Taking a trip to Cambridge is a must-do when you’re a student in London, especially when it’s your first time in the UK. It is just such an iconic city, and the university is a big part of that. Besides, it is quite close to London and therefore perfect for a day trip. If you’re looking for other cities to explore, there are lots of posts and recommendations on this blog, amongst others my post about a day trip to Brighton, which you can read here.
Getting to Cambridge from London is very simple. I live close to London Bridge Station, where I can get a direct train to Cambridge that takes around 90 minutes. However, if you live closer to King’s Cross, there is a direct train that has no stops along the way and consequently only takes 45 minutes. The tickets aren’t too pricey either, even if bought on the same day they cost around £20 for a return ticket. All in all, it is the perfect location to spend a day in, and you can get lots of activities in.
The city can be explored on foot and the station is only a 25-minute walk from the centre. For a day trip, I would mostly just recommend walking around the city because there is so much to see! As you can see from the pictures, everything looked fantastic in the sunlight, and it was a nice warm day. If you can, visit some of the colleges, but be aware that some of them might have a no visitors policy. Going on a walk through the city was such a relaxing experience and, especially in the sunny weather, it was a great break from my laptop screen.
Apart from strolling around, I would recommend punting. This is a classic Cambridge activity, which I didn’t get to do myself but definitely want to come back to do. From what I could see, you even get a bit of an insight into the colleges from the punts because many of them are surrounded by water. Furthermore, you can hire a guided tour, where locals or ex-university students share all the insider knowledge.
My first recommendation for some great food options is to get lunch at Market Square. There are tons of food stalls with lots of foreign cuisines on offer, so there will be something for everyone.
For an afternoon treat, I would recommend Jack’s Gelato, which is apparently an incredibly popular spot with the students in Cambridge – something that was confirmed by a long queue. I have to admit the queue was warranted as the ice cream was delicious, and they had a large variety of vegan and non-vegan flavours.
I would recommend going to Cambridge for a day trip to anyone. There is lots to see, many great shops, pubs and restaurants and a lot of historic and beautiful architecture. Being so close to London, this should certainly be on your bucket list, and I hope you enjoy the city if you do decide to go!