Cambridge is one of the places that are perfect for an afternoon visit on a lazy Sunday (or Saturday, if you like) afternoon. It’s great for strolling around with no rush, having a picnic on green meadows by a river and slow exploration of history that still is being made in those beautiful historic buildings (being it Uni or a pub).
The world’s third-oldest surviving University in the world, Cambridge University has been affiliated with 90 Nobel laureates (even more than Oxford). Nowadays Cambridge is huge in high technology and hence called ‘Silicon Fen’ (Silicon as play on Silicon valley and fen because of the fens surrounding the city).
But there’s more about Cambridge than only prestigious University and notable research – what I liked the most was the slow pace which perfectly fitted the city on our visit (the fact that it was Sunday afternoon certainly played a role but still – I want to believe this is the real face of Cambridge).
When you read travel guides, all are going to tell you the same – go punting, visit the University, visit some galleries, maybe see a play at Corn Exchange – while these are must do for tourists I would suggest a slightly different scenario. Or maybe an addition to your itinerary once you have enough of historic architecture and masses of other tourists. My advice is explore the peaceful river Cam by its side (instead of an overcharged punt), have a picnic on one of many green fields in the city (preferably next to the river – Jesus Green is great choice on a sunny day), slow down, breathe deeply and then get lost in quiet alleys where small town spirit can be caught best.
The only thing I really didn’t like about Cambridge were annoying punting sellers that were stopping us each ten metres. But they are centred around the historical centre so get off the beaten path and no one will bother you any more.
A couple of tips for your visit:
- Kettle’s Yard – a house turned into a gallery by owners Jim and Helen Ede with distinctive collection contemporary and modern art. Also with live music concerts, workshops, talks and lectures. Must see for all artsy souls!
- Super awesome flight simulator at the Cambridge airport. Wanna experience Boeing 737 from the pilot’s seat? There you go! Book ahead, sit back and enjoy the flight!
- For your caffeine fix on the budget head to Cafe Aristo near Mathematical Bridge. You’ll get a good coffee or tea for less than 2 pounds! Mind you, it’s take away only but some eating options are available too.