24 hours in Cambridge
Situated on the Cam River in East Anglia, the county town of Cambridge is the second largest city in the UK with an astonishing population of 123,867. Built on history, knowledge and unparalleled architecture, the prestigious university that was built in 1209 and has consistently been in the top 5 universities in the world for many decades inhabits this precinct. Take a look at the handpicked activities that this city has to offer.
1. Take a stroll through Jesus Green
Just north of the city centre lies a stunning park area covered with flowers, chestnut trees and great facilities such as tennis courts, a barbecue area, a play area for children and a little shop where one can purchase refreshments. On Sunday afternoons in the summer, concerts are held on a regular basis that have a bring-your-own-picnic vibe. The River Cam runs alongside Jesus Green, providing a great backdrop for your Saturday afternoon stroll.
2. Ride on the Cambridge guided busway
The busway system is the most convenient way for tourists and locals alike to travel around the city and is the longest bus system in the world, at a distance of 16 miles. It runs along an unused railway line using modified buses that have been adapted to travel on this route.
3. Go to Milton Country Park
Spanning 45 acres of land, Milton Country Park is a natural habitat that is home to a number of bird species and shrubbery. The park offers a deluge of activities; from walking or biking through the wheelchair accessible trails, spotting the birds at the viewing platforms, visiting the sensory garden, to chatting over a coffee at the café.
4. Browse around the Museum of classical archaeology
The museum of classical archaeology is bursting at the seams with relics from ancient Greece and Rome. Browse amongst the collections and you will find that sculptures from the 19 century sit alongside the ancient relics that depict the originals. The most convenient thing about this gallery is that all of the displays are arranged in chronological order.
5. Have your breath taken away on the Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs, designed by architect Henry Hutchinson, is a covered bridge at St John’s College that crosses the River Cam, joining the Grade I listed building’s third court and new court. A modern legend has it that the bridge received its name due to the students that pass through, exhaling a sigh as they walk from their quarters to their lessons on the other side of the building.
6. Experience the serene atmosphere in King’s College Chapel
Home to the world-renowned Christmas Eve service, ‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ that is broadcast around the world, King’s College Chapel displays some of the most illustrious Gothic architecture. Construction of this regal structure began in 1446 under the reign of the draconian Henry VIII and took around 100 years to build, surviving the War of Roses.
7. See the flowers, birds and trees at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens
Spanning an impressive 40 acres of land, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens showcase an array of over 8,000 plant species. These gardens were created by Professor John Stevens Henslow and feature some spectacular glass houses and nine national collections that are placed in themed gardens such as the rock garden or chronological bed.
8. Take a punt boat tour on River Cam and learn all about The Backs
Behind the decadent colleges that line the River Cam you will find vast expanses of green landscape that are known for the crocuses and daffodils that grow in the spring. Whilst drifting down the River Cam your breath will be taken away by the remarkable scenery, all whilst being educated in the history of what lies within The Backs.
Cambridge has always been a favourite city of mine to visit; upon arriving you are hit by the bustling, diverse atmosphere; sounds from the gondolas on the River Cam, the calls of the market salesmen, the whispering of the wind in the trees and the general public - of whom no two people look the same. You become literally surrounded and enveloped by the culture- it is easy to see why so many people flock from countries all over the world to visit the beautiful Cambridge - whether it be to experience a ride on a gondola, visit the famous King’s College chapel (of which my grandfather produced wood carvings for) or to take a stroll through the public parks...