Yes, it’s true; we just can’t stop exploring new destinations! Not even the grey English weather could stop us enjoying our time in the quintessentially English town of Cambridge over the weekend. Perhaps the weather added to its charm!
Located 80km north of London, Cambridge is a university city with a population of around 123,000 people, including almost 25,000 students. The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 when scholars needed to take refuge from hostile townsmen in Oxford. Oxford and Cambridge have been rivals ever since.
Over the last 800 years, Cambridge has blossomed into a beautiful city, full of history, famous colleges and pubs – but there is plenty of that around England. What makes Cambridge different from the rest?
In almost any weather, you can enjoy punting along the Cam.
A punter takes you punting on a punt. A punt is a narrow flat-bottomed boat, similar to a Venetian gondola, propelled and guided by a punter standing on the back of the boat and pushing against the riverbed with a 5m-long pole.
Punting is a Cambridge tradition and a unique way to see the beautiful scenery on offer.
Join a punting tour to hear about the city’s history, hire a self-guided punt, or go all out and book a private chauffeured punt and guide to explore the River Cam as it winds its way through The Backs – the back of some of the most famous colleges in Cambridge.
The halls, libraries, quads and pubs are littered with stories of famous students that have attended Cambridge over the years.
When you visit Cambridge you might be lucky enough to see Stephen Hawking roll down the street…
Or, sit in the same corner of The Eagle pub in which Francis Crick and James Watson celebrated finding “the secret of life” (the structure of DNA)…
Or, stroll through the echo-filled corridors of Trinity College where Isaac Newtown discovered the speed of sound.
Cambridge is perfect for a day trip from London
The main part of Cambridge is relatively small and can be explored on foot in a day. In fact, because the train can get you from London to Cambridge in about an hour, Cambridge makes a wonderful day trip destination in almost any season.
Cambridge is a great day trip for the budget conscious
Cambridge seems to be more budget friendly than most destinations. Beers at the pub are cheaper, and on weekends, the markets offer delicious food, like ostrich burgers and juice frappes, that are well within most budgets.
You can visit some of the colleges for free or a small fee. We visited Pembroke College, Corpus Christi College, Clare College and then paid £2 each to visit Trinity College and its cathedral.
While we were in Cambridge, we also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum, mainly to escape the rain, but also to see its Egyptian mummy collection. The Fitzwilliam Museum is free to enter, but a small donation (£5) is expected when you are leaving.
And, because you can walk almost everywhere, there is no need to pay for any kind of public transport to get around. Just bring some good walking shoes!
Looking for more travel inspiration?
Check out my recommendation on what to do in:
Amsterdam, Bali, Berlin, Brisbane, Bristol, Budapest, Cambridge, Canberra, Cappadocia, Chamonix, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Kotor, Kyoto, London, Lyon, Madrid, New York City, Paris, Riga, Scotland, Tokyo and Washington D.C.