30 Nov 5 Things to Do In Cambridge
What To Do On A Day Trip To Cambridge
I have to admit to loving old University towns, Oxford being my favourite. There’s something about spires and learning that feels so British and, well, comfortable. Not to mention the fact you’ll probably find a whole array of independent tea shops, quirky bookshops and lively pubs. My own University is the University of Kent in the beautiful town of Canterbury, which I try and visit at least once a year, just for that reason.
Cambridge, however, at only around an hour from London by train, makes a great day trip from the capital. Here’s what we packed into a one day itinerary:
City Sightseeing Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour
This gave us a great overview of the city, helping us get our bearings. It even took us out of the city and to the American cemetery and military memorial, something I wouldn’t have even known was there. You can jump on and off as you wish, but we used it as a bus to take us to various points around the city, making the whole circuit by the end of the day.
Sights to look out for include “the Backs”, i.e. the backs of some of the colleges, the Botanic gardens and the River Cam.
2. Indulge at the Fudge Kitchen
With flavours that range from vanilla to rum and raisin, and including a dairy free option, The Fudge Kitchen, near Kings College, is an ideal place to get your sugar fix. The staff are super friendly and eager for you to try different varieties (I didn’t need much persuading), although you may have to wait a while in the queue.
3. Kings College
Once fortified with your fudge, Kings College, founded by Henry VI, makes a perfect next stop. You may know the chapel from the annual carol service on Christmas Eve on the BBC, and this is the main reason I wanted to go along. Of course, it’s still full of tourists, but do make the time to sit in the stalls and gaze up at the stunning ceiling, as well as just melt into the atmosphere. If you time it right, you may be able to make a service, something that’s still on my to-do list. I imagine it’s a beautiful experience. You can also walk around the grounds if you’re out of exam season.
4. The Round Church
This quirky church is, yes, round. Its official name is The Church of the Holy Sepulchr, and you’ll probably find it to be a quiet interlude after Kings. It’s not going to take up more than 20 minutes of your time, but it’s worth it. Even if churches aren’t your thing, it also hosts an interesting exhibition on the history of Christianity and the development of education, modern science and human rights.
4. Take Tea at Fitzbillies
You may have to wait to get a table, but it is worth it, I promise. Steaming teapots of good, strong brews are the order of the day here, and the selection of cakes is verging on the point of being dangerously impossible to choose between them. We didn’t experience it, but apparently the signature dish is the sticky Chelsea bun, much loved by students in the process of cramming.
5. Go punting
I have to admit we didn’t do that on our last visit as the weather wasn’t good enough, but if you’ve never punted before, this is the place to do it. You can be brave, and take your own punt out, or opt for what the majority seem to do and hire a punt and a lovely young student to punt you along. Load up with strawberries, scones and Champagne and you can really make it an occasion. There are so many people selling punting experiences from different companies on the streets that you’ll be hard pressed not to find one that appeals to you.