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An August 2010 trip to Cambridge by Liam Hetherington

Kings College Chapel Photo, Cambridge, England More Photos
Quote: I was lucky enough to live and study in Cambridge 1996-2000. Ten years later I thought it was high time for me to return and see what - if anything! - had changed in this most anachronistic of towns.

Cambridge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cambridge: Colleges and Courtyards"

Emmanuel College Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
How many Cambridge fellows does it take to change a light-bulb?What do you mean, "change"?A trip to Cambridge is in many ways like taking a trip back in time. In few places in Britain is there such a concentration of historic buildings – Saxon churches abutting medieval courtyards, backed with 17th century accommodation blocks, reached over Victorian neo-gothic bridges. Traditions and legends endure in this town of cobbles, chapels and courts simply because they have always done so. The archaic is lauded, the anachronistic loved. Where else would Henry VIII carry a chairleg? Where else would poets keep bears in their rooms and aristocrats turn traitor for the KGB? Where...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Colleges

King's College Chapel

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Attraction | "Become a Fan of Famous Chapel Vaults"

King's College Chapel Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
King’s College Chapel is the biggest chunk of stonework in Cambridge. It is probably the most recognisable single symbol of the city, a towering tall white shape that dominates the town completely. It is larger and considerably grander than many English cathedrals!King Henry VI, one of England’s more ineffectual kings (later deposed by his cousin), mandated the construction of King’s College. He himself dictated the dimensions of the chapel that was to be attached to it – 289 feet long, 40 feet wide and 94 feet high (80 feet high inside). Work commenced in 1446 but halted suddenly 15 years later with the news that the Duke of York had taken Henry captive – upon hearing this the work...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

King's College Chapel
King's Parade
Cambridge, England CB2 1ST
+44 1223 331100

Trinity College

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Attraction | "The Holy Trinity: Wealth, Power & Privilege"

Trinity College Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
The grounds of Trinity College stand on both banks of the Cam. And their finances fill banks of a different variety. Trinity is the largest college in Cambridge. It is the richest college in Cambridge. Its roll of alumni is probably the most noteworthy of any in Cambridge. Is it any wonder that the members of less fortunate colleges harbour a secret dislike of Trinity? It is, after all, the Manchester United (or, more probably, the Chelsea) of Cambridge colleges. Accusations of arrogance are flung at its students. "How many Trinity students does it take to change a lightbulb?" the joke goes; "One – they hold the lightbulb and the rest of the world revolves around them…"But sa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Trinity College
Trinity Street
Cambridge, England CB2 1TQ
+44 1223 338400

Queens' College Cambridge

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Attraction | "Mathematical Bridges Count for a Lot"

Queens' College Cambridge Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
For my money Queens’ College is undoubtedly the prettiest college in Cambridge. That is a little unfair, as their bottle-green scarf is also the most attractive. They have an enviable position on both sides of the Cam, linked by one of the country’s most famous bridges, a startlingly ornate Old Hall, and the only substantial half-timbered 16th century building in the city. Their college theatre was certainly the best in Cambridge while I was there and Britain’s favourite polymath comedian Stephen Fry is an honorary fellow there. I must admit to a little bit of college envy when I think of Queens’.Any tour of the college starts at the gatehouse to Old Court. This is rather hidden dow...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Queens' College Cambridge
Silver Street Crosses River Cam
Cambridge, England CB3 9ET
01223 335 511

Christ's College

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Attraction | "The Evolution of a College"

Christ's College Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
Christ’s College, where I studied from 1996 to 2000 is not one of the more famous colleges in Cambridge. It does not have the grand river frontages of Queens’, King’s, Clare, St. John’s, Trinity or Magdalene and is rather separated across Market Square and the Grand Arcade shopping centre from the main Trinity Street – King’s Parade – Trumpington Street drag. Its nearest neighbours are Emmanual to the east and Jesus to the north. Ask any student of my era abou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Christ's College
St Andrew's Street
Cambridge, England CB2 3BV
+44 1223 334900

Punting

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Attraction | "Punters do it Standing Up"

Queens' College Cambridge Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
Cambridge can be a sedate bookish place, particularly out of term time. The nearest it comes to extreme sports is the noble art of punting.The Fens of East Anglia were historically a land of shallow creeks and flooded meadows. It was in this landscape that the use of punts deleveloped. These are flat bottomed skiffs that are not rowed but rather punted along with a pole. Use of these is now redundant in most areas but they have really caught on in Cambridge and their usage is now synonymous with the River Cam.Due to the presence of weirs the Cam, which swings around Cambridge in a sickle-shape from the meadows in the south, out west along the College Backs and then back...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Punting
The River Cam
Cambridge, England

Pubs

The Eagle Pub

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Attraction | "Pints, Pilots and Professors"

