Cambridge revolves around its famous university and there are reminders of this at every turn

The beautiful college buildings, students on bicycles and punts on the River Cam all add to its peaceful atmosphere. Though most people probably visit Cambridge for its university, there are also other things of interest to see and do, including many that are free. This includes punting along the Cam to Grantchester, a tiny village two miles upriver, or strolling along The Backs, the grasslands behind the colleges along the banks of the Cam.

 

Getting there by Train

Trains depart from London Kings Cross to Cambridge every 15 minutes. Journey time is 45 minutes to an hour.

University of Cambridge

The university was established in the thirteenth century by a group of scholars, many of whom had to leave Oxford due to disagreements with the townspeople there.

It comprises a number of colleges including King’s College, which was founded by Henvy VI (he also founded Eton School at the same time). Many are open at certain times to visit.

Famous Cambridge alumni include Samuel Pepys, Oliver Cromwell and, more recently, Stephen Hawking and several of the Monty Python team.

The Mathematical Bridge

Arching from Queens’ College over to the opposite bank of the river, the Mathematical Bridge is probably one of the more popular attractions within Cambridge University.

Some believe it was so named because it was allegedly constructed without using nails, but it is more likely that its name derives from the fact that it was designed solely on geometrical principles.

Either way, it is a charming and much photographed bridge.

Punting on the Cam

Punting along the River Cam is a leisurely activity for a warm spring or summer’s day.

Punts are available for hire at various points along the river or you can hire a chauffeur to row you along (often doubling as a tour guide.)