3 Days in London - An Afternoon in Cambridge

October 25th was a Bank Holiday in Ireland, so we decided to use the long weekend as an opportunity to travel to London.  We flew into London Stansted which is about halfway between London and Cambridge.  With this in mind, we took the train to Cambridge directly from the airport for the afternoon of steeping in higher education.  We went from a sea of luggage carts at the airport... 
...to a sea of bicycles outside the train station in Cambridge.
We proceeded to walk from the train station into town.  I liked this old fashioned sign painted on brick advertising Bulls Dairies Jersey Milk Supplies. The town was positively charming.
Even before arriving in the center of town, we were impressed by the architecture of this local church.
We loved how you could peep through an archway onto a green space of one of the 31 colleges that make up the University of Cambridge.
Many of the colleges were founded by royalty.  I wonder if this is why the entrances often look like castles or fortresses.
Cambridge hosts a weekend market in the shadow of St. Mary's Church.
Pumpkins were piled high on the tables of a number of the vendors -- a definite sign of the season.
We passed this sign featuring Calverley's Ode to Tobacco.
I love a good bookstore and so we had to pop in to the Cambridge University Press.  There is definitely a lot there for those with a scholarly mindset.
We continued on to King's College -- there is an entrance fee of about 5 quid which was the first time I'd been charged to visit a school (and I've visited many in the US for work).  The campus and chapel were amazing and since the school was founded in the 1400s, I imagine there is a significant cost associated with upkeep so we did our part and paid our way.
We stopped to admire the architecture from the King's College green.
The River Cam runs through Cambridge and there are lots of bridges over the river (thus the name of the town).  One of the major tourist attractions is to go punting down the river.  It was pretty chilly when we were there so we decided to stay on land and admire the activity from above.
In doing so, we made friends with this little duck along the path near the river.
For lunch, we stopped at a unique diner called Clowns.
The place is run by an Italian family and it's not exactly clear why they are fascinated by clowns but whatever the reason, the place is swimming with them.
It's not too creepy, don't worry.
We stopped for dessert at a bakery called Fitzbillies.
It seemed like there was a graduation ceremony taking place the day we were there which was suprising to us considering that it's October.  I liked these sweet frogs in mortarboards though.
We opted for a couple sweet squares (coffee cake and chocolate violet) to go.
I also liked this imaginative hedgehog cake -- super cute!
We could tell we were in a college town because every free surface (including the church gate) was covered in posters.
I liked how there was bicycle parking everywhere.  There were actually grooves carved in the sidewalk and little metal rings to facilitate the process of parking.
We also noticed this unusual sign -- parking reserved for doctors.
Queens' College was our next stop.  
This campus boasts the President's Lodge which dates back to 1460 -- amazing!  Of course, we paid a few quid to tour the campus but once again felt better about the fact that the funds would go to preserve this piece of history.
We saw more punters from the Mathematical Bridge across the River Cam.
We walked back into town which was just crawling with people -- it was a sunny and busy day.
I also loved these jaunty fellows in capes and top hats.  I think they had something to do with the graduation that seemed to be taking place.
We wandered over to Trinity College and watched some do-it-yourself punters on the river.  You can either rent a boat yourself or have someone ferry you around. I think if we ever did it, we'd hire the 'driver' too.  Watching this guy, I was certain he was going to fall into the water as he stood on the bow of the boat.
It was fun to watch the festivities from the bridges above.  The scenery was spectacular.
We walked past Christ's College en route to the All Saints Garden Arts and Crafts Market.
We found some excellent pate de fruit and macaroons for the train ride to London.
Overall, we covered about 6 miles alone walking around Cambridge using the route below.  It's definitely worth the trip if you find yourself in the vicinity of London.
View Cambridge, UK in a larger map



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Sidewalk Safari: 3 Days in London - An Afternoon in Cambridge
3 Days in London - An Afternoon in Cambridge
Sidewalk Safari
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