Published on February 20, 2015 | by Andrea Guerriero1
5 Reasons to Visit Cambridge
Revered around the world for its prestigious University, Cambridge is recognised as a scholarly city in the heart of rural Cambridgeshire located 50 miles from London. Steeped in tradition, this historical city is a proven settling ground for the Vikings during the Bronze Age, where the city acted as a vital trading centre.
In the present day, the city is very much a modern hub of flourishing businesses while still exhibiting many architecturally beautiful buildings that date back to as far back as the Roman times. As the 54th largest city in the UK, Cambridge has more to offer than many of the larger cities, that’s why we thought we’d come up with 5 of the best attractions that Cambridge has to offer visitors.
1. Cambridge University
Predominantly what makes this city famous is its University that draws in students from all around the world because of its reputations as being one of the elite institutions in the world. The University was formed in 1209 and was originally affiliated with its neighboring Oxford University until recently.
Visitors can look around the University throughout the day and the 31 autonomous colleges that make up the University in its entirety. On the grounds of the University, there are chapels, many museums and an array of restaurants on campus that can be enjoyed by visitors. There are also daily tours undertaken by the University for people that want to learn more about the history of the University.
2. Take a bike tour of the city
To see Cambridge’s most rural spots, many recommend taking bike tours around the city. This will allow you to travel along the river and see the many boathouses that litter the riverside. You’ll also pass the historic University Real Tennis Club and the Kings College Chapel.
Other interesting landmarks along the way are the various river pubs that are ideal to stop off at for lunch mid-trip, and a myriad of wildlife that can be spotted in the waters and vegetation. Many of these tour packages will include bike rentals along with a tour guide and even the use of an electrical bike if you choose.
3. Cambridge Folk Festival
Cambridge has one major arts festival, its annual folk festival, which is held at the start of August. Last year, it celebrated its 50th anniversary with established acts such as Van Morrison and Sinead O’Connor performed. The festival also features many local and up and coming folk and soft rock bands.
The event is held at the Cherry Hinton Hall site, and spans across three and a half days. Looking ahead to this year’s festival, announces have already unveiled that political singer songwriter Frank Turner and Nordic pop group Katzenjammer will be performing this summer.
4. Visit the city’s many themed museums
Cambridge is blessed with an abundance of museums, and unlike London they are all within a reasonable distance of one another. Popular museums such as The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, the Polar Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum (see picture) are highly recommended.
Additionally, the Museum of Classical Archaeology, the Museum of Cambridge, which was formerly the Cambridge County & Folk Museum, and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are some of the most commonly visited and interesting museums in the city.
There are reported 100+ libraries situated in the city with many of them open to the public, although some are directly attached colleges. Some of the most famous are the University Library, which operates tours throughout the day taking visitors around the grounds of the vast library, and the Lyon Yard library located in the shopping centre of the same name.
Also, there’s the Pepys Library and the Wren Library as well as the Trinity Hall Library which is the oldest in the city, dating back to the Tudor times.
For people travelling to Cambridge for the first time, the city isn’t too far from London as aforementioned thus, getting to the city from the capital shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. If you are coming from Gatwick Airport, which Parking4Less states is 28 miles from London; it will take travellers approximately 1hr42 via car due to the airport being situated in South London. For people travelling from Heathrow, it will take around 1hr23 to get to Cambridge.
There are also National Rail routes that go from both airports to the city although passengers will have to change at a series of stations along the way. Buses also run between the destinations, and although very affordable the routes can take up to 1Ohrs during busy periods of the day.