United Kingdom: Cambridge

I have always wanted to visit the U.K and since my brother and his wife lived in Cambridge I could not pass up the opportunity to check this place out. My whole U.K visit exceeded my expectations. Cambridge is a small university town, home to the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University and the first stop among many other stops on this U.K tour.

I love small towns like this one – the charming architecture and ability to get around easily on foot made my visit to Cambridge a memorable one. We spent a whole day in the city center enjoying various activities unique to Cambridge.

The first thing we did was board a guided punt trip along the Cam River, which runs through the heart of Cambridge. The cost to ride is about 15£ per person and takes about 45 minutes round trip. Along the relaxing ride you’ll pass by St. John’s College, Trinity College, Clare College, Kings College, Queens College, Mathematics Bridge, Bridge of Sighs and through other beautiful scenery. You have the choice of renting a self-guided punt or a guided punt. A self-guided punt seems like a nice option for a couple on a date, I will say that though it looks easy, punting definitely requires some skill, all of traffic on the river is due to these self-guided amateurs.

The punt guide also shares information about the various colleges and highlights of Cambridge while maneuvering through this picturesque river. My favorite attraction was the Mathematics bridge, a wooden footbridge that fools the eye at first glance. It looks like its built with an arch, but it is actually built entirely of straight timbers – the name comes from its engineering design.

After exploring the river we joined a walking tour of the city center which added a lot of depth and history to this already enjoyable visit. The tour is called – Historic Cambridge : A guided walking tour, and it was well worth the two hours it took.

The tour guide we had was Tony and he is very knowledgable and engaging throughout his entire tour. He shared so much history about this college town in just two hours. There are a total of 31 colleges in this area among other historical landmarks, such as this gem: The Eagle Pub in Cambridge.

This historic pub is the home of the discovery of the structure of DNA. Two scientist frequently met here for lunch and they announced their findings here at this very pub. The ceiling is also covered in signatures by World War II pilots. There is a lot of history in this little building. This pub is a good place to end a tour of the city but for obvious reasons, it gets quite busy inside. There is a lot to see in this area and tons of good restaurants to dine at if you are on a time crunch.

Outside the Taylor Library you will find this oddity, its called the Corpus Clock, but it is also known as the time eater, as it constantly devours the passing seconds of each hour. It’s creepy. We finished off the day by going to a Shakespeare play at the park, but there was no video or photography allowed. I was unfortunately very jet-lagged and had to bow-out of the play though the little I did see, seemed to be well prepared and organized.

I had a very good time exploring and getting to know this small yet important district, which really set the tone for how the rest of my trip would go: excellent. If you ever find yourself in London and have a day to explore a little further out, consider coming out to Cambridge and be sure to join either a walking tour or punt ride. Happy Travels!