Everybody has heard of Cambridge for one reason or another. Of course most of us associate it with the impressive universities and the creation of some of the brightest minds in the country. I don’t know exactly what I expected before I headed to this pretty city but I know I was pleasantly blown away!
It was early this month I was on my way to a Christmas themed wedding to kick off the festivities. I had no idea that the venue was so close to Cambridge and it was a nice surprise to be able to finally visit the city that has been on my UK to-do list for so many years.
I didn’t have any expectations because besides hearing about the top colleges and a bunch of smart people living here, I didn’t know a thing about the city or what it looked like. So I entered with a plan only to do what I do best – Wander.
Parking just on the outskirts in a place called Castle Hill, this was only a short walk into the city. Instantly I couldn’t help but notice the many many bikes on every corner. I don’t remember seeing so many cyclists since my day trip to Amsterdam a decade ago! I don’t know why, but I never expected this. I didn’t realise that in Cambridge a bike was the ultimate mode of transport. Such a contrast to the congestion we see in Leeds and London from cars!
In an attempt to dodge the endless chains of bicycles during my walk in to the city, I ended up at the river.
It was a lovely winters day with blue skies but a little too chilly to be jumping on a gondola. I did notice it was a busy Saturday with lots of people huddled together under blankets enjoying the view. Maybe next time?
As I continued to walk, it wasn’t long before I hit the hustle and bustle of the city. It was busy, and I mean…Really busy! Serves me right for thinking I could explore a place on a Saturday in December! Shoppers everywhere.
But I carried on walking and managed to enjoy the beautiful sights. Starting with The Round Church that I like to call – Hagrid’s Hut!
And in the spirit of Harry Potter, just opposite you’ll find the cutest little stores. Both a candy story just like Honeydukes and a fabulous little clothing store that was all kitted out for Christmas.
As I didn’t come to Cambridge to go shopping, I headed down some of the winding narrow streets. I came across a brilliant craft market full of handmade trinkets and beautiful Christmas gifts but refrained from spending all my money.
Instead I spent the afternoon enjoying the amazing architecture that Cambridge is home to. I felt like I’d stepped into a new country in Europe surrounded by buildings to be admired.
And just like most places I visit around Europe, I can’t tell you the names of the buildings. One thing I do know is that there was a combination of churches and the most impressive looking colleges I’ve ever seen in my life. Here’s just a few of the beautiful buildings I saw on the walk:
Of course not everybody is interested in looking at churches and old buildings so it’s important to highlight that Cambridge has a lot more to offer than just a history lesson. The streets were lined with little unique craft and gift stores all over. I’ve never seen so many ‘patisseries’ and brunch or afternoon tea venues. Even when we revisited on the Monday every restaurant seemed to be filled with people enjoying a cheeky midday bottle of wine at their table.
The city was buzzing with atmosphere all over and it wasn’t your usual student vibe that I’ve got so used to everywhere in the north that’s for sure.
Whilst I didn’t have time to walk around all the college campuses, I hope to revisit again sometime. At least that which I did see, was worth stopping to admire.
I couldn’t enjoy Cambridge as much as I wanted to due to an unfortunately bad timed stomach cramp lasting all day but I’m glad I got to see at least some of what the place has to offer.
I stayed just outside of the city centre at the A14 Premier Inn which I can highly recommend for both convenience with the location and for the wonderful stay we all enjoyed there. I had the pleasure of eating at the restaurant inside the hotel during our stay and of course Christmas decorations go a long way when it comes to making a place feel that little more cosy. Also, who can say no to good value meal deal and a festive cocktail?
Let’s not forget the reason why I was down there in the first place – To attend the wedding of my partners cousin. A beautiful Christmas themed celebration with piglets – Honestly, what more could I ask for?
What a great end to 2021 – Glad we got to enjoy some time together celebrating happiness before the year end and the beautiful city was just a bonus!