Best places to travel to as an Essex student

We are officially into the new term and deadlines are looming. In this kind of situation, coming back to uni does not seem very appealing, and since I had an exam on one of my first few days back, I thought, what better way to cope with this than to plan a trip? So I decided to make a list of the best places that you can visit during a weekend, taking into account the distance from uni and money you’d have to spend!

Norwich

I remember going on a trip for a day to this place last winter. My RA organised this and, although the transport was quite cheap (£10 return), residence life offered to pay for it anyway. We spent the whole day running from one place to another, visiting the shopping centre and getting loads of souvenirs. We also went to see the Norwich cathedral which is absolutely gorgeous. At the end of the day, we also (somehow) ended up in a mustard shop that apparently is a popular attraction in Norwich. Tasting mustard with chocolate flavour was probably one the weirdest things I had to go through, but surprisingly, it was really nice (too bad the prices were as spicy as the mustard). They also have a big castle close to the centre of the city, where lots people seem to host weddings. As we were passing it, a bride was preparing for the ceremony and one my flatmates decided to wave at her (…I know).

So, would I recommend Norwich? Hell yeah! It’s only one hour journey by train and it has enough things in it to keep you busy for more than one day.img_20160227_120003995_hdr

Cambridge

This is one of those trips that I have always wanted to do but somehow never got around it. Thus, I currently have it as number 1 on my priority list. I have a lot of friends that have visited it and all came back saying the city is amazing. The one thing that I heard, again and again, is that the architecture is breath-taking. Just walking the streets and admiring the buildings is more than enough to make you adore the place. Besides that, the people are very warm and welcoming, and the colleges are all open to tourists, so you can always ask for a campus tour.  Additionally, if you like art, there’s the free-to-enter University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, which houses collections of art and antiquities spanning centuries, and Kettle’s Yard, one of the country’s finest galleries and contemporary art. Here you can find a wide range of artworks, sculpture trail walks and galleries.

So, if you are into pretty things, Cambridge is the best place for you. The price is around £11 (for a return), and the journey shouldn’t take more 2-3 hours.

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Paris

Oh, Paris! This one is for those that are really up for a journey and willing to spend a little bit more money. Until I got in the UK I never actually realised how easy it is to get to France. The cheapest way is to get a national express coach and pay around £50 for a return ticket. If you don’t want to stay overnight in Paris because it’s too expensive you can always get there in the morning, spend the whole day by going on a walk on Champs-Élysées and admiring the Eiffel Tower. From personal experience, I definitely recommend seeing the Arc De Triomphe. It might take you 30 minutes to get to the top, but the view is comparable to the one you get from the Eiffel tower (and it’s free!).

Also, if you are lucky enough to be from the European Union (and under 26), you get free entry to all museums and major tourist attractions on the first Sunday of each month. So, if you ever decide to go on a trip to Paris, that might be worth knowing 🙂
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There you go! Three places to visit when you aren’t revising! Paris could wait a bit, but I definitely recommend you to try out Norwich and Cambridge. I’m hoping to visit Cambridge as soon as I possibly can!

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