We had a week between finishing work and our tour of Wales so decided to tick a few more England destinations off the list. Most of our destinations around England came highly recommended. First up was Whitstable, a lovely seaside town east of London and finally one without a tacky pier! We dined at the amazing Wheelers Oyster Restaurant which has only 4 tables but the most amazing, freshest seafood and some very good oysters. We had our Oysters Bloody Mary style which was delicious! We spent the next day wandering around exploring the scenery and tried out a few of the waterside pubs. We then had a much cheaper dinner of takeaway fish, lobster and chips on the beach.
From Whitstable we travelled up to Birmingham via London. Some severe delays on the trains meant that the journey took a lot longer than it should have, fortunately we had a lot of time so it wasn't too bad. Despite what everyone had said about Birmingham it was obvious that a lot of work had been done to improve the area and we had a really nice walk from where we were staying in the Mailbox area, along the canal to St Paul's square to have dinner with Shri & Rachel. We hadn't seen each other in at least 4 years so had a great catch up.
The next morning we travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon for a day trip where we did a great walking tour taking of the Swan Theatre, Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried and a few houses / plots of land with various links to Shakespeare. We also did a boat trip along the Avon and admired the rather opulent houses along the way. Being in cheaper travelling mode we opted for a round of mini golf rather than forking out to visit the Shakespeare houses. It was then back on the train to Birmingham for dinner and a visit to a couple of pubs known for their beer selection. The next morning we wandered around the main sights of Birmingham including the Bullring shopping centre, Victoria Square, Centenary Square then wandered over to the Jeweller Quarter. We did a great tour of the Jewellery Museum which was an old factory that closed down in the 1980s and is set up to show how the factory used to operate.
It was then time to leave Birmingham and travel across to Cambridge. Our Cambridge sightseeing took place the following day where we joined a walking tour to visit the outside of King's College, St Bene't's Parish Church which dates back to the 1100's, Pembroke College, Peterhouse then along the Backs to see Mathematical bridge and 'the view' of King's College, finishing up at Trinity College. After the walking tour we joined a punt and went up and down the Cam to enjoy a different view and also see the Bridge of Sighs. At the same time our guide entertained us with tales of the amazing pranks that the students get up to.