Wandering the cobbled streets of old Cambridge and exploring the historic colleges that make up its world-famous university is an obvious must-see for any visitor to the city. And don’t miss out the iconic bridges which span the River Cam as they epitomise the city’s unique architectural and historic charm too.
Once this sightseeing tour is complete, there’s still more to see and exciting options for day trips within easy reach of Cambridge, whether you want to lose yourself in times gone by at a monastery-turned-stately home or experience the adrenaline rush of exhilarating rollercoasters.
The Bridge of Sighs, Cambridge
The Bridge of Sighs, Cambridge – not to be confused with the stone skyway in Venice after which it was named – is high among architectural highlights for sightseers thanks to its exquisite design, and is said to have been Queen Victoria’s favourite spot in Cambridge. Built in 1831, the Bridge of Sighs connects two courtyards of St John’s College across the River Cam. Choose whether to admire it from below during a punt ride or stroll across it as part of a visit to St John’s College. Entry fees for the college are £10 for adults or £5 as part of a guided tour with a registered guide.
The Mathematical Bridge
The unusual criss-cross structure of this photogenic wooden footbridge – technically known as ‘tangent and radial trussing’ – that connects two parts of Queens College over the River Cam is the source of an entertaining local myth. Legend has it that the bridge was originally constructed without any nuts or bolts according to an ingenious design by Sir Isaac Newton. However, he couldn’t have been involved as he died in 1727, twenty-two years before the bridge’s construction. Its real name is the rather apt ‘Wooden Bridge’. You can admire this picture-postcard walkway from the adjacent stone bridge on Silver Street if access to Queen’s isn’t possible.
This Jacobean-style house just over five miles outside Cambridge was home to Augustinian canons until King Henry VIII’s dissolution of monasteries in 1536. Today, Anglesey Abbey features immaculately kept gardens and a working 18th century watermill. Explore the interior of what became the luxurious home of Lord Fairhaven, filled with works of art, admire its beautiful gardens, take a long country walk, or even go hunting geocaches with the kids.
The number 10 bus from Drummer Street Bus Station offers the most direct way to get from Cambridge to Anglesey Abbey via public transport; buses run hourly and the journey takes around 45 minutes.
If you’re seeking the thrills and spills of a family day out at a theme park, a trip to Pleasurewood Hills ticks all the boxes. The park boasts plenty of hair-raising attractions to keep hardcore thrill-seekers happy, such as Hyper Drive and the Cannonball Express. Meanwhile, younger visitors can enjoy tamer rides like the Mini Pirate Ship and the Funky Flyers.