With Covid-19 still quite an active presence around the world, a lot of the UK is looking for a staycation or a day trip to replace their holiday.
I thought I’d share a few recommendations over the coming weeks for places to visit for a short amount of time and what you can do there. The UK is full of beautiful villages, towns and cities waiting to be explored.
We’re continuing the UK Staycation series with Cambridge! The Ying to Oxford‘s Yang. If you’re reading this post Covid, this is also a good day trip or a good stop on a longer UK visit from abroad!
The first thing you’re likely going to look at when planning a trip to Cambridge, or anywhere for that matter, is accommodation. Most times, people look for hotels or AirBnBs. If you’re going to Cambridge, I would strongly recommend staying in the university if possible.
We found one of the university apartments on Booking.com which meant we spent our time in Jesus College. The apartment was spacious, conveniently located in the town, and the booking included a breakfast that was delivered to the room. If Covid hadn’t closed the college, we would have also had access to the grounds as well! So in a post Covid world, this is an absolute steal!
If you can’t stay in a university building, don’t worry, there are lots of them around the town to explore. In fact, the town seems to be mostly university buildings with town buildings scattered in between!
If you get the opportunity, check out the inside of some of these awesome and historical buildings. Each college has its own chapel which are open to the public. To get a good view of most colleges from one spot, head up the Great St Mary’s Tower in the centre of town (£6) and get an amazing birds eye view of the entire city. They have guides with maps that show where each college is.
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m obsessed with finding a good place to eat wherever I go. I would strongly recommend you look up some places in Cambridge that suit your tastes and book ahead for dinner to make sure you get a spot! I suggest checking Instagram, Pinterest and search engines.
There are some incr-‘edible’ eats around Cambridge that you have to check out. A few places we went which I would highly recommend include Stem and Glory, Vegan Vice and Doppelgänger burger.
Stem and Glory were more of an ‘out for dinner’ restaurant and their Covid protections meant alfresco dining for all booked tables. It was beautiful outside the night we went but most seating is covered in case of bad weather. Vegan vice and doppelgänger were good junk food places and I would travel that far just to eat that food again. It was amazing!
The river Cam runs right through Cambridge and is very hard to miss while wandering around the town. Punting is infamous as the best way to explore the university buildings and city, you should definitely try this if you’re heading to Cambridge.
There are two options when considering punting; a boat tour where you are part of a group that gets punted through the university buildings – this is the easier option, much less stress and you see a lot of the university. However, if you’re feeling like trying something new and challenging yourself, hire a self drive punt and take yourself down the quieter side of the river to Granchester – or as far as you can within your allotted time!
Whichever way you choose, make sure you take a picnic and a few drinks on the boat and relax!
There are a lot of pubs in Cambridge, as with every British town! Whether it’s an Aperol Spritz or a Diet Coke that tickles your tastebuds, head to one of these quaint pubs or a riverside garden for a relax after your punt up the river.
The anchor near the punting stations is very good for a cold post punt pint. Unfortunately, it was still closed on my last trip due to Covid restrictions but is due to open again towards the end of August. Further up the river, there is a pub called Fort St George which had a very large garden to set camp in. Finally, closer to the station and he museums, the Prince Regent has a large beer garden for a pre train drink or just afternoon outside.
Obviously there are so many pubs about the town so a bit of scouting about and you’ll find your perfect pint paradise!
I’m a firm believer in wandering around without direction to get to know a place better and Cambridge is no exception! The town is steeped in history and for a lot of the trip, we spent our time walking aimlessly looking at the buildings. We followed it up by buying a cheap guide from Waterstones and looking up the historical stuff from a nice green space in the centre.
One thing we did in Cambridge specifically was a night time wander. This was really cool because the streets were empty and the old style buildings lit up like a Harry Potter novel. It was also a brilliant opportunity for me to test out my new photography skills after a crash course from my partner!
Finally, remember this is a holiday! You need some time to relax so spend some time relaxing and enjoying yourself. Don’t run yourself ragged trying to do everything. There are lots of things I didn’t mention that you can do such as museums and other attractions but if you’re there to have a good time, pick a few things you’re aiming to do then anything else is a bonus.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you’ve done during your visit!