Quote:
The Eagle on Bene’t Street is not Cambridge’s oldest pub. Nor is it the plushest. It is, however, somewhere very special with two good claims to fame. The place is certainly old and atmospheric enough, don’t get me wrong, and conveniently located just off King’s Parade opposite the Saxon St Bene’t’s Church, the oldest standing building in all of Cambridgeshire. Originally called The Eagle And Child, a hostelry has used these premises since 1667 and the pub houses a string of rambling rooms with exposed timber beams straggling away from the street in an inverted ‘L’-shape. In the crook of the ‘L’ is a courtyard with picnic tables; above is a suspended balcony, allowing access ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

The Eagle Pub
8 Bene't Street
Cambridge, England
01223 505 020

The Anchor

Restaurant | "Cambridge's Anchor"

The Anchor Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
Sitting in the sun with my girlfriend on the small riverside terrace at The Anchor, a pint of Abbot Ale in my hand, watching the ducks and swans on the Millpond taking evasive action to avoid haphazard first-time punters as they emerge from under the Silver Street Bridge, I couldn’t help but think that Cambridge doesn’t get much better than this. The Anchor has always been a bit of favourite of mine, despite the fact that my college was over the other side of town from it (though then again, very few places in central Cambridge are more than a 15-minute walk from anywhere ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

The Anchor
12 Silver Street
Cambridge, England CB3 9EL
44 (0) 1223 353554

Fort Saint George

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Restaurant | "A Pub for Commoners"

Fort Saint George Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
Cambridge is a town famously crammed with boozers. Pubs of different vintages and character abut each other cheek-by-jowl all over the place, even before you add in the different restaurants and college bars. For example, in my second year I lived on a short stretch of road called King Street that once had no fewer than 16 pubs along its length (although that number had fallen to just five by my time there). The ‘King Street Run’ used to be a challenge whereby a student would sprint from one end to the other in under an hour, drinking a pint of beer in each. Yet The Fort Saint George might just be the city centre’s most isolated pub. It was certainly always one that I always had a l...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Fort Saint George
Midsummer Common
Cambridge, England
01223 354327

Places to Eat

Browns Bar and Brasserie

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Restaurant | "Going to Town? Go to Browns"

Browns Bar and Brasserie Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
Dining at Browns is a bit out of the reach of most student wallets, or at least it was while I lived in Cambridge. The food is famously good and the atmosphere is classily refined, but most people reserved it for special occasions or if Daddy was paying. I never went there with parents and this was probably only my third visit. The former outpatients’ building of Addenbrooke’s Hospital opposite the Fitzwilliam Museum at the bottom of Trumpington Street houses the restaurant. The interior is lovely. It is light and airy with its high windows, ceiling fans, lots of potted palms, and a colour scheme of cream paintwork, wood and brass. There is a slightly separate bar area beyond the gr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Browns Bar and Brasserie
23 Trumpington Street
Cambridge, England CB2 1QA
01223 461655

Eraina Taverna

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Restaurant | "Ancient Greek Lessons"

Eraina Taverna Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
If I were to ask you to think of Cambridge’s oldest restaurant, what images would spring to mind? Hearty British fare? Hunks of meat spit-roasting over a blazing fire? Warm beer by the mugload? A sense of continuity and tradition spanning the centuries? Wrong. Think instead of a Greek taverna.Due to the turnover in restaurants in Cambridge (and the fact that historically most students have dined in Hall) the town’s oldest such establishment is instead the Eraina Taverna, tucked away behind St Benet’s Churchyard. Or so the proprietor claims, and no one seems to have seen fit to challenge the claim. It certainly seems to have been here since the 1970s anyway, and the cheerfully...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

Eraina Taverna
2 Free School Lane
Cambridge, England
01223 368786

St John's Chop House

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Restaurant | "Great Food Served Chop-Chop!"

St John's Chop House Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
For our last night we dined at one of the two chop houses in Cambridge. One sits on King’s Parade with views across the street to King’s College. This wasn’t that one. This was located at the rear of St John’s College, slightly away from the heart of town. If heading up Bridge Street, cross over Magdalene Bridge, past the college of the same name, and head up towards Castle Hill. Turn left at the crossroads onto Northampton Street, and the restaurant is a couple of minutes walk up here opposite The Punter pub (formerly The Town & Gown) in a 17th century brick building. It’s a rather ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

St John's Chop House
21-24 Northampton Street
Cambridge, England 3 0
01223 353 110

Grantchester

The Orchard Tea Garden

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Restaurant | "Forever England"

The Orchard Tea Garden Photo, Cambridge, England
Quote:
South of Cambridge lies Grantchester. This is in many ways a picture-perfect English village with thatched cottages and at least four pleasant country pubs. It has often been seen as a pleasant excape from the city. The route up to the Old Vicarage, Grantchester (also the name of a Rupert Brooke poem) through Grantchester Meadows (also the name of a Pink Floyd track), either on foot or punting upstream from the Mill Pond, is known as the ‘Grantchester Grind’ (also the name of a Tom Sharpe novel). As you will note it has attracted individuals of an artistic bent since the 1890s. This was when a Mrs Stevenson first started offering refreshments beneath the apple trees. Since then the tradition of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2010

The Orchard Tea Garden
45-47 Mill Way
Grantchester, England CB3 9ND
01223 551 125