do in London, including landmarks and attractions, museums, theatres, and shopping.

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  • The historic town of Ely is 15 miles north-east of Cambridge (15 minutes by rail).
    Online timetable and fare calculator: www.nationalrail.co.uk
    A (day) return ticket is always less expensive than two single rail tickets.
    A 'GroupSave' rail ticket is available, where 3 or 4 adults travel for the price of 2 adults on various off-peak ticket types. The group must travel together.
  • Once you get to Ely, everything is within reasonable walking distance.
  • Things to see in Ely: a magnificent Norman cathedral ('the Ship of the Fens') with an impressive octagonal tower held up by eight 64ft oak trunks, and a famous Lady Chapel; lots of historic buildings in town including a Bishop's Palace adjacent to the Cathedral, and Oliver Cromwell's house within 3 minutes' walk of the Cathedral (both open to visitors); a yacht harbour on the river Ouse.
  • Have cream tea, lunch, or dinner at the Old Fire Engine House opposite Oliver Cromwell's house, a traditional English restaurant and art gallery. Check their opening times on the web (www.theoldfireenginehouse.co.uk) and book a table to avoid disappointment. If the weather is good, I recommend sitting outside in the garden; there used to be a swing there, which was an additional attraction.
  • Visit the Waterside Antique Centre (http://www.ely.org.uk/waterside.html) at The Wharf, open until 5:30 pm on Saturdays. It's one of the largest antiques centres in East Anglia for antiques and collectables, including various household items, crockery, tools, jewellery, furniture, books, etc. The centre itself is located in a historic building, three floors high, with exposed beams and brickwork, and overlooking the Quayside.

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  • The 2500 acre Wimpole Estate (www.wimpole.org), with a historic 18th century house, landscaped park, gardens, and home farm, is situated around 11 miles south-west of Cambridge.
    Directions by bus can be found on the Wimpole website, click on 'Visit' > 'Location'. Please check with the bus company beforehand to confirm the bus timetable.
  • Alternatively, rent a bike and cycle to Wimpole. The ride will probably take you around one hour if you take a direct route. However, you may choose to take a longer route and go via picturesque villages of Barton, Comberton, Toft and Bourn. If you arrive at Wimpole on a bike and can prove it, you can have £1 deducted from your entrance ticket.
  • Take part in a 'Wimpole Estate Arable Farm Tour', a one-hour tour starting at 11:00 am. Involves a tractor ride around the arable farm with the Farm Manager. The farm is in conversion to organic production; learn about the crops grown and the challenges ahead. Cost: £2. Booking essential, tel. 01223 206000.
  • Take a picnic with you, or have a refreshment or meal at Wimpole. The Old Rectory Restaurant has an outdoor terrace overlooking the Old Rectory's beautiful gardens. The Stable Kitchen serves a selection of light refreshments and ice creams. The Farm Kitchen serves a selection of meals and light refreshments and also has outdoor seating.

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  • Audley End is an elegant Jacobean mansion built in 1603, set in parkland designed by 'Capability' Brown. It is an 'English Heritage' site. Visitors today can browse the various collections of previous owners of the house, including an extensive picture collection, a natural history collection and a rare set of English tapestries. Detailed information about the house, gardens, all facilities, and tickets: www.english-heritage.org.uk/audleyend
  • Audley End is situated 15 miles south of Cambridge (15-20 minutes by rail).
    Online timetable and fare calculator: www.nationalrail.co.uk
    A (day) return ticket is always less expensive than two single rail tickets.
    A 'GroupSave' rail ticket is available, where 3 or 4 adults travel for the price of 2 adults on various off-peak ticket types. The group must travel together.
  • Note that Audley End House is 1 1/4 miles from Audley End railway station, and the footpath is beside a busy main road.

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  • The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is Europe's premier aviation museum, as well as having one of the finest collections of tanks, military vehicles and naval exhibits in the country. Detailed information: duxford.iwm.org.uk
  • Duxford is located around 9 miles south of Cambridge. Between Monday and Saturday a scheduled Stagecoach C7 service operates from Bus Stop B in Emmanuel Street, via Cambridge Rail Station, departing at 30 minute intervals from 8:55 am and then throughout the day. The return times from Imperial War Museum Duxford are on the hour and half past the hour. The last departure is at 5:30 pm. Visitors using the C7 service receive a reduced rate of admission upon producing their bus ticket (except on Special Event days).
  • On Saturday 11 July and Sunday 12 July you have a chance to see the famous Duxford Air Show 'Flying Legends', 'one of the world's greatest air shows, featuring a phenomenal selection of classic American and European aircraft such as the Hurricane, Mustang and Spitfire - to name a few.' Please check the IWM Duxford website for details of how too book, and updates: duxford.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.24099


