Cambridge has to be one of the most famous places in the United Kingdom. It is famed not only because of the excellent and ancient university which is found here, but also for the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race which has a truly international following. It is the place where the atom was split and the mysteries of DNA were unravelled. This is where Sir Isaac Newton put together his theory of gravity and also where Charles Darwin penned his theory of evolution. Perhaps there is something in the water here that provides such inspiration and stimulation to some of the greatest minds in the world that have lived and worked here. Some of the greatest minds of the past half a millennia have at some point called Cambridge their home. Yet signs and reminders of this surprising and incredibly inventive part of Cambridge history are difficult to find as you explore the city. For all of its history and achievements, Cambridge is a quietly understated place.
Things to See and Do
The best way to explore Cambridge is on foot as much of the town has been pedestrianised and quite simply the only way that you are going to get to see many of the town attractions is by making your own way there on two feet, unless of course you feel balanced enough to tour the town on two wheels as cycling is as popular as ever in this pretty university town. An alternative way to take in the sights of Cambridge would be by taking to the river, something that most visitors to the town invariable end up doing. You can have some of the best fun you will ever have taking a punt out onto the river. There are a number of rental places along the river side and up to five people can travel together on the one punt. If you feel incapable of manoeuvring yourself through the water then you can always opt for a chauffeur driven punt.
Whilst in Cambridge you must take the time to absorb the stunning architecture at King’s College Chapel. Constructed in 1446 its gothic design and remarkable (almost flat) ceiling was the cutting edge in design in its day. Over the alter you will find Ruben’s ‘Adoration of the Magi’ which was painted in 1634. If design and construction are one of your interests make a point of visiting ‘Mathematical Bridge’ in Queen’s College. It is best viewed from the Silver Street Bridge. Mathematical Bridge was the first bridge ever constructed which was based entirely upon mathematical principles.
Places to Visit
All of the old Cambridge colleges are worth visiting, if only to soak up the atmosphere within them. A peculiar statue of Henry VIII can be found outside the Trinity College Gatehouse. You will find him holding an orb in the one hand and an old wooden chair leg in the other. Take in the wonderful views from King’s College Bridge. The bridge is only accessible when the college is open to visitors and offers views of Clare College, King’s College and King’s Chapel. Most people take to the river during the summer, with much of the river congestion occurring between Clare Bridge and Trinity Gardens. Get yourself a viewing point on Garrett Hostel Lane and it won’t be long before you see someone falling off a punt and into the river. The old town holds its own attractions and you can spend hours wandering around the ancient, winding medieval streets.