FAMILY: Cambridge to Bexleyheath



After our stay in Royal Leamington Spa, we made our way to Cambridge. If you're like me, you probably only know about it through movies or television shows. Cambridge is filled with beautiful architecture and sprawling college buildings. The historic market place was brimming with lunchtime crowds looking for something warm to eat in the international food tents.

The shopping looked fantastic with many high street stores right there. Admittedly, I personally wasn't loving Cambridge though my highlight came when we stumbled upon a Cath Kidson store. Oh my gosh, we walked in to a lovely warm store to find so many beautiful things inside. I would love to have bought one of everything, but came away with a CK London mug which will be lovely for my morning coffee once I get back home.

The next day, the boys made their way to Duxford to the air museum. My pilot and future pilot enjoyed the day looking at old airplanes and everything to do with aviation. My little lady and I stayed behind in our accommodation to enjoy a relaxing day of crocheting, watching British TV shows and catching up on all of the laundry.

It was just the re-charge that we needed.

We checked out of the accommodation and began to head to our next English stop - Bexleyheath. This is where my husband is from and we were going to spend a few days there catching up with his family and friends. 

But, before we headed to BH, we stopped at another English Heritage site - Audley End House and Gardens.


Explore this decadent Jacobean mansion house and meet the staff in the Victorian Service Wing.  Enjoy stunning views across the unspoilt Essex countryside and wander the tranquil gardens created by ‘Capability’ Brown, gold winner of Anglia in Bloom Awards 2017. Then gallop across to see the horses in the Victorian stable yard, and run, jump and climb in the children’s play area - from Trip Advisor

Of all the heritage sites we've visited, Audley End House and Gardens is probably my most favourite. To park the car, we drove right in front of the manor house, which is something right off the television screen. The house didn't open until 12 (and it was around 10:30am at this point) so we weren't sure we'd hang around that long looking at the gardens and workers buildings, but we did. 





The gardens are stunning with their spring blooms. I counted 5 gardeners working while we were there and after catching one to ask a few questions, maintaining this beautiful space is certainly a full time job for a number of people. 




The tulips all seem to be growing in alternate colours and perfectly placed and spaced. I asked the gardener if they grow the tulips elsewhere and then re-plant them one they've bloomed and he told me they purchase the bulbs in November and plant them all out then. They certainly must have the most organised bulb filing system ever... unlike our bulbs which we just plant willy-nilly and hope for the best.

We enjoyed exploring the service wing where staff used to work day in and day out. It was interesting to see how things were done back in the day, especially the wet and dry laundries. A huge pulley system was attached to the walls and ceiling to hang large items to dry (eg bed sheets).




The kitchen had a wall of ovens and another wall was filled with copper pots. Footage plays on a wall of each area of the service wing with actors, dressed in 1800's clothing, playing the parts of the original staff - showing use what it was like to be working on in each service section. 



We quickly filled our time looking around and before we knew it, it was after 12:00 and we could go in and see the manor house. It was like walking onto the set of Downton Abbey. Rooms were all set up as they would have been used in their hey-day. We could just imagine ladies sitting and chatting while working on their needlepoint (some samples of original work were displayed) while the men smoked cigars and drank whiskeys. The walls were covered in silk and it was all very decadent (especially in comparison to the service wing).

All in all, a very enjoyable place to visit and one I'd certainly recommend. A large section of seating and tables is available in the garden which is perfect for families to sit and have their picnic lunch. 



We headed south and checked into our next Holiday Inn. The next few days were spent visiting family and friends which was lovely. I think my hubby has an english accent but it's funny to see him with his friends and their reactions when he speaks. They think he sounds so Australian. He showed us his childhood home, schools, soccer fields and general places of interest. We enjoyed it, especially the visit to Greenwich Park to feed squirrels.

We left BH all too quickly and checked into a hotel at Gatwick Airport because early the next morning, we were flying out to Portugal...



2 comments

  1. Oh!! I thought the last place was your husbands home when he was a kiddo.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing trip. I have been to UK a few times.
    the photo of you and your hubbs is very very cute in front of his child hood home 🙃😂

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  2. Oh, your trip looks amazing! I loved Cambridge when we visited it in December last year although part of that is the fact that my Dad was born there.

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