You can feel the living history running across the banks of the River Cam, while you’re biking through this gorgeous famous city. Home of Pink Floyd, Charles Darwin and thousands of students, Cambridge and its 31 colleges have shaped the world we’re living in.
The cobbled courts, the impressive chapels, the historical bridges and the fabulous gardens combine to make Cambridge a destination for those tourists eager to have a bite from one of the best medieval romantic, yet up to date cities near London.
Not just a University, but a city with magnificent architecture, Cambridge is situated amid the rural countryside of Cambridgeshire in east of England.
With over 20,000 students going to Cambridge Colleges, the city is buzzing with cafes, antiquities and book shops, pubs and markets. Hundreds of colourful posters promoting a variety of events – concerts, theatre plays, movies, hand craft fairs, sport activities, etc- rest on the fences surrounding the colleges. There’s always so much going on in Cambridge, that the list of entertainment and cultural events seems endless.
But what catches one’s eye are the everywhere bikes, in different shapes, colours, accessorized or customized, the bikes are the main way of transport in Cambridge.
However, if you want to know a tourist’s quintessentially delights of Cambridge, we can recommend you at least five of them.
1. Enjoy the city from the river! It might be extremely touristy, but go with the clichés this time. There’s nothing more relaxing than being punted along The Backs in a chauffeured punt, with a guide – usually a student – who will amuse you with juicy stories and tell you anything you want to know about the city’s history.
During the 45 minutes tour, you’ll come across some of the most famous landmarks of the city: King’s College Chapel ( founded by Henry VI in 1441), The Wren Library of Trinity College, the Bridge of Sighs (designed by Henry Hutchinson in 1831), the Mathematical Bridge of Queens’ College (the wooden footbridge, first built in 1902), superb green landscapes, and some of the latest constructions built in accordance with the city’s architecture.
Alternatively, you can self-hire a traditional Cambridge Punt and enjoy 60 minutes being your own chauffeur. In any case, go punting and enjoy the city from the river.
2. Visit the historic market square in the city centre where stalls have been trading since Middle Ages. The bustling market hosts flourishing local food, arts and crafts fairs, clothes, bags, books, second hand bikes. You can also buy fresh fish, fruit and vegetable and organic products from local farmers.
3. We can’t ignore the thousands of proud students wandering the streets of Cambridge. For a best student wise experience, visit King’s College; it is a truly inspirational experience, being the most spectacular of the college chapels in Cambridge.
Although most of the student campuses are not open to visitors, you’ll definitely find some which will let you in just to take a peek at their interior gardens and the old impressive buildings that accommodate the students of Cambridge. Honestly, it feels like stepping into a movie while entering the big, somehow scary gates, of these campuses.
4. If you like to spend some time in museums, then pay a visit to Fitzwilliam Museum, which is one of Britain’s earliest public museums. It hosts various collections of Western European paintings from the 14th century to the present day. But you can also find Egyptian, Asiatic, Green and Roman antiquities, rare private books and manuscripts.
Moreover, you can visit the North and South Poles at the Scott Polar Institute, or even better take a look at the original specimens that Darwin collected on his famous trip on The Beagle.
5. Last but not least, wander the streets of Cambridge with no definite target. Just walk and enjoy. Have a coffee break at one of the cafes alongside the River Cam, picnic under the trees along The Backs, admire the landscapes, see how time is eaten by the 24-carat gold Grasshopper Clock facing onto King’s Parade; cross the bridges, mingle with students, hire a bike and explore the small, but precious city of Cambridge.
And don’t forget to take lots of pictures and let us know how Cambridge treated you.
Find more about Cambridge here.