Cambridge, a famous and historic town north of London, features idyllic green open spaces, grand old buildings, scenic waterways, an array of fascinating museums and, of course, the famous university that ranks as the best in England.
The ideal vantage points from which to soak up Cambridge's collegiate atmosphere are the infamous backs - the gardens that stretch out in all directions from the town's striking university buildings. Those looking to enjoy the fleeting summer sun can go back in time and indulge in a spot of punting on the surrounding waterways, a typical Cambridge pursuit. For a less energetic way to see the best of the town, head to one of the classic old pubs and enjoy a drink as you take in the atmosphere.
King's College Chapel is the defining icon of Cambridge, dominating the town's skyline along with the University Library. Dating back to the early 16th century, the chapel features exquisite Gothic detail on its façade and its two spires. Even older, the library has been renovated and expanded numerous times in the past five centuries, but its imposing central tower remains unaltered and magnificent in the Cambridge cityscape.
Leisure and recreation
If the punting or strolling around gets a bit much, head to the Cam River to watch the well-known university rowing teams exerting themselves instead, an experience that offers a further insight into the iconic university life here.
Cambridge holds a host of summer events that attract people from across the country, including the Cambridge Summer Music Festival and the Shakespeare Festival, the latter featuring six open-air performances at various colleges. There is a host of museums and galleries in the town, many related to the university and academic subjects, including anthropology and archaeology. For something a little more light-hearted, Cambridge also offers a range of high-street outlets and local shops. Tourist trinkets of the highest quality are easily sourced here.
Getting thereKing's Cross runs fast services to Cambridge, which take just under 50 minutes. Most trains leave at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour. From Liverpool Street, services are a little slower but less expensive, taking about 75 minutes. Cheaper fares are available online in advance. Renting a car from airports is a convenient way to get to Cambridge; Stansted is only 30 miles away heading north up the M11 or A1.