Cambridge is one of the most famous university towns in the world. It’s full of history, ancient architecture and earnest students pedaling their way down cobbled lanes lined with traditional English pubs and grand university buildings. From its core of ancient colleges, the idyllic Cambridge ‘Backs’ (college gardens) leads down from the medieval colleges to the River Cam where university rowers zigzag between drifting punts.
Home to 87 Nobel Prize winners, Cambridge alumni includes the likes of Lord Byron and Sir Isaac Newton. Many of Cambridge University’s 31 colleges date back to the 13th and 14th centuries, and are free to wander. The most famous visit is King’s College, and try to make time for King's College Chapel too, as it's a perfect example of late Gothic architecture. As you stroll, imagine the countless poets, prime ministers, scientists and writers who have studied here.
A city full of museums, galleries, medieval churches and festivals celebrating the likes of Shakespeare and midsummer, Cambridge really is the quintessential university town.
There are regular trains to Cambridge from London King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations (45 minutes to 1.5 hours), or if you’re driving from London just follow the M11 motorway 50 miles north. Stansted Airport is 30 minutes’ south of Cambridge, and there are regular buses (2 hours) from central London. Most colleges have restricted opening times (especially during exams), and some charge admission (entry to King’s College is £7.50 for adults).