Since seeing Oxford on a recent day trip I’ve been itching to visit England’s other famous university and #1 Oxford rival, Cambridge. It’s an easy day trip from London via train from King’s Cross station. Just like Oxford, being at Cambridge made me want to be a student again, especially on a campus like this. I’ve always loved school (nerd alert!) and the history and prestige enveloping the entire place had me feeling extra academic.
One day was perfect to see the highlights and stroll around campus. Some photo evidence…
Touring King’s College Chapel (pictured above and below). King Henry VI laid the first stone for the college in 1441 although he never saw it to completion as it took over a century to finish and he was executed at the Tower of London thirty years after laying the initial stone. British draaamaaaa.
Christ’s College is free to enter. Charles Darwin lived here during his time at Cambridge and it could be argued that his theory of natural selection is a result of the connections he made here. One of his mentors in the school recommended him for the boat expedition that led to his discoveries at the Galapagos Islands and eventual theories about evolution. NBD.
My absolute favorite activity of the day was our punting boat tour with Scudamore’s Punting. You can purchase your ticket at the Tourist Info Center or at one of the two boat docks. What are punt boats you say? I learned they are flat-bottomed boats propelled with a long pole. You can rent your own and DIY the punting or pay to ride as a guide does all the work while describing the history of Cambridge and the “College Backs” (backside of the college buildings along the river). We took the relaxing route obviously.
Know Before You Go:
- Trains from King’s Cross are direct from London to Cambridge in ~45 minutes. You can walk from the Cambridge train station to the center of campus in 10 minutes.
- Hit up the Tourist Info center to buy punting tickets, a walking map, and your King’s College Chapel tickets. VisitCambridge.org has all the details.
- Clarendon Arms was voted one of the top 10 restaurants in Cambridge this year and it lives up to its claim to fame. Dine here or get a pint on your way back to the train station.
So if I had to choose my favorite campus between Cambridge and Oxford…I choose Cambridge. It’s a close call but what really tipped the scales towards Cambridge was the warm spring weather and my faithful travel companion, my sis Laura. You can’t go wrong visiting either campus and I really recommend you take a break from the chaos of London to do so if you’re ever in these parts.