Cambridge boasts stunning architecture, wonderful museums and galleries, great shopping and places to eat. This little walking tour takes in some of the best bits but you really have to get in a punt to see the special parts, so do make time for that if possible.

Like many older cities, parking can be pricey and traffic difficult to negotiate. The Park and Ride from Madingley Rd is a good option but the buses back stop at about 8:30pm. I think a better option is to drive down Huntingdon road and park at Castle Hill car park (or on street parking on Pound Hill), walk down the hill and take a stroll up onto Castle Mound to see the view of the city.

Continuing down the hill I might pop into Kettles Yard gallery to see an exhibition or have a tour of the beautiful house. The café is a lovely spot for a coffee too!

Or for a flavour of Cambridge’s past a visit to The Museum of Cambridge would be good start.

Passing over Magdalen Bridge (the original ‘Cam – bridge’) I would clock the punting tours for a sit down later perhaps. If in need of refreshment a stop in Café Foy or Bridges would hit the spot.Bridge Street connection - Magdalene Bridge, Cambridge Traveller Reviews - Tripadvisor

At the end of Bridge street, I might call into the Round church (dating back to 1130) before continuing to the right along St Johns Street, past St Johns College, Trinity and Gonville and Caius. At the corner I’d admire the view of Senate House on the right and Kings College ahead. The University Church (Great St Mary’s) to the left has a tower you can climb for an even better view!What to Know Before Starting at the University of Cambridge

 

After a potter around the market I’d head to Bene’t Street where there are lots of tasty lunch options (like Smokeworks, Bread and Meat or Steak and Honour), followed by a delicious ice cream from Aromi or Jack’s Gelato. If liquid refreshment is more your thing, The Eagle Pub on this street is where the structure of DNA was discovered in 1953. On the corner you’ll see the rather unusual Corpus clock on Corpus Christi College.

For some culture I might head to Fitzwilliam museum, Museum of Zoology, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences or the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The Polar Museum is also very cool but for shopping I’d go to Grand Arcade!

On my way past I’d grab a world-famous Chelsea bun from Fitzbillies (Trumpington Street), they’ve been made here since 1921.

Now for that long earned sit down…I’d head to the punting stations at Mill lane or back up to Quayside and either self-hire (fun but hard work!) or a chauffeured punt. Alternatively, I’d continue south and take in the Botanic Gardens (though maybe that’s best saved for another day!) or walk back along The Backs to admire King College chapel.

Great British breaks: Cambridge | The Sunday Times

 

If I was passing by at 5pm, I might join the queue for Evensong (Mon-Sat) in the chapel (the best way to see this stunning building (for free!).

If it was a pleasant evening a sundowner on the rooftop bar at Varsity Hotel (Thompsons Lane) would be the perfect way to end the day, followed by an evening meal at The Punter, The Ivy Brasserie, Cambridge Chop House or The Pint Shop to name a few. Otherwise I’d pop into Cambridge Wine Merchants (Bridge Street) and get a bottle of something nice to have back at Crafts Hill Barn!

 

Hope that gives you a taster of the delights of Cambridge, do ask if you need any information or advice on places to go!

 

natural swimming pond

 

 

We are so delighted with the creation of our swimming pond at Crafts Hill Barn. It was used extensively by ourselves during the spring last year and then by guests once we were open in July. It would not be an exaggeration to say it was our salvation during that first lockdown when the weather was so wonderful and we could not explore further; it felt like our own little piece of paradise surrounded by dragonflies and waterlilies.

Once the temperature started to drop, I realised I didn’t want to waste the resource so vowed to try and swim once a week through the winter. After some inspirational research I found the benefits of cold-water swimming were extensive and with proper precautions taken, a safe way to push myself and invigorate the body and mind.
The benefits certainly sound enticing:

  • Increased metabolism (much needed by those of us in middle age!)
  • Better circulation
  • Reduction of stress and enhanced mood
  • Better sleep
  • Boosted immune system (we all want one of those at the moment!)
  • Protecting the brain from degenerative diseases like dementia (researchers from Cambridge University have recently discovered)

While the benefits were enticing, there are risks to be aware of with cold-water swimming and it is important to know your limits. The following precautions are generally recommended:

  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Don’t swim after drinking
  • Keep your extremities warm with neoprene gloves and booties and a bobble hat!
  • Enter the water slowly to avoid cold water shock (we have steps and a ‘beach’ so no need to jump/dive in)
  • Limit the time you spend exposed – undress and get dry layers back on quickly afterwards
  • I have read that one minute in the water per degree Celsius is about right (so 5mins when its 5 °c)
  • Have a warm drink and sugary snack afterwards (great excuse for a chocolate hobnob or two!)
  • Warm up naturally afterwards (hugging the radiator can cause chilblains)

I must say the days I have managed it I have felt invincible and very calm, I will definitely be looking forward to bobbing about on a float in the sunshine later in the year though too! I hope many more of your can give the pond a go in 2021, it may not be the Med but it is a pretty special place.