Why is it that whenever I visit Cambridge I feel that I should be hurtling through the alleys on a butchers bike or sat on one of the hundreds of benches with my nose buried in an old dusty book?
The University of Cambridge was officially started in 1209 and the oldest college is Peterhouse which was founded in 1284. According to the Cambridge Tourist Information (www.cambridgetouristinformation.co.uk) The University Library has 29 million book. Which is every book ever published. However there has been a recent agreement between it, the British Library and Oxford’s library that between them they will carry every book ever written. The reason for this is of course the storage is starting to get out of hand.
How to get to Cambridge By Train.
There is a fast and frequent rail service from central London, leaving from Kings Cross and Liverpool Street (www.trainline.com). If your coming from up North or Scotland you will need to change at Peterborough.
If your coming from london and the South it is a short drive up the M11 Motorway. If your coming from the North you will use the A1 and M1 and then A14 into Cambridge. If your staying overnight there is plenty of car parks in the city center but if your staying a few days or a weekend then you would be better using one of the five Park & Ride sites that are located on the edge of the city.
Cambridge does have an international airport but you will need to check on (www.cambridgeairport.com) for carriers and schedules.
National Express operates services from many major towns and cities throughout the UK. There is frequent services from central London and Stansted airport which is only 30 miles South of Cambridge.
Our family’s love of Cambridge started over a decade ago when our oldest son Thomas (Tom) was accepted into St Johns College to study Social and Political Sciences. We were so thrilled for Tom and to think he would be following in the footsteps of great scholars such as William Wordsworth and William Wilberforce. Yes our son….amazing
The moment we set foot onto John’s hallowed walkways we were hooked. Many a long drive south from Hartlepool followed but not once did I ever find it a chore and on one visit we actually seen Professor Stephen Hawkins outside of Marks and Spencer’s (No Bullshit we did). How cool is that?
Anyway, here we are in May 2016 and it’s a glorious sunny day and we want to celebrate Toms 30th Birthday in style.
First thing was to check into our Hotel, The Doubletree by Hilton which is situated right next to the River Cam. One thing you will find in Cambridge is that there is no cheap hotels I paid £179 for a Twin and £209 for a Triple (all with Breakfast) Plus £19 per night for parking. I normally book with www.booking.com but I needed some specifics and so I booked through Hilton for the same price.
Now that we were all booked in and pleased with our rooms, it was time for a drink and something to eat. The gardens at the hotel are lovely with a perfect view of all the mayhem that is also known as Punting. People try to steer a flat bottomed boat with a pole and in many cases they end up in the Cam splashing around and entertaining everyone within earshot.
Next on the agenda was PUNTING. Tom wanted to show us how it should be done !! So off to Scudamore’s (www.scudamores.com) to hire a Punt. The cost for upto 6 people is, Standard Punt Hire £27.50 per hour and Concessions £22 per hour. Don’t worry if you have never done it before, the guys on the river bank will happily show you how crack the art of Punting.
Places to Eat
According to TripAdvisor there are 519 Restaurants in Cambridge and if you want to check out their reviews please look on their website (www.tripadvisor.co.uk). For the Saturday night we ate at St John’s Chop House in Northampton Street. The St Johns’s Chop house serves up a selection of meaty British cuisine that would fill any sized gap. I had the soup of the day served with fresh warm bread, it was delicious. I followed this with Lamb Suet pudding which again was just perfect. The restaurant had a lovely old English atmosphere. Great night.
Although we only stayed in Cambridge for one night, I felt that we had been there much longer because of what we had crammed in. We had a good hotel, good food and of course great company. As we headed back up the A1 to Hartlepool via Leeds to drop William off, Tom was back off to London. Good news is that it is on 3 weeks until we will all meet up again in Sri Lanka, Plus we will also have Joe with us.
I will leave you with a few more photos and if anyone has any questions please drop me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you do have any comments please feel free.