The university town of Cambridge is perhaps one of the most famous in England. It is easily
accessible by train from London and it is the perfect destination for a day trip from London or a
weekend mini-break. In this article we share with you a few of our favourite things to do on a family visit to this picturesque and historic part of the world.
Settlement of the Cambridge area dates back about 3,500 years – well before the Roman Empire
took control of the region. After the Romans it was the Saxons in charge, then the Vikings, and
then the Normans. Throughout each of these key stages of history, Cambridge continued to be an
important centre for trade and power. There’s a lot of great museums in Cambridge but as your kids will have likely have a limited tolerance for history go to the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology which takes visitors on a fascinating tour through the ages.
Cambridge is a university town and the University of Cambridge is both one of the oldest and widely considered to be
one of the best universities in the world. It was founded in 1209. Today the university comprises 31
different colleges and over 150 different departments. Each college has its own approach in terms
of admitting visitors, so be prepared to wander around what you can or take one of the guided
tours if you are pressed for time.
One of the activities that your family will really enjoy is punting on the river Cam. The River Cam
runs through the heart of the city and punting along the gentle waters gives you fantastic views of
Cambridge College and other stunning old buildings such as King’s College Chapel, the Wren
Library, and the Bridge of Sighs. There are lots of punting operators who will do all the hard work of
pushing the small narrow boat along the river while you relax and take in the views.
The first ever game of football (played by the rules as we know them today) was held in the
centrally located green common space of Parker’s Piece. In 1863 the English Football Association
adopted the “Cambridge Rules” as the true principles of the game. Social football games are still
readily played on Parker’s Piece so break out a ball and get a taste for what it must have been like
for the creators of the beautiful game.
If your kids are up for some cycling, then hire some bikes and join the throngs of students who use
their bikes to get around town. The streets are flat and it’s relatively safe for cyclists – you’ll be able
to cover a lot more ground when travelling on two wheels.
This is a beautiful part of the world and somehow quintessentially English in a way that seems to
have long disappeared from most of the rest of the country. Pack a picnic, a football, some walking
shoes, and take the family on an expedition that will be both educational and a lot of fun.