The beautiful city of Cambridge is one of the best destinations in England for short getaways. Ancient colleges, fascinating museums, stunning churches, cobbled streets and a picturesque riverside will be waiting for you in Cambridge. Here’s our guide to spending the perfect weekend in Cambridge.
Ideas for a Perfect Weekend in Cambridge
Cambridge is a city perhaps best known for its intellectual output. Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and John Milton all studied here, and, along with its fierce rival, Oxford, the city’s university leads the way when it comes to academic excellence.
There’s more to Cambridge than clever people studying baffling subjects. The city also has a great deal to offer the average tourist, with its wealth of museums, parkland and rivers. If you’ve got a weekend spare, then a trip to Cambridge is sure to fill it nicely.
How to get to Cambridge
The city is reachable via the M11, making it just a short drive away for those based in London. On the other hand, there are also excellent railway links; you can catch a train from Huntingdon to Cambridge and arrive in just over an hour, leaving plenty of time to explore the city and visit all of the major attractions.
Visiting the Colleges
As well as being a place to study, Cambridge’s many colleges are hugely impressive to look at, and come flanked with a bevy of beautiful gardens to stroll around in. There are thirty-one colleges in total, and each of them offer something a little bit different from a visual perspective. Since you’ve only got a single weekend, pick out a handful of the most conveniently-placed of them and then make your trip.
The Botanic Gardens
Cambridge botanic gardens are a thing to behold, with something slightly different on offer at every time of the year. There are more than eight thousand species of plant to be found here, ranging from tropical varieties nestled into vast greenhouses, and beautiful English wildflowers that spring up between the trees. This winter, there’s a special Winter Garden to explore – so don’t miss the opportunity!
If you want to see what the city has to offer, then the water offers a brilliant opportunity. You’ll have a choice between a punt along the college backs, from where you’ll be able to take in all of the architecture and gardens, and the less-frequented Grantchester Meadows. Punting requires a little bit of skill: you need to propel yourself by pushing against the riverbed, and steer yourself with the rudder at the rear of the craft.
A Stroll along the Backs
Alternatively, you might elect to take a trip around the backs of the college on foot. There are footpaths alongside the river, and you’ll be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the river at your own pace. If you’re feeling especially traditional, you can pack a picnic – though there’s no shortage of high-quality eateries around the city centre.
With the blend of delightful buildings and cobbled street corners that look like they’ve fallen straight from a photograph, it really is difficult not to fall in love with Cambridge. With so much to do and so many places to see, be sure to visit these little gems on your next trip to the historical city.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.