SJ explains why Cambridge is a destination in itself.
I originally decided to go to Cambridge for the weekend because it was a cheap and easy option for an Easter getaway.
Having recently moved to London, and still living on the Australian dollar, my travel options (and budget) are limited. It is fair to say, I was not expecting much from the uni town, but boy, were my fiend and I in for one hell of a surprise.
After a short 45-minute train ride from London, our taxi whisked to our B&B.
Immediately, we set out to explore the town, and after a fifteen minute walk to the centre, we were struck by what can only be described as ‘love at first sight’. Completely blown away by the beautiful brickwork and charm of our surroundings we stepped through an open doorway of Sidney Sussex College and were greeted again by jaw-droppingly beautiful grounds.
We filled the first day with a guided punt tour along the river Cam, which passes along the backs of Cambridge University. Yes, slightly touristy, but a great way to get your bearings and see some of Cambridge’s most famous attractions, including King’s College Chapel, the Wren Library at Trinity College and both The Bridge of Sighs and Mathematical Bridge. With such stunning views to absorb, make sure you take your camera and don’t believe everything your guide tells you – we fact-checked a few parts that simply weren’t true!
A famous option for food is The Eagle, a traditional English pub dating back to the 16th century. Boasting many historical features including the RAF bar with its world famous ceiling, it is a fascinating spot for lunch or dinner.
Day two started with a glimpse inside Trinity College’s spectacular grounds, including the famous Chapel built during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth I. Lunch was at Aromi, an Italian café whose freshly made pizza and flatbreads attract a queue for lunch. Don’t be disheartened by this, though. We were able to snag a seat downstairs within five minutes and the food is fabulous and well worth the wait. We popped around the corner afterwards to sample “the best fudge in the world” at Fudge Kitchen, opposite King’s College.
A short stroll towards the town centre will place you in front of Great St Mary’s Church, where for a small fee you can climb the tower for a view that will, at times, literally blow you away. Well worth the climb, the tower has a view of the colleges and their dazzling green grounds. It’s something you won’t forget quickly.
Blending in with the locals, we spent the afternoon riding around the outskirts of town on bikes we hired. Bikes are a great way to cover a lot of Cambridge. Nonetheless, we were relieved to make it back in one piece and I’m sure the locals breathed a sigh of relief to have us off the roads, too.
We stayed at Lynwood House, and cannot recommend it highly enough. A short walk from town, the house was clean and modern while still being cosy, and the rooms were light, bright and spacious. Breakfast also exceeded expectations with a buffet featuring homemade granola and honey, and a range of egg options from the a la carte menu.
With return train fares for AU$50 from London, Cambridge may not have originally been my first choice, but by the time we left on Sunday morning, there was no where I would have rather spent the weekend.
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