The UK has no shortage of charming villages, towns and cities but there are a few that easily top of my list of favourites.
Cambridge may seem obvious as I called it home for six months in 2013 but it’s genuinely one of the prettiest places I’ve visited in the UK.
Dotted with colleges dating from varying architectural ages, each building is steeped in its own unique history. There’s also the air of mystery to each as they’re actually quite difficult to actually get into! Knowing a member of the college is the best ticket inside but you could also hire a Cambridge guide to help you wheedle your way past dedicated security guards intent on keeping out the riffraff (that’s you and I, my friends!)
For those of you in my homeland asking why the university town has so many colleges, here’s the quick rundown of the system unique to Cambridge and Oxford (I think there are a couple of others who follow this model in the UK but can’t say for certain…):
The University of Cambridge is made up of individual colleges and students apply to the college of their choosing directly (as opposed to the University overall). A student’s college is where they live, where they take their lessons and where they meet with tutors – basically it’s a university within a university.
My friend Alyssia had been to the UK a number of times but never seen Cambridge so when she was on this side of the pond a few weeks ago we decided to hop a train and head back to my old stomping grounds.
We were greeted by storm clouds and rain but refused to let it dampen our spirits, wandering the 25 minutes or so along the main road until late 20th century houses gave way to buildings which are hundreds of years old.
After a meandering wander down the cobbled lanes we ducked into The Eagle for lunch before continuing our tour.
We crossed the River Cam to the college backs before coming around towards town.
From there we walked to The Fitzwilliam Museum to soak up some culture.
Having spent most of the day on our feet (for the second day in a row as we’d covered most of London the day before in an epic shopping tour) we decided to head back towards the train station and the journey back to London.
A cheap, cheerful day in a gorgeous city – what more could you as for?