A Bank Holiday weekend and the decision to be made as to where we would spend the Monday. Now if like myself you dread the long motorway queues, the M25 normally resembles a car park at these times of year, then somewhere not too far away across country was going to be the answer.
Personally I love a seaside resort to capture a nice beach scene with my camera but I had been to the beautiful Southwold last year and the weather wasn’t looking too good on the North Norfolk coast either. Cambridge is only about an hour’s drive from where we live in Bedfordshire and despite visiting the city several years ago, I hadn’t really photographed it. I will always google locations that are photogenic or search on Instagram for some further inspiration. Looking at the types of images that would be possible, the beautiful historic architecture stood out with the subtle colouring of the stone, so reminiscent of the Cotswolds and punting on the River Cam would also be an iconic image to capture.
Park & Ride
We parked at Madingley Road Park & Ride and for myself, Sue & Joanne it only cost £10 to leave the car in the car park and for the return tickets on the bus. A short 10 minute journey and we were right in the centre of the city and the universities.
There is also a sightseeing bus route available and although we didn’t use it on this occasion it is certainly something I will use on a return trip to gain more in depth knowledge of the beautiful city and its history.
So the deal was…I would bring the girls to Cambridge to carry out some retail therapy, which would leave me free for a couple of hours to wander around and discover more with my camera, a win, win situation.
We had a quick bite to eat at Patisserie Valerie (the cakes are awesome) in Bridge Street which offers a nice glass frontage to sit and watch the world go by and then we went our separate ways to meet up in a couple of hours. I had no map but just wandered around the cobbled streets photographing so many of the sights that appear around the next corner.
History oozes out of this city, along with so many famous names who have studied here, Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Prince Charles, Oliver Cromwell, Robert Walpole, Francis Bacon, the list is endless. I found myself tagging along the side of one of the guided tours to listen to the fascinating stories that were being told and similarly the punters on the River Cam will give a running commentary as they pass the various landmarks.
One of the tales related to the Wren Library, which is part of Trinity College completed in 1695 was that it housed medieval manuscripts, works from Milton and Isaac Newton and A.A Milne’s original Winnie-the-Pooh. There is also a fierce rivalry between some of the colleges, most notably Trinity & St John’s. There are also cycle tours, which is another great way to get about Cambridge. In fact I have never seen so many cycles in one place, be careful not all of them are moving at a pedestrian speed.
On the whole, Cambridge has so much to offer and I will definitely be returning soon to learn and absorb more history. The girls told me that they too had a great time, which the various department store carrier bags they were carrying gave testament too.