Cambridge is small historic town an hours journey from London. The town is famous for its universities and some of the greatest thinkers that we have seen in the last 500 years. It is the town where the atom was first split, where Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution, and Newton developed his theory of gravity. This is the place where Stephen Hawking of black-hole fame used to live and work. Follow me on days visit to Historic Cambridge.
Cambridge is located about 45 miles north of London and well connected. There are good train and bus services to Cambridge from London (King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations). You can drive here as well and would take you roughly 2 hours from London. The train station is located about 2 km south from the centre of the town. It is possible to walk to the centre or there are buses and taxis. The bus station is close to the centre and visitors can easily walk to the main tourist sites
What to see and do in Cambridge
Cambridge has 31 colleges of which three, admit women only. The other colleges are mixed, though most were originally all men. The 3 main universities include the famous King’s, famed for its choir and towering Gothic chapel, followed by Trinity, founded by Henry VIII, and St John’s, with its 16th-century Great Gate.
Go punting in a boat on the river the best way to see Cambridge. Punts can be rented by the hour from three locations on the river. This is one of the most iconic rides you will take after the famous gondola rides of Venice. Punting is great fun and is one of the things you must do when visiting Cambridge.
View the many famous bridges like the Bridge of Sighs and the Magdalene bridge over looking the passers byes. Visit the Trinity gardens but the main reason to go here is that it is the most congested place on the river for punts and you can see people fall in it which is very funny to watch. Best viewed on a hot summer day when the river is busy.
Corpus Christi College clock – corner of King’s Parade and Benet Street. New, modern design with flashing lights and a mechanical insect crawling over the top.
Enjoy the interesting walks but watch you don’t get injured by a cyclist if you step out into the street to take a photograph.
Cambridge is a pretty, old town and unlike many other towns in England where most of the original buildings were destroyed in the world wars this still has its old buildings and it still has narrow, medieval streets.
When to visit Cambridge
The best time to visit Cambridge is in the spring, summer or autumn because of the many beautiful gardens to admire. The gardens are located close to the river that runs through the middle of the historic town centre.
Walking in Cambridge
Cambridge is crowded with tourists and the centre of is accessible only to pedestrians. A good walking map of Cambridge is the most useful purchase you can make.
What to avoid in Cambridge
Some of the shops on King’s Parade which are typically high priced for tourists.
Falling in the river if you go punting.
People selling chauffeur punting excursions on the river.
Eats and Nibbles
There are some great places here to eat or snack on. Apart from some of the popular chains like Café Rouge / Wildwood Pizza Express you have some very interesting and quirky outlets in Cambridge.
The ones I would recommend
- Hotel du Vin – the bistro but it’s expensive.
- Rainbow Cafe – It’s vegetarian food only and in a cellar off an alley way on King’s Parade.
- Chop House – King’s Parade. Specializes in English food – good English food.
- Midsummer House – Excellent French cuisine. Book in advance has 2 Michelin stars.
- The Fudge Kitchen – Perfect for their famous salted chocolate fudge . Kids love it as they get free sample and the whole process of making it in front of you.
If you want more information about Cambridge then the official tourist site is www.visitcambridge.org. The telephone number for the Cambridge Tourist Information Office is +44 (0)1223 464 732. They recommend the walking tours of the city that they organise.
- Take Walking Tours or just walk through the historic town at your leisure.
- See iconic buildings like the Trinity College, King’s College and The Senate House.
- Enjoy some time off at the many coffer shops dotted around the town.
- Learn about student life from a Cambridge University graduate guide.
- Visit one of the world’s most prestigious universities, where Prince Charles, Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking studied
- Be brave and punt yourself if not take a tour on the many chauffeured boats.
- Buy a souvenir and take a piece of this historic town with you.