3 Worthy UK day trips: RAF Alconbury and Molesworth Edition 

Harlaxton Manor
Harlaxton Manor

3 Worthy UK day trips: RAF Alconbury and Molesworth Edition 

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Since the very gradual easing of lockdown restrictions in the U.K. began on May 13, 2020, people in England are allowed to travel within day-trip distance of their residences. No overnight stays or visits are permitted; however, residents may travel to parks and beauty spots in England (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are still off-limits at the time of writing). Now is a great time to head outside, breathe some fresh air (while physically distancing) and explore the area around you! Here are four fantastic spots to check out within a two-hour radius of RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth. 

A mere 50 minutes north of Alconbury, Grantham is surrounded by stately homes and castles. The impressive Belvoir Castle and Harlaxton Manor are a few of the landmarks which dot the serene countryside. Although many of the houses remain closed, many of the gardens and parks are open. Visitors can walk the grounds of Belton House and marvel at the lush landscape, fountains, topiaries and wildlife (plenty of deer) which roam the area. If you head a few miles south, you’ll find Woolsthorpe Manor where Sir Isaac Newton spent much of his formative years. At more than 400 years old, the Flowery of Kent (or “Gravity Tree”), which is said to have given Newton inspiration for the laws of gravity, is still on display.  

This industrious city best known for the legendary Robin Hood is approximately a 90-minute drive northwest of Huntingdon. Once the center of delicate lacemaking and trading, Nottingham has plenty of parks and open spaces. Talk a walk through the calming Attenborough Nature Preserve, the Nottingham Arboretum or my personal favorite, Wollaton Hall. Known as a filming location from “The Dark Knight Rises,” the gardens and grounds are beautiful. Or head underground to the City of Caves, a vast network of tunnels and caves below Nottingham which have been in use for more than 2,000 years. 

A little over an hour northwest of RAF Molesworth is the hearty town of Leicester (pronounced Les-tah). Famous for cheese (Red Leicester and Stilton) and savory pork pies, this city is home to one of the largest covered markets in Europe. Sitting in the same spot for more than 700 years, the Leicester Market is filled to the brim with local produce, meats and wares. History buffs can marvel at the ruins of a Roman bathhouse at the Jewry Wall Museum, or pay respects to King Richard III whose remains were discovered in 2012 and reinterred at Leicester Cathedral. On nice days, picnic among the trees and grounds at Abby Park or Bradgate Park, home of Lady Jane Grey. 

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