“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” – Leo Christopher
I went to Cambridge to visit friends. Rosski and I flew into London Stansted and we hopped on a train from there straight to Cambridge. We weren’t so much there to sight-see as we were to hang out with Eoin, Rob and Tom. We all met in Bilbao and we all get along so well I can’t imagine it was anything other than serendipity that brought us together! I only wish we could spend more weekends like this together. Even though we weren’t there to be tourists, Rosski and I surprisingly ended up seeing quite a bit of the city. Our main aims in going were to go punting, to drink Prosecco and Pimm’s and to hang out on Tom’s farm – obviously your aims may not be the exact same as ours but I’m going to talk you through my favourite things to do if you find yourself in Cambridge.
The beautiful River Cam flows through Cambridge city centre and it actually goes right through the university. Punting is a wonderful way to see the university grounds while chilling out on a boat! You get to see the Bridge of Sighs too. Punts are Cambridge’s version of the gondola (however should not be confused for one as gondola’s are steered using an oar and punt’s use a pole – which makes life a little bit trickier). I love being on boats, I find it to be the most relaxing thing on the planet, but I was really in my element on the River Cam. You have the option of getting a punting tour or you can rent a self-punt. The punting tours are probably the best bet if you’re travelling in a small group and you’ll have the luxury to sit back and relax while listening to the guide give you a tour of everything you’ll be seeing.
However, considering there were 5 of us, we decided to buy a few bottles of Prosecco and rent the self-punt. It’s cheaper and you’ve got free-range on where you go and what you do. We took the punting in turns, however as I mentioned punting is difficult and some of us were better than others! Poor Eoin and Rob ended up doing the majority of the punting but we did give it a go.
Pimm’s punch in the park
There’s something quintessentially English about Cambridge and Pimm’s is an English classic – so why not do both? Cambridge is full to the brim with beautiful parks. After a long day of punting, there’s nothing more suitable to do than drink some Pimm’s punch in the park.
Rosski and I are the perfect travel partners. This is the first of many travel blogs that she’ll feature in. We’ve been many places together and our style of travel/exploration just clicks. We’re both very easy-going and like to go with the flow. So the day we spent exploring Cambridge city was ideal. We wandered around and took in all of the pretty sites without rhyme or reason. Our first port of call was to buy a gift for Tom’s mum for having us stay on their farm. So, we went to the famous Pint Shop on Pea’s Hill. It’s a really cool gin bar that we went back to for a drink that night. The bartender was extremely helpful and sent us to Cambridge Wine Merchants on King’s Parade, where we picked up a special bottle of gin for her. Both places are must see’s in Cambridge for those of you who appreciate a gin & tonic like us. And as a bonus, on the way you’ll see some fabulous spots in Cambridge such as King’s College Chapel and the Corpus Clock. Also, by walking aimlessly you’ll see most of the places that you want to see. We simply perused the buildings from the outside because a lot of them are not accessible to the public and you have to pay into others. The paved streets of Cambridge give it a very small town feel (even though it’s home to about 150,000 people) which makes the centre quite walkable.
We also all went to CAU on Bene’t Street in the evening. It was absolutely gorgeous – it’s an Argentinian eatery. I didn’t realise at the time but it’s a chain that is spotted all over the U.K and there’s even one in Amsterdam. I’d highly recommend it.
Frolic on a family farm!
Obviously this may not be an option for everyone but I have to mention it in the post because it was really what made our trip to Cambridge so incredibly different. We were lucky enough to be staying on Tom’s farm which meant that we got to play farm! I love farms, I lived on one in France as an Au Pair and for someone who grew up in a city (albeit a small city!), I feel very at home in the countryside. The farm was north of Cambridge close to St. Ives and it meant that our mornings were spent in wellies helping to feed the pigs with Sue, playing with dogs and chilling by the lake while Tom was working.