Cambridge. For the ones who have heard its name- it is one of the premier institutions of the globe. However, for the unversed – it is a historical city with a charming backdrop ornamented by late Gothic architecture and medieval-era glass windows. The turrets still have owls, while the immaculate greens provide you with solitude. So, if you have a day to spare, what to do in Cambridge for a day? This write-up will provide the answers –
Just a note before you start – when you do plan a day trip to this arena, try to get a student card to access the respective colleges (which you may visit if you have some extra time), and keep cash handy (since some of the small food trucks prefer to sale in cash).
You are all set to go –
What to do in Cambridge for a day?
Though Cambridge is slow to start its morning routine, arriving early is better (since you just have the day). Catch your breakfast at Hot Numbers and get set to explore the city.
In the First Part of the Morning – you can plan on visiting –
#1. Market Square and Corpus Clock
Start your day by heading to Market Square. With a plethora of offerings from street food to souvenirs, you will have something to gorge on and collect for the long day tour ahead.
By the way – right in the morning, before you hit the market – stop by the Corpus Clock to check its uniquely designed ripple gold system and time-eating monster.
#2. St. John’s College
The college and the green lanes surrounding the same are a treat to check out. Stair up to the chapel and check out the serene Bridge of Sighs. Postpone the other sites for an hour or two and go punting under this bridge. This is one activity you can’t miss adding to the list of what to do in Cambridge for a day.
#3. Church Tower at St. Mary’s
This church is 800 years old and takes 123 steps to reach! You will have to pay a minimal fee to check out this tower – but it is totally worth the time and money! No other place will give you a view of the complete city like this.
In the Second Part of the Morning, extending onto the Afternoon – you can visit
#1. Trinity College
The wealthiest and one of Cambridge University’s elitist colleges, this college founded by King Henry the Eighth, is a must-visit destination. From the chapel to the Great Court and finally, to the Wren Library (which has Newton’s notebooks and manuscripts dating back to the 12th century) – you will require a good 2-3 hours to tour this entire place.
Access to Wren Library is available for the public from 12:00 to 14:00 hours. As you sit down to plan your itinerary – make sure to add this to your what to do in Cambridge for a day list.
#2. Fitzwilliam Museum
Once you are done with the lunch, the next destination you must plan in your itinerary is – the Fitzwilliam Museum, which opened back in 1848. It houses some of the rarest collections ranging from the African ends of Sudan to the ancient relics of Greece.
If you have the Evening to spare – take a trip to
The day has been long, with too much to see. It is perhaps time for you to retire, but not before you check out the chapel at King’s College.
Chapel at the King’s College
Housing the largest fan-vaulted ceiling in the world, you can explore this chapel best when the sun goes down. You can tour this place with the assistance of specific alumni groups. As a Tudor-era masterpiece, the medieval windows refract the light creating the perfect light and shade powerplay.
The chapel, which was an initiative of Henry, The Sixth – is the site of the traditional 470-year-old evensong. There’s no chance for you to miss it!
Well, that was all you could add to your list of – what to do in Cambridge for a day? Once you are done for the day, you can proceed with your dinner plans in and around Cambridge.
Are you staying back for another day?
This was all you could do on a single-day trip to Cambridge. However, if you have some time to spare in your hand, you could quickly wait for another day or two. This will give you time to visit the nearby areas after you are done exploring Cambridge for a day.
The spots to check out are – the meadows of Grantchester village, which, apart from its rustic charm, offers you a show at the Tea Orchard Garden. Done with that? Then visit the Ely township that offers you its exquisite beauty and a glimpse of the cathedral as well.
You can always connect with the tour agents to explore more areas.
Where will you stay?
If you are lucky and have connections in the University(you will require special permissions), or even if you are a student – the dorm is available. Else, there are traditional hotels and homestays available for you.
In all of the cases mentioned above, you will have to book the hotels and dorm rooms previously.
How will you get to Cambridge?
When exploring what to do in Cambridge for a day, you need to understand your position as a visitor. If you are a University student, you may tour these places right from your campus.
However, if you are visiting from beyond the campus range – you may choose flights (connected with Europe – nearest airport: Stanstead Airport). Wish to hit the road? The Queen Terrace Car Park and the Grafton East Car Park are both alternatives for a road trip. There are plenty of shuttle buses available for traveling to Cambridge.
For train – lovers, the Cambridge Train Station is just 25-minutes from the town. It is connected to London, Ipswich, Ely, and Norwich, apart from others.
Which is the best time to visit?
Unlike the cold and rainy London, Cambridge is a destination you can visit around the year. However – the temperature is perfect for a day visit from June through September (temperature ranges from 16-20 degrees). As you enter October, the temperature starts dropping, and you will experience a cold and rainy combination from December to February.
Try to avoid the Christmas to New Year week since most of the colleges are shut, and hence some of the walks and other historical sites are closed.
#In the month of June-July, you can visit the Cambridge Folk Festival, which harnesses singing talents from different parts of the world.
Are you the weekend tour or the day-tour kind of person? In that case, you can click here to check out things to do in Pinehurst, NC, over the weekend.
What should you carry with you?
An umbrella, for sure!! You can never trust the British weather (though Cambridge fares better than other parts). Apart from that, if you wear the usual jeans, sweatshirt, or a shirt combo, you can carry a light jacket (if you are too cold-prone).
How did Cambridge come to the limelight?
Just before you go – here is a piece of info for you: Initially, Oxford had the best brains. However, after Cambridge University was founded in 1209, most students shifted due to the riots in and around Oxford University (St.Scholastica Day Riot). Since then – the university has just had the best!!
All set to go?
Are you excited thinking about what to do in Cambridge for a day? Hopefully, this write-up could present an apparent guide that will assist you in planning your itinerary. Enjoy your trip, and let us know if you have some interesting news.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.