Cambridgeshire is blessed with diversity; cityscapes, quaint villages and agriculture, this part of the region has it all. As the weather warms up, spring is the perfect time to explore the counties countryside. Pack a picnic, put on your walking shoes and start your mini adventure in the Fens.
Fenland is a beautiful landscape formed by nature and shaped by people over more than 6,000 years. It consists of four historic market towns and a wealth of stunning rural villages situated in the peaceful countryside with more than 200 miles of rivers and drains. The four main towns of Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech all have charm and interesting histories to discover.
Chatteris would have been a seaside town in Neolithic times, it perched on the edge of a vast tract of salt marshes, with the sea just to the east. Today, there is not a bucket and spade in sight – in fact this busy little town is 50 miles from the nearest beach.
The town we see today grew around the abbey of St Mary from around 1010. A market place formed in front of the abbey and streets evolved to connect to the other settlements in the Fens. Although there is little sign of the abbey remaining, Chatteris is still well connected and is an ideal base for touring the Fens and south Cambridgeshire.
March was once an island surrounded by marshes. As the land was drained and made more fertile the town grew and prospered. Today the town is a pretty market town, offering all the delights you would expect to find in a place such as this. The River Nene winds its way through the town centre, past the park and pretty riverside gardens.
The river is often busy with colourful boats cruising the Fenland waterways. The town is a popular stopping-off point for boaters with free moorings in the town centre, close to shops and places to eat.
Sitting on the very western edge of the Fens, close to the city of Peterborough, the town has an interesting maze of streets with a mix of architecture spanning several centuries. The Buttercross in the Market Place is one of the most striking buildings and a reminder of Whittlesey’s rich trading and agricultural history.
Stop by on a Friday for its busy market. For architecture visit its two churches, both close to the town centre. The Church of St Mary is famous for its glorious spire supported on elegant flying buttresses from the massive tower below.
Regarded as the Capital of the Fens, the town is the perfect place for a day out. It’s renowned for its elegant Georgian architecture. Stroll along the Brinks or roundthe Crescent to see some fine Georgian houses. Visit Peckover House on North Brink or take a trip to one of its two museums and learn more about the town’s history. Wisbech also has one of the oldest surviving Georgian Theatres in the country, The Angles.