My suggestions for a day trip to Cambridge, UK. You can see the entire town all in one afternoon and it is a very peaceful university village.
How to Spend 6 Hours in Cambridge, UK
Living in Brighton but not having a car, I had to find a location near by. The train was my immediate solution and after having done Bicester Village (couldn’t help it, it has been my dream outlet for years! – you can check my Bicester Haul video to see my excitement) a week before, I decided to go to Cambridge with my friends. We basically spent 6 hours in Cambridge, more or less an entire afternoon.
how to get there
- BRIGHTON – LONDON VICTORIA / 50min/1h
- LONDON ST PANCRAS – CAMBRIDGE / 50 min/1h
- LONDON VICTORIA – LONDON ST PANCRAS / 20/30 min
Cambridge by train is more or less 2h and 50 min from Brighton. Meaning the usual 50min/1h to go to London Victoria then some time to take the tube and heading to St Pancras train station (which by the way I have forgotten how insanely magnificent it is, inside and outside, I can keep talking about this station for a lot.
I have been there only once to see the Harry Potter 9 3/4 Platform when there wasn’t a huge cue and neither a Harry Potter shop. Also there wasn’t that “futuristic” internal architecture… awww I was in love. Sorry for this digression!). Then, from St Pancras it takes other 50min to get to Cambridge. And you are done!
What To See In Cambridge in 6 Hours
From the train station it is really easy to get into the city centre. Pokemon Go was kind of helpful in finding our location but Google Maps was it more. It is a nice walk of 15minutes and the weather was really awkward. It was raining in Brighton and London, then it was sunny in Cambridge for almost the entire day but it started drizzling at some point but then the sun was back again. I was going mental!
The Town Center
Anyway, on a Sunday you have a lovely Market in the town square with bits and bobs of any kind like these adorable bath bombs below. All these pastel colors were so good. There were customizable plates, handmade jewelry, local farmers products and dresses plus the university logo jumpers everywhere!
Buskers and musicians were around at every corner playing and the atmosphere was delightful. We simply wandered taking pictures, then there was me being ridiculously happy when I found white walls and we were astonished to see how the architecture reminded us of Harry Potter.
The Harry Potterian Architecture
The old buildings of the university, the chapel, the library, basically the whole center was like being into a Harry Potter movie. I am aware because I have been there that some scenes of the movie were filmed inside the university in Oxford not Cambridge but still the architecture just screamed HP to us.
As said before, the University is fundamentally the city itself, everything belongs to the university. Little note: there was a music festival in the park near the station!! Couldn’t believe Cambridge was so energetic.
Then I am always in love with the typical British houses: the doors, the walls, the little entrance, they are so so cute. I know you can find them everywhere in the Uk, but Cambridge has the old style ones: brick walls, white and black doors plus some of them with doors of some lovely pastel colors. I don’t know, I blame movies for letting me be in awe of this house style but they look just like out of a lifestyle magazine.
Cambridge is famous for having a river that crosses the city and it is the main touristic attraction but after all it is worth it walking along. You cross bridges (first picture) and you have two choices:
- go punting yourself,
- observing other people punting. What’s so funny in that? Well, because we couldn’t wait to see someone falling in the water. Seriously, since people have no experience with punting, they were so clumsy!! Hilarious! (You can also hire someone who knows how to do the job but where the fun in that!)
On our way back, we walked along the park on the other side of the bridge and we returned to the main road, the one with all the shops. We decided that it was time to head back to the train station so we could actually stop in London for a few hours. So we did and we caught a great sunset near Bloomsbury in London.
Then we headed back to Victoria to get the train to Brighton. Such a long day, but such a nice one. I would also have some analog pictures in black and white but that film roll needs to be reused for my double exposure obsession. So be patient. You will see them in ages!
I always love wandering around new places especially when you are with friends. You can share coffee, laugh a lot and you don’t feel alone. It is less tiring. Even if it is just for a couple of hours, it is one of my favorite way of spending some quality time.
And you? Have you ever visited Cambridge?