The earliest existing settlements in Cambridge date to approximately 1000BC during the Last Bronze Age. The Romans invaded Britain shortly after in 40AD and took over Castle Hill in Cambridge for its keen abilities as a military stakeout. Many roads and structures from the Roman period are still in the area today. Once the Roman’s drew back, the Saxons took over the land. However, this didn’t last long because Viking Rule began when Danelaw was imposed around 880AD. Finally, in 1068, William of Normandy took over and built a castle atop Castle Hill. It still stands today.
Soon after William of Normandy came around, Cambridge began to flourish as a college town. In 1209 students fled Oxford to Cambridge and formed Peterhouse, the first of many universities. For centuries after many more universities were added to the landscape including King’s, Queen’s, Trinity, St. John’s, Jesus, Pembroke, Clare, Saint Catherine’s, and Corpus Christi. The city also has a handful of schools for clergy as well as beautiful churches.
Due to the influx of young people, Cambridge has been able to maintain a young identity – a place brimming with life. There are many museums including the zoo, two science buildings, and the archeology and anthropology museum. Sport nuts can enjoy punting, the Cambridge United Football Club, and walking tours. Everything is just more fun here because of the diverse student life including the Cambridge Corn Exchange, ADC Theatre, The Junction, and some of the summer fairs that roll around in warmer months. The balance of Christian principles and student life really make Cambridge a one of a kind destination.
While winters can be damp and frosty, not to mention long, summers offer plenty of sunshine. January maxes out at about 7°C (45°F) while July sees upwards of 22°C (72°F).
The best time to come is certainly the summertime in June and July. The weather is perfect and there are plenty events like the Strawberry Fair (Jun), Beer Festival (May), Midsummer Fair (Jun), Cambridge Film Fest (Jul), Folk Fest (Jul), and dozens of other events, particularly those sponsored by Cambridge U.
• By Air: London is just under an hour away so its Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports are an easy international way to get to Cambridge. Birmingham International is also close by. These all provide very easy access by train, coach or car into Cambridge.
• By Sea: A link from Cambridge to Harwich makes for a fun afternoon ride on the water. You can go back the way you came or opt to travel by road or rail into Cambridge.
• By Coach: National Express has operations that serve all of the major towns in the UK including Cambridge. Services from Central London and the Stansted airport are frequent. The X5 cross county Stagecoach also offers connections to Oxford, Bicester, Buckingham, Milton Kaynes, and Bedford.
• By Train: Railways from London’s King’s Crossing and Liverpool Street go directly to Cambridge. There are also wonderful links to Scotland via Peterborough and regional options to Birmingham, Midlands, East Anglia, and the Northwest.
• By Car: From Southern England and London, Cambridge is a short distance up the M11. From the north you can link up along the A1 and M1 to the A14 straight into the city too.
• Drive: There are a handful of national car chains that make it easy to whisk yourself around Cambridge whenever and wherever your heart desires.
You can also use one of the city’s park and rides at Trumpington, Madingley Road, Newmarket Road, and Babraham Road. The charge is only £2 for a day’s park.
• Board: Cambridge’s Stagecoach bus service provides travelers with access all over the city with frequent and direct routes. The City Megarider pass, among other ticketing types, is also a must have for unlimited access to Citi buses. Best of all, it’s only £1!
Even more inexpensive is the free center city shuttle bus services which stops at the following locations: Market Square, Corpus Christi College, Emmaneual Street, Fair Street, Jesus Lane, and Trinity Street.
There are also Citysightseeing buses that provide a 1 hour and 20 minute ride and a new found knowledge of Cambridge.
• Bike: The city is a known cycling town so hiring a bike for as low as £5 is a great way to get a workout and get to sites more quickly that walking. Or you can take it out for a long ride in the nearby countryside. There are many cycle routes and paths to follow; over 70 kilometers of it.
• Walk: Cambridge has many Pedestrian Zones that provide travelers with on foot access to commercial and historic parts of the city center.
• Punt: Punting is a method of moving on water by boat with a long pole. It’s a Cambridge tradition. You can see how the buildings related to the water especially King’s College Chapel, Wren Library, Trinity College, and The Bridge of Sighs. Punting season is from Easter through October.