Cambridge is an ancient university town, which, despite the booming student population, has remained quaint and culturally rich. Home to many leading museums and art galleries, there's always plenty to do and see in and around Cambridge. Snaking its way through the city, the river Cam provides a hub of activity: don't miss out on the opportunity to try you hand at punting, which allows a unique view of the city. Cambridge has a lively cultural scene, and hosts many arts festivals and events throughout the year. Its status as a university city means that it is a key stop on the UK touring scene, attracting many top artists and touring exhibitions. Although somewhat conservative, Cambridge's abundance of historical interest and remarkable architecture make it a must!
Cambridge's most impressive sites are its colleges, which you will inevitably come across while strolling through the city. Founded in 1284, Peterhouse is the oldest and smallest of Cambridge's colleges: its medieval architecture and charming courtyards are worth seeing. Other impressive colleges are Pembroke, Queen's and King's ? which is impossible to miss if you're in the town centre. But be sure not to stray onto the college lawns? college rules are strict and the porters are notoriously disagreeable.
If you've had enough of the colleges, head further afield to see the impressive collection of fighter planes at Cambridge's aviation museum. Kids and grownups alike will love exploring the planes.
Take a walk along the river on the Queen's green. This stretch has magnificent views over the backs of the colleges, and is the perfect place to watch punters capsize? Or if you're feeling more adventurous, have a go at punting yourself! Punts can be hired from the (pushy) scouts on the bridges. Bring along a picnic (and a change of clothes), and be prepared to get wet.
For a real Cambridge experience, try to catch a choir rehearsal at one of the university chapels. Kings College Chapel is the most famous building in Cambridge, and their choir is renowned on an international scale.
Cambridge is an exciting centre for research and history, and this is reflected in the quality of its numerous museums. Visit Fitzwilliam's museum, which houses collections of art and antiquities spanning centuries, although their modern art exhibits are just as impressive. The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is another great stop for the historians among us. And for something a little more relaxed, head over the river to Kettle's yard, which contains a distinctive collection of modern art and often hosts talks from local artists.
A small city with an enormous student population, Cambridge is noticeably more animated during term time. Consider this fact when planning your trip: those who prefer peace and quiet would probably benefit from a conveniently planned trip during the school holidays! The city is easily accessible by train, with fast trains leaving twice an hour from King's Cross London.
Cambridge is not great for shopping. Avoid the town centre, which consists mainly of high-street shops. However the market that takes place behind St Mary's Church is worth a visit.
Fitzbillies' Chelsea buns! Simply the best - worth skipping out on lunch to make space for tea time? Fitzbillies bakery can be found at 52 Trumpington Street, just a stone's throw away from King's College. Stop off on your way to Pembroke College, or Fitzwilliam's Museum. Try out the fudge at the fudge shop in King's Parade (free samples are available). Alternatively, relax with a pint of locally-brewed I.P.A. ale from a riverside pub.
To bring back
There is an enormous selection of University of Cambridge memorabilia to choose from?