I could go into my long history of saying ‘I’m going to explore England more’, but not really making it happen for various semi-valid reasons, but I won’t. Spring had sprung and the sun had started to show itself after a string of snow days and typical miserable British weather.
So this was my chance to get out and check out somewhere I’d never been before in the UK, Cambridge.
Cambridge is about an hour and fifteen minute train ride outside London. It apparently has things that are notable there, so I thought why not make a start with what I think I’m going to call the “Discovering the homeland” series, until I come up with a more catchy name.
This was also an opportune bonding time with the sis, who was down from uni that weekend. We departed from London Liverpool Street station, with no solid plans on what to see or where to go, but I knew there was a botanic garden part of Cambridge University that seemed right up my street.
As it happened the Botanic Garden was in fact just up the street from the station, so we headed in to get a dose of that green life, during an uncharacteristic warm and sunny day. We spent about 2 hours exploring and snapping the greenhouse and a couple of portraits of ourselves, as you do.
After the Botanical Garden will decided to take a stroll down the main road which leads to the town centre and see what we come across along the way.
We made a quick stop in The Heong Gallery, which is free and is situated on the grounds of CU’s Downing College, which of course has a classic British appeal, like that depicted in the paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (19th Century artist). It’s a small Gallery with captivating collection of portrait paintings by the artist Stephen Camber’s. The colours are vibrant and the lines intrinsically modern. His exhibition is on until the 20th May, so check it out if you and yourself in Cambridge.
And whilst we were there we snooped around the college grounds to snap the buildings and the dazzling daffodils. Got to catch them whilst they are in bloom!
Not even just saying it, but it was pretty epic. A must when in Cambridge!
We continued to stroll down the high street, veering off into Midsummers Common, to then stroll and snap more of Cambridge’s architectural landscape… you’ll notice a theme in my photography.
We found ourselves in an area not too different from London’s Covent Garden with boutique stores and small eateries, which was perfect as it was tea time. I mean… why not take this englishness up a notch, especially in Cambridge.
We stopped at Fitzbillies, a rockabilly inspired cafe famed for their Chelsea buns. They looked diabetes inducing, but I thought… ‘Life’s too short not to try Fitzbillies famous Chelsea buns!’ Was it worth the risk? Most certainly. Not even just saying it, but it was pretty epic. A must when in Cambridge!
One of the things Cambridge is famous for is being about that punting life. But on this occasion we weren’t. Partly because the sky had now become grey, so it was no longer was instagrammble (slightly joking), but mainly because we were now ready to look for somewhere to have dinner. However, we made a stop at Magdalene Bridge to have a quick look at the punters on the River Cam. Think I’ll have to head back on a summers day and have a go myself.
Back on our stroll we went along Trinity street and Then Kings Parade which had some more cute high-end fashion and beauty stores that I tried to avoid for my own benefit.
After some googling where to eat we settled on Smokeworks, which we figured must be good as there are two of them in Cambridge. It was not bad at all, and we managed to get a fairly healthy meal of grilled chicken salad and rice, in a grill house and at a good price.
After dinner it was time to say bye to Cambridge and get on the train back to London, which we missed because I was rabbiting on to my sister about God knows what, and I struggle with multitasking. Luckily trains are every half an hour so we didn’t get stranded. Which was unlikely to happen at 8:30pm.
Cambridge is a quaint town that can easily be explored in one day to give you enough of a sense about the town. Yes, it’s known for it’s prestigious University but there’s more to it and has a calming relaxed sentiment about it. I’m sure that’s what drew C.S. Lewis to it. The perfect place to dream up Narnia. Okay, he actually wrote Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe whilst at Oxford. Same Diff… Okay I won’t.