As this year’s scorching British summer draws to a close, the back to school blues are a common reaction. The days are getting shorter, the rain is returning to our shores, and it can often feel like all the fun is behind you and it’s time to settle in for winter.
But there’s still time for fun! Before August comes to an end, there are lots of sights you can check out around Cambridge. Drenched in history and geared toward sightseers, Cambridge is the perfect antidote to the incoming grind of school and work.
St. Mary the Great Church
Dating all the way back to the 15th century, St. Mary the Great Church is outstandingly beautiful both inside and out. The interior features beautiful stonework and one of the most famous features of the church is its numerous delicate, breath-taking stained glass windows.
The church’s tower, built in the 17th century, offers fantastic views of the city and it’s worth making the trip for this famed view alone. A classic example of 15th-century design with 16th and 17th-century adornments, St. Mary the Greater Church is a sight you won’t want to miss.
So-called because it found patronage under the generosity of Margaret of Anjou – Henry VI’s wife – in the 15th century and then re-founded in 1465 by then-wife of Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, Queens’ College is a trip back into medieval Cambridge’s history.
Possessing more medieval structures than any other of Cambridge’s storied colleges, Queens’ College is a serene place steeped in history. Only a short journey from many Cambridge hotel deals, it’s the perfect introduction to the deep history of Cambridge’s many historical colleges.
The Mathematical Bridge
While you’re in the vicinity of Queens’ College, you may as well make the short walk to the Mathematical Bridge.
The bridge gains its name from the fact that no nails, screws or other materials to hold it together. Instead, the Mathematical Bridge uses tension and strength to stay in place – the result of scholarly mathematics and engineering. Considering the bridge has been holding firm since 1902, it appears their sums were right!
Peterhouse can trace its foundation all the way back to the late 13th century, and that makes it the oldest of all the Cambridge colleges. And you can still see part of the original structure in Peterhouse’s great hall, which dates from this period.
Aside from that, the cloistered and cosy college is, perhaps, the most definitive example of Cambridge’s famed colleges – carrying a hushed, studious atmosphere, history and no shortage of beauty. And if you’re a mite peckish after your journey, you’re close to Cambridge Restaurants for some delicious, re-energising food.
St John’s College
One of the best things about exploring Cambridge’s colleges is that each reflects their time, and St John’s College is a masterclass in Tudor design. And it’s just a short hop from most of the Cambridge Hotels!
Founded in 1511 by Lady Margaret Beaufort – who was, by the way, the mother of Henry VII – St John’s College is a wonderful specimen of Tudor-era design and one of the most handsome of all Cambridge’s colleges. St John’s College is luxuriant, architecturally stunning and well worth a visit.