One of the many perks of living in London is the ease of travel, to not only to Europe in general but to the surrounding towns and villages that make up wider England. Cambridge is one town that was high on my priority list, originally because my Grandparents call it home, but after a number of visits, I can confidently say that it’s worth a trip on its own merit. Walking through Cambridge town and the university is like taking a step into a Dickens novel, the quaint rows of cottages, the bike-centric community and the ancient punts gliding gently down the canal all set a scene of the old time simple tranquillity. I couldn’t help but wonder that if I had done my studies in this surrounding, I may have been a little more inspired to work harder. The town is steeped in history, the university has welcomed a who’s who in notable academics since it’s famous breakup from rival Oxford for centuries, and it makes no humble job of celebrating its prestige in its architecture and perfectly manicured surroundings. All for our viewing pleasure.
From London, Cambridge is an hours train ride from a few major stations. We hopped on at Liverpool street station and arrived no more than 59 minutes later.
What to do
Lucky for me, my local guides had lived in Cambridge for over fifty years (still do) and quickly narrowed down for us the must-do spots;
- Fitzwilliam Museum – A crowd pleaser in cultural learnings. Even if history and museums aren’t your thing, the collections here are fascinating and definitely worth a peek.
- Kings College Chapel – I grew up listening to the choir on tape every Christmas, so this was a must for me. The chapel is open to the public but is technically inside the College so you can also get a small insight into the grounds.
- Punting – This one will come up in every guide book and blog you read on visiting Cambridge. Punting is a great way to experience the colleges first hand, as many of them are not open to the public but back onto the canals so you can view them from the water. Be sure to get the first boat out in the morning like we did to avoid the selfie stick crowd, or if you’re feeling brave, rent a punt and give it a go yourself.
- Wander around – Cambridge’s main drawcard, in my opinion, is the architecture. So I see no better way than to grab a coffee and take to the cobbles, crane your neck and admire.
- Fitzbillies cake shop – I don’t have many recommendations on where to eat, since we were sitting at my Grandma’s kitchen table for most meals during our stay. But one place you must pop into is Fitzbillies, the coffee as well as the pastries, cream buns and cakes are all delicious and have people coming from all over the country.