Three of the Used Car Guys were back in their hometown of Cambridge, UK last weekend for a family event. We took a few German guests home with us, which meant we had to be a tourist guide in our own town for the weekend. Isn’t it often the case that you don’t truly appreciate what you have grown up with until sharing it with someone new?
The University of Cambridge is the second oldest university in the English speaking world (Oxford being the oldest). It is made up of 31 colleges – which are beautifully built, self-contained campuses. Each one includes accommodation for students, libraries, student bars, formal dining halls (yes, the students have to wear their gowns each night for dinner), informal dining cafeterias, a porters’ lodge, and fellows (academics) who are uniquely associated with each college.
I highly recommend taking a flight to London Stansted (nearest London airport to Cambridge) and spending a couple of days exploring this historic city. It’s just 30 mins from RAF Lakenheath too so if you have the chance to be there for work, extend your stay and get into Cambridge. Here’s some tips from those of us in the know…
- Fall is a great time to visit – its much less busy than in Summer when its packed with tourists, and the colors this time of year are fabulous!
- Take a guided walking tour, or grab a guide book and walk yourself around the city. The centre of the city and the heart of the University is mostly contained within a pedestrianised zone. Cars are no use to you in this city!
- You must hire a punt, a unique shallow boat, and explore the ‘backs’ of the colleges. It’s the ideal way to view the best of the university. I’d recommended getting a guide at first or you might get wet!
- Go and have a pint in The Eagle – a very famous pub where Francis Crick and James Watson first announced their discovery of DNA. The ceiling here is famously covered in graffiti by US Airmen stationed nearby during the WWII.
- Visit the American Cemetery and Memorial, which is just outside of Cambridge in Madingley (there are buses or you can take a 15 minute taxi). It was opened in 1956, and commemorates American servicemen and women who died in World War II. It’s beautifully maintained and a very special place to contemplate and give thanks to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
- Attend a choral service at Kings College Chapel – it’s utterly glorious. They are held most evenings at around 5:30pm and are open to the public.