Cambridge stands on both banks of the river Cam, at the southern edge of the Fens. The river flows through this area creating a wide, lush zone of park-land.
Similar to Oxford, Cambridge is a famous university town, rich in parks, gardens and magnificent buildings. Oxford’s main street, King’s Parade is lined with the town’s most famous colleges and is the site of St. Mary the Great and St. Edward Churches. The University of Cambridge comprises 31 colleges, the oldest being Peterhouse, founded in 1284 and the most recent being Robinson, founded in 1979. The colleges stand on either side of the river Cam. The river is spanned by elegant bridges, which link the college’s lawns and gardens, forming the grassy stretch of land referred to as the “backs, from where it is possible to see and fully appreciate the college buildings.
Both the life and feel of Oxford is closely tied to the presence of these university institutes. King’s College, founded in 1441 by Henry 6th, is one of the most beautiful. It has a magnificent chapel built in late-medieval English style. The visitor should not miss the vaulted, fanned ceiling and the Rubens alter-piece. Trinity College, founded in 1546 by Henry VIII, is the largest university college in England. The complex is a collection of buildings dating back to the start of the 14th Century, which include the magnificent 1676 library located in Nevile’s Court. The building houses allegorical statues which decorate the ceiling and is surrounded by ornate gardens, accessible by crossing a bridge that spans the Cam Queens’ College, built in 1446 in Queens’ Land, has wonderful Tudor buildings and the magnificent timber frame President’s Gallery, built in the 15th century, the gallery sits over the brick arches of the charming Cloister Court. The college has buildings on both banks of the Cam, joined by the romantic Mathematical Bridge, constructed in 1749.
St . John’s College, the second largest college in Cambridge is situated in St John’s Street. The college, with its 15th and 16th Century buildings, stretches along both sides of the Cam and possesses two bridges, one built in 1712 and the popular Neo-gothic Bridge of Sighs, built in 1831. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located in front of St John’s College, was designed as a copy of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The church, constructed in 1130, possesses an unusual round nave.
Magdalene College, located in Bridge Street, was built in 1842 and stands on the previous site of old Benedictine college. In the courtyard, a magnificent porticoed building from the late 17th Century, houses the Pepysan Library; bequeathed to the college by the writer Samuel Pepys. The library with its 12 sections, contains over 3000 volumes. Magdalene College in 1987, was the last college to agree to admit female students.
Cambridge centre is made up of a network of narrow medieval streets, which are not capable of sustaining the heavy demand of today’s traffic. Furthermore, the parking areas within the centre permit owners to leave their cars only for a short period of time. The best solution therefore is to make use of the Park and Ride system which operates around Cambridge. The scheme allows drivers to park their cars free of charge and to take a bus into the centre. The buses run frequently (approx every ten minutes), the return fare is £1.20 and the service operates from 7:30am until 7.30pm.
Cambridge is situated 75 minutes away by train from London’s King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations., or two hours by bus from Victoria Coach Station. Those travelling by car should follow the M11 and exit at junction 11or 12
Hotels and lodgingEdit
- The Fitzwilliam Museum is amongst one of the oldest public museums. This large Classic building houses works of exceptional quality and rarity. The nucleus of the exhibition is built around the 1816 bequest of Viscount Fitzwilliam. The ground floor Gallery houses displays of Egyptian, Greek, Assyrian and Eagean art, together with Mycanean pottery and bronze artefacts. The Roman Gallery displays [Etruscan Roman Art, imperial busts, pottery, glass and jewellery. The Rotshchild room houses Palaeolithic drawings, manuscripts from the 9th and 10th Century, illuminated manuscripts including the 14th Century Metz Pontifical and an elegant and highly interesting French liturgical manuscript.
- The Glashier Collection is rich in English 16th and 17th Century ceramics and pottery. Its fine collection of paintings includes works by Tiziano and the 17th Century Dutch masters, Impressionist works including masterpieces from Manet and Renoir and paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani and the major English artists, from Hogarth to Constable and from Bonington to Madox Brown. The Fifth Gallery houses Primitive Italian works. The Seventh Gallery houses Italian Renaissance and Baroque works and the Eighth Gallery has the works of Spanish and Flemish artists including Rubens, Van Dyck and Murillo.
- The Museum also has a show-case dedicated to Handel, containing some of his musical scores and a further display which contains the original manuscript of Keats’ poem, “Ode to a Nightingale”.
- Cambridge is situated in East Anglia; a territory that has always safeguarded its tradition and rural character. An area dotted with churches, medieval mills and ancient wind-mills. A 13 km-drive eastwards, along the A1303, will take the visitor to the town of Newmarket in Suffolk.
- Newmarket is the headquarters of horse-racing, an industry which developed here in the 18th Century and which today sees Newmarket home to 3000 horses in training and two race courses, hosting races from April to October. Newmarket is also home to the National Horseracing Museum, which details the history of this sport over the last 300 years. Saffron Walden is located in Essex, 24 km south of Cambridge along the A1301 and B184. This typical East Anglian town has timber framed buildings from the 15th and 16th Century.
- A truly memorable visit can be made to Audley End House. The house, open from April to October, was built in 1614 for the then, Lord of the Treasury and 1st Count of Suffolk, Thomas Howard. This Jacobean mansion has conserved its original atrium and fine stuccoed ceilings.
- During the period 1670 –70, the interior of the house was restyled with Biagio Rebecca frescoes and during the same period, the magnificent parkland, which surrounds the house, was landscaped.
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to CambridgeEdit
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Currency : English pound, sub-divided into 100 pence Electric supply: 240 volts. The plugs require the use of an adaptor.
Climate : May and June can be both cold and sunny. July and August are the only months when fine weather is guaranteed, with temperatures which vary from 25 °C to 28 °C. The temperature drops below freezing in winter with strong winds and rain. The wettest months are April, September and November.
Opening hours : The banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Post offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30 pm. Shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm Museums and galleries are open Monday to Saturday, from10am to 6pm and Sunday from 2pm to 6pm.
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