What to see in England
Tourist attractions Cambridge
Bursting with history, artistic heritage and tradition, Cambridge is one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious university towns. Around 55 miles north of London, Cambridge and its famous university have shaped some of Britain’s, and the world's, most influential scientists, poets, politicians, intellectuals and writers. The academic atmosphere is palpable, but it is also impossible to ignore the elegant architecture of Cambridge’s centuries-old colleges and the town's enduring traditions such as punting on the River Cam or stopping for afternoon tea at one of the towns historic tearooms.
Of course, this town is best known for its university, founded all the way back in 1209, and on a tour of Cambridge, you can discover its historic university buildings, such as King’s College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory and Cambridge University Library, to name just a few. Today, the city is a hub of creativity and innovation, with a youthful atmosphere that never loses sight of its heritage. If you travel to Cambridge you can walk in the footsteps of great minds at every turn, admire the centuries-old architecture or rest on the well-manicured college lawns, known as ‘the backs’.
Oozing with character and charm, it is easy to visit Cambridge from London as it is well-connected by rail and road. Furthermore, the town itself is pretty compact, with all the sights within walking distance of each other. Alternatively, rent a bicycle and discover Cambridge on two wheels, just like the locals do!
Things to see in Cambridge
A sightseeing paradise, there are countless things to see in Cambridge so you could easily spend a few days here, exploring its historic sights and soaking up the cosmopolitan atmosphere. There’s no better place to start a tour of Cambridge than at King’s College Chapel. The jewel in Cambridge’s architectural crown, this 16th-century chapel is considered of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the country. An icon of the city’s skyline, King’s College Chapel is home to the largest fan vault ceiling in the world not to mention its fine medieval stained glass windows and highly polished choir stalls. Simply awe-inspiring, if you have the chance don’t miss out on an Evensong performance to hear the world-famous King’s College Choir in person. Evensong is held every weeknight during term time.
Another of the best things to see in Cambridge is the elegant Bridge of Sighs. Spanning the River Cam between the Third Court and New Court of St. John’s College, this 19th-century covered bridge is named after its famous Venetian counterpart. Said to be Queen Victoria’s favourite sight in Cambridge, for the best view take a punting trip along the River Cam, where you’ll pass directly under this characterful landmark.
When it comes to the different university colleges, two stand out as must-see highlights of a trip to Cambridge. Firstly, Corpus Christi College is one of Cambridge’s oldest colleges, famed for educating some of the most academically successful graduates in history. Founded in 1352, it is home to exquisite buildings and strolling through its courtyards and hallways, you’re sure to notice the serene, quiet atmosphere. Like stepping back in time, Corpus Christi is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge. Be sure to explore the college’s Parker Library, home to rare Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.
Secondly, Trinity College, the largest and most famous of the towns historic colleges, is another must-see. It’s impossible to miss thanks to its elaborate Tudor-era gateway and gilded statue of college founder, Henry VIII. Trinity’s Great Court is the largest courtyard in the UK, whilst its Wren Library is home to priceless books and manuscripts such as the original works of Shakespeare! Furthermore, Trinity College alumni include Sir Isaac Newton, Prince Charles and Lord Byron, to name just a few.
Once you’ve explored the colleges and strolled through the charming lanes of the old town, be sure to visit Fitzwilliam Museum. Here you’ll find priceless works of art and antiques, including a great collection of masterpieces from the likes of Monet, Picasso, Rubens and Vincent van Gogh. Entrance to the museum is free.