Sunday, 23 August 2009

Visit Cambridge

Visit CambridgeCambridge, there are few pleasanter ways of passing a sunny summer day than in the cerebral atmosphere of this ancient town of colleges and churches. From the sublime medieval architecture of the city centre to the wildflower meadows along the River Cam, you are surrounded by the echoes of history: there is not a single spot than does not have some story attached to it.

Look around the old university buildings in the city centre. Trinity, St John's and King's are the grandest colleges but the smaller more modest ones like Queens' are just as beautiful in their simplicity of design. Visit the Round Church, built in 1130 and St Benet's Church, the oldest building in Cambridgeshire. The Fitzwilliam Museum, "the finest small museum in Europe" has a superb fine and applied art collection from all over Western Europe and Asia.

Have lunch at The Eagle, the oldest pub in Cambridge, where Francis Crick made the momentous annoucement that he and James Watson had discovered DNA; then hire a punt and spend the afternoon lazily drifiting along one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the country.

The Cam runs along the "backs", behind the colleges. Starting at the Mathematical Bridge (a curious construction of criss-crossed wooden joists fallaciously attributed to Isaac Newton) go past King's College and under the Bridge of Sighs to Magdalene. Follow the river further, through the country meadowland and you will get to Grantchester, immortalized by war poet Rupert Brooke. Read his poem "The Old vicarage, Grantchester" while drinking tea under the trees at The Orchard.

Bring your day to a glorious close by attending Evensong at King's College Chapel. Listening to the voices of one of the world's most famous choirs in one of England's most beautiful medieval buildings as the evening shadows lengthen is pretty close to heaven.

Don't miss
Kettle's yard, an idiosyncratic modern art gallery that feels as though you are in somebody's house. It was the home of Jim Ede, an avent-garde collector. He knocked together several workman's cottages off Castle Street where he held open house and displayed his collection of paintings, sculptures and objects d'art; on retirement he donated the house and all its contents to the University.

Best time to go
From May to September, booking a finest hotel in Cambridge online, as your best choice.


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