Cambridge, like Oxford is known as a university town. We're talking exclusive, ivy covered walls, old buildings and a history of churning out Prime Ministers, Nobel Prize winners and educating Royalty (Prince Charles graduated from Trinity college). Its also where the apple fell on Sir Issac Newton's head.
I've been to Cambridge twice and my favourite place, found on my second trip, is the sweeping lawn of St Johns Collage that is part of the The Backs. Incidentally, its also the desktop background on my laptop. Let me show you.
So, Cambridge. Lets face it, there are lots of other things to do in this town than exploring the universities and punting along the Cam, but people usually go to Cambridge for just that reason. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say to me "you should visit Cambridge because of the markets/pubs/tearooms/<insert other attraction here>". So I'm going to highlight some colleges I've explored, show you the views of The Backs while punting along the Cam and let the photos do the luring...
As a university town, lets start with the collages. There are 31 collages in Cambridge and each will have its on visitor entry policy. The most popular collage is King's Collage and its Chapel. Ive explored Queens College and St Johns so far.
St John's College
Punting along the Cam
This is seriously touristy but also a lot of fun and a great way to see The Backs and listen to the stories of Cambridge from the antics some students get up to, to famous people who studied there, to the history of the collages and buildings themselves.
Do yourself a favour and avoid the touts along King's Parade and that area and go straight to official punting tour operators. Some of the unofficial operators will only do half the length of others. You can also try your own hand at punting if you are game ;) If you are not a fan of being on the water, the find a bridge and watch everyone else on the water, it can be quite amusing.
So have I whet your appetite? If you haven't been, give it a go, check out a few colleges, walk around the town or along the river and just enjoy a day out. Next time I go, I'd love to take a peek into some of the libraries.
Travel Tips for London to Cambridge
- Travelling by train:
- Make sure you choose Cambridge (YRK)
- London Kings Cross = approx 1hr to 1hr and 25mins travel duration
- London Liverpool = approx 45mins travel duration
- Its a comfortable 20 minute walk from Cambridge train station to the centre of town (buses are available as an alternative)
- Driving to Cambridge can take about an hour and a half
- You can take a bus (eg National Express). The shortest trip is 1hr and 45 mins
Would you be interested in seeing Cambridge?