SUNDAY 12 July 2009

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The following are suggested group activities. You are welcome to join me for any, or all, of them:


  • 10:00 am - meet outside Trinity College, Great Gate.
  • We will walk along the river Cam, across fields and meadows, to the village of Grantchester, south-west of Cambridge. About 3 miles (up to 1 hour walking) each way.
  • Our destination is The Orchard Tea Gardens (www.orchard-grantchester.com), 'a corner of England where time stands still as the outside world rushes by, (...) where more famous people have taken tea than anywhere else in the world.' The famous Grantchester Group of friends who frequented The Orchard from 1909 until 1914 included Rupert Brooke, Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Augustus John.
  • Seats (deck chairs) in the orchard cannot be reserved, so we are setting off early to make sure that we can get enough seats for a group.
  • In The Orchard, we can take refreshments of our choice, for example cream tea, i.e. freshly made scones served with jam and clotted cream, and a pot of tea, or light lunch. This will be self-paid.
  • One of The Orchard buildings houses a small museum dedicated to Rupert Brooke, which we can take turns to visit. We can also make a short excursion to the village church across the road (dating from the 14-15th century). Nearby there is Byron's Pool where Lord Byron used to swim whilst a student at Cambridge, and where allegedly on one occasion Brooke and Virginia Woolf swam naked by moonlight.
  • We will leave The Orchard around 1:00 pm, in order to be back in town around 2:00 pm.

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  • 2:50 pm - meet outside King's College Chapel (inside the main courtyard of King's College); we join the queue of visitors waiting for admission to Evensong at the Chapel.
  • King's College Chapel (www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel) is the grandest building in Cambridge and ranks among the most important examples of late gothic (perpendicular) architecture in the world. Tourist (daytime) entry to visit the Chapel is by ticket which you can buy at The Shop at King's, opposite the entrance of King's College, on King's Parade. However, you do not have to buy a ticket if you come to the Chapel to attend a religious service.
  • This Sunday's Evensong, beginning at 3:30 pm, is the last choral service sung by the famous King's College Choir before they break up for summer vacation. Click here for a pdf of the programme, excerpted from the King's College Chapel Services booklet.
  • The service will finish at around 4:35 pm.

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A flag icon I have now created a separate page on CYCLE RIDE TO HEYDON with more details about the ride.

  • PLEASE NOTE: For this activity, I will need to confirm the number for dinner in advance, as well as book taxis, so I will be asking you to declare your interest in this event at the time of registration for the conference.
  • This activity has two options: [A] for cyclists; [B] for non-cyclists or in case of rain.
  • Heydon boasts a magnificent pub, The King William IV (www.kingwilliv.freeuk.com), winner of the Booker Prize for Catering Excellence, and three times winner Vegetarian Pub of the Year. The impressive interior is richly decorated with rustic 'items of days gone by', including various utensils and tools, and many tables hanging on chains rather than supported by legs. The owner - if we are fortunate to meet her - takes great care to ensure that the guests have the most satisfying eating experience, and never fails to impress with her looks either (she is sometimes referred to, but only fondly, as the 'Witch').
  • OPTION [A] - FOR CYCLISTS:  If you want to rent a bike and cycle through great countryside to Heydon (a village about 13 miles south of Cambridge), join me outside Trinity College, Great Gate, at 5:30 pm.
  • The cycle ride to Heydon will likely take us a little over an hour, but no longer than 1.5 hours. Our route is mostly flat, going up the hill only slightly, for part of the way. However, this means that after dinner we will be riding down the hill (and we will probably take less time, i.e. about an hour). We will be leaving Heydon at 9:00-9:30 pm, so back in Cambridge shortly after 10:00 pm.
  • Please see the 'Bicycle rental' tab for information about where to hire a bike in Cambridge. Before the Heydon trip, please ensure that you have new batteries in your bike lights, as we will be coming back after dark on unlit country roads. If in doubt about the strength of your batteries, please bring spare batteries for both your front and back lights.
  • OPTION [B] - FOR NON-CYCLISTS, or IN CASE OF RAIN:  A local taxi company, A1 Cabco (01223 525555), have given me the best quote for a ride from Cambridge to Heydon: a normal saloon taxi (for 4 passengers) costs £22 one way, and a multiseater taxi (for 6 passengers) costs £33 one way.
  • Once I know the number of people, I will order taxis to pick up the group from outside Trinity College, Great Gate, at 6:30 pm. The journey to Heydon will take about 25 mins.
  • I will pre-book taxis to pick people up from the Heydon pub at 9:30 pm, though this time may be adjusted on the day if some of you wish to leave earlier or later.

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This page created 7 May 2009
This page last updated 15 June 2009
Maintained by Anna Kibort
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