C is for Cambridge — A Fantasy Itinerary #AtoZChallenge
I’m doing the A to Z Challenge in April, using the theme of the UK & Ireland. For C, I’m fantasizing about my next trip to the UK, hopefully in the fall of 2019. Cambridge is high on our list of places that we missed last time, but want to see this time. We may go as a day trip with London Walks, but my fantasy is to spend four days in Cambridge.
Since money is no object at this stage of planning a trip, we’ll stay at the Varsity Hotel with its modern rooms, roof top dining, and a jacuzzi that overlooks the River Cam.
Day 1. After arriving at the Cambridge Railway Station, probably from London (45-90 minutes depending on the train and the number of stops) and taking a taxi to our hotel, we’ll walk near the hotel, taking in the iconic architecture along King’s Parade and circling along The Backs, the walk by the River Cam that showcases the back of several colleges, including a splendid view of King’s College Chapel.
Day 2. In the morning, we’ll explore the downtown area of Cambridge, including a stop at the Cambridge Information Visitor Centre, grab an early lunch, and check out the Corpus Clock. We’ll aim to get to the Whipple Museum of the History of Science at 12:30pm when it opens. This museum collects scientific instruments and related material, mostly made by 17th, 18th, and 19th century English craftsman and scientists. This is just the sort of quirky museum that ends up being highlights in our travels. On the way back to the hotel, we can stop for the evensong service at King’s College Chapel.
Day 3. On this day, we’ll take a deeper look at some of the colleges. Trinity College has many famous alums and we would enjoy walking in the footsteps of Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage, and Srinivasa Ramanujan (after seeing the film The Man Who Knew Infinity). I also want to see Newnham College, where one of the characters in my unfinished novel went to school.
Day 4. We’ll make this Darwin day. The Cambridge Information Visitor Centre offers a tour called A Young Charles Darwin in Cambridge — he attended Christ’s College. Before and after the tour, will visit The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, which houses rocks collected by Darwin during his voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle along with many other natural history items of interest, and The University Museum of Zoology, which houses specimens collected by Darwin.
There are things missing from this itinerary:
- The Fitzwilliam Museum — the architecture is almost as big of a draw as the art.
- Punting to Grantchester for a picnic
- University Botanic Garden
- The Polar Museum about exploring the Arctic and Antarctic
Hmmm. Maybe we need a week.
Have you been to Cambridge? What was your favorite thing to do or see?
Oooo, now I am going to start taking some fantasy trips, cost unbarred…. wander around. I read “On the Trail of Genghis Khan” last year, so maybe I will imagine that first!
Never been but watching Grantchester it would be fun to have a picnic there!
It’s a long time ago since I visited there but you’ll very much enjoy it I’m sure. I was young and only went there a few times at most. It’s a very beautiful little place – or it was, it’s maybe sprawling more nowadays. Nice to see an old photograph of it too. I’d recommend a visit to Ely Cathedral and Peterborough Cathedral if you were planning to travel there, if you have time. They’re not far from Cambridge. I’ll stop by again in the week and look forward to reading some more virtual travels with you. Staggering how much I don’t know about most towns and cities in my country. 🙂 Thanks again, I enjoyed reading.
It sounds amazing! I’d love to visit Cambridge. I had the opportunity to visit Oxford, years ago, with an English friend, but didnt’ make to Cambridge. I loved Oxford, but I’ve heard many people say Cambridge is even more beautiful.
What’s your take?
I keep going back and forth on whether I want to visit Oxford or Cambridge (assuming that I have to choose). I have ridiculously romantic notions of Oxford based on what I’ve seen on TV and read in books. But, Rick Steves and other travel advisers say that Cambridge is easier — a smaller town with the colleges more concentrated within walking distance of each other. So, for now, I think that Cambridge will be my choice.
A FABULOUS post, Joy! While I’ve visited Oxford twice (and want to go again for a more extended trip), I’ve never been to Cambridge. I plan to save the post for future excursions across the pond 🙂
I haven’t actually been to Cambridge, even though it’s only about 2 and a half hours away. I would like to go though, I hear it’s a nice city.