Despite beautiful countryside, Cambridgeshire is best known for its main city, the historic university town. Museums and art galleries, majestic colleges, punting on the River Cam, there's masses to do and see. And, of course, Cambridge is home to Footlights, which catapulted Stephen Fry, the Monty Python team and David Mitchell into the spotlight. Take a guided tour around the city's quaint passages and historic market place to get the most from your stay.
Those who are lucky enough to visit are seduced by the stunning, and mostly deserted, north Norfolk coast. Come for wide sandy beaches, brick and flint villages, boat trips at Blakeney, marshlands teeming with bird life, the famous Norfolk Broads - and vast skies. As for the capital, Norwich is home to a Norman keep and castle, heaps of churches and a superb cathedral, while its vibrant pubs have given rise to a famous Beer Festival; ale-lovers flock in October.
Suffolk's sweet hills - not so very far from London - are a reminder of its sheep-rich history, as are its magnificent 'wool churches' (500 of them, from Long Melford to Orford). Lovely medieval towns too, whose main showpiece is Lavenham. Then there's the cathedral town of Bury St Edmunds, hub of the region, and a string of unflashy seaside resorts, from the award-winning Southwold and Lowestoft to the delightful, off-the-beaten-track Pin Mill.
Forget Essex Girl and Basildon Man: dwell on John Constable instead. Many of the artist's lush depictions of duck-straddled streams and leafy lanes were painted in the vale of Dedham. Essex is also big on skies, and sea rolling through the shingle, and its capital is Colchester, first town of Roman Britain. Today it is full of friendly student bustle.