Things to do in Cambridge, and why you’d love it

Cambridge is the administrative center of Cambridgeshire, England and is situated about fifty miles north of the city of London. Cambridge covers an area of forty-four square miles and has a population of over one hundred and twenty thousand people. The city is best known as a university town and is the home of Cambridge University. The area in which Cambridge was built originally began as a settlement during the Roman invasion of Britain during the first century. Its unique geographical position and topography of the area made it a valuable military fortification to defend the River Cam.

During the four centuries of Roman rule, the area was an important trade center. To this day, remnants of Roman roads and fortifications can be seen in this area. After the Roman departure, the area was claim by the Saxons. It was during this time that Cambridge benefited from trade caravans that traveled through the area. During the ninth century, Cambridge once again traded hands and fell under the rule of the Vikings. The Vikings increased trade within the area, and as a result Cambridge went through a rapid period of expansion. The eleventh century saw the city claimed by William the Conqueror and he built a formidable castle on Castle Hill. During the thirteenth century, the University of Cambridge was founded.

Today, the educational needs of the city is met by the two universities, the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. It is also serviced by several primary, secondary and independant schools.

These include

  • Abbey Meadows
  • Alderman Jacobs School
  • Cherry Hinton Juniors
  • Bushmead, Caldecote Primury
  • Bassingbourn
  • Coleridge Community College
  • Parkside Community College
  • Ely Community College
  • Sir Harry Smith Community College
  • St Bede’s School
  • Swavesey Village College
  • St Ivo School
  • The Manor Community College
  • Thomas Clarkson Community College
  • Witchford Village College
  • St Neots Community College
  • St Peter’s School
  • Soham Village College

Colleges in Cambridge include

  • Hills Road Sixth Form College
  • Huntingdonshire Regional College
  • Cambridge Regional College
  • Long Road Sixth Form College
  • Neale-Wade Community College
  • Isle College

A must see attraction during your visit to Cambridge is the Fitzwilliam Museum. The Fitzwilliam Museum is the antiquities and art museum of Cambridge University. This museum was established in the nineteenth century with the donation of the art collection of Seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam.

The museum contains five distinct departments which include

  • Applied Arts
  • Coins and Medals
  • Antiquities
  • Manuscripts
  • Printed Books
  • Paintings

Items in the collections include works from

  • Ancient Greece
  • Rome
  • Egypt

There is also an extensive collection of paintings which cover the English, Flemish, Dutch, French, German and Italian schools of art.

Artist represented in this collection include

  • Aelbert Cuyp
  • Frans Hals
  • Salomon van Ruysdael
  • Adriaen van de Velde
  • Jan Weenix
  • William Beechey
  • Edwin Henry Landseer
  • Thomas Lawrence
  • Joshua Reynolds
  • Jan Brueghel the Elder
  • Jan Mabuse, Peter Lely
  • Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Rembrandt
  • Peter Paul Rubens, Pierre Auguste Renoir
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Thomas Gainsborough
  • Andrea Mantegna
  • Raffaellino del Garbo

Another prominent gallery in the city is Kettle’s Yard. Kettle’s Yard originally was the home of Jim and Helen Ede. In 1956, they converted four cottages into one impromptu home to display their extensive collection of twentieth century art. Ten years later, the couple gave the house and the collection to Cambridge University.

Artists represented by the collection include

  • Ben Nicholson
  • Henri Gaudier-Brzeska
  • Henry Moore
  • Constantin Brancusi
  • Christopher Wood
  • Barbara Hepworth

Another prominent attraction located in the city of Cambridge is the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a botanical garden that is situated between Trumpington Road and Hills Road and is in close proximity to Cambridge Railway Station. It covers an area of forty acres and holds ten national collections. This garden was founded in 1831 by Professor John Stevens Henslow, teacher of the famous naturalist Charles Darwin. Some of the features of the gardens include a genetics garden, fern display, cactus house, evolution house, carnivorous plant house, eighty families of flowering plants, limestone rock gardens and sandstone rock garden.

The ten national collections include

  • Alchemilla, Bergenia
  • Fritillaria
  • Lavender
  • Lonicera
  • Ribes
  • Ruscus
  • Saxifraga
  • Tulips and Hardy Geraniums.

Not to be missed is Corpus Christi College. Corpus Christi College was established in 1352 by the Guilds of Corpus Christi under licence by Edward III. One of the oldest building of the college is Old Court. Other buildings of the campus include New Court, Library Court and Botolph Court.

Whipple Museum of the History of Science is home to a large collection of scientific models, instruments, prints, photos, books and apparatus dedicated to the history and nature of scientific achievement. It was built in 1944 by Robert Whipple. The bulk of the collection of this museum dates from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.

Special collections of the museum include

  • Robert Whipple Collection
  • Cavendish Laboratory Collection
  • Fitzwilliam Collection
  • Holden-White Collection
  • Heywood Collection
  • St John’s College Collection
  • Cambridge Instrument Company Collection
  • Trinity College Collection
  • Francis Hookham Collection of Handheld Calculators
  • Plant Sciences Collection
  • J H Steward Collection

Other prominent attractions in the city of Cambridge include

  • Wandlebury Country Park & Nature Reserve
  • Cambridge Corners
  • Shape Walks
  • Tourist Tracks
  • Wicksteed Park
  • Cambridge Folk Festival
  • St John’s College
  • Great St. Mary’s
  • St. Mary the Less
  • St Peter’s
  • All Saints Church
  • Anglesey Abbey
  • The Farmland Museum & Denny Abbey
  • Institute of Visual Culture
  • The Cambridge Arts Picture House
  • Cineworld
  • Vue Cinema
  • Cambridge Chauffeur Punts

Cambridge is also home to a fine collection of restaurants, pubs and hotels.

Popular restaurants in the city include

  • Bella Pasta
  • Bangkok City
  • Hotpot Restaurant
  • The Little Tea Room
  • Trattoria Pasta Fresca
  • Henry’s Cafe Bar
  • The Granta, Burleigh Arms
  • Tang Chinese Buffet Restaurant & Bar

Popular hotels in the city of Cambridge include

  • Garden House Moat House Hotel
  • University Arms Hotel
  • Hotel Felix
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Hotel du Vin

There are also a variety of hostels, one of which that overlooks Parker’s Place in the center of the city. There is also the possibility of being able to stay at one of the city’s colleges at various times during the year.