A Travel Guide To: A Day Trip To Cambridge



I finally did it! I went on my first solo trip, albeit it still in the UK, I finally took what feels like a major step for me. I'm trying to work my way up to the idea of being comfortable with solo travelling abroad. Did this first trial run go perfectly? No, guys I missed my train. Imagine me, running around Kings Cross, all beige affair going on with my outfit, tote bag swinging, wig sliding and makeup melting as I try not to get worked up.


Once I finally broke the chain of bad luck that spiralled that morning, I ended up having the best time in Cambridge. If you're someone looking to do your first solo trip I can't recommend it enough as the best place to start or if you're looking for a fun and underrated UK staycation, this is it.


How To Get There:

I booked my return ticket with trainline and it came to £18.80 in total, so if you want to do a day trip on a budget this is one for you. You can either get a train from Kings Cross or Liverpool Street, you can also get a straight train which takes just under an hour or a train that has one change which takes about an hour and a half.


My uber driver cancelled on me, which resulted in me missing my train that would get me to Kings Cross with more than enough time, so I had to Uber all the way to the Station. I then decided to pick up some breakfast from Pret but ended up picking the line that wasn't moving, but I still had time. Then I asked a staff member for help locating my platform to be sent to the wrong one and that's when things went wrong and I missed my train by literally 2 minutes.


Not to fear, I booked a super off-peak return ticket meaning I could hop on any train so long as it was during that peak! So I really do recommend doing this when purchasing your ticket, should things end up going wrong like it did for me. I got there for 9:30am and ended up getting an earlier super off-peak train back at 4:30pm as I was shattered and had got through a lot of my list, so a day is definitely enough to explore a majority of Cambridge but I do recommend a weekend if you have the budget for a hotel.


What To Do:




Punting:

I started my day by doing a shared punting experience, if there's anything you do during your time there let it be this! I paid for a row for 2 people (as that's the least amount of people you could pay for) for £30 which if you do go with someone, works out to £15 each, which is way cheaper than a gondola ride in Venice but just as fun in my opinion. I went with Lets Go Punting and booked this ahead, however if you decide on the day you want to, do not fret just head down to River Cam where there's a strip of different companies with staff trying to eagerly draw people off the street, be prepared to have at least three people if you've booked a punting experience.



Booking ahead just allows you to plan out the rest of your day, I had my session at 10:15am which was the first one for the day and it was already busy at that time, so you're not certain to get one for the time you arrive, you may end up getting a booking and having to come back at a later time for it.  


Our guide told us all about the bridges, student life and general history during our session and it was wonderful as I didn't plan on doing any walking tours during my time there. Now I have little facts I can pass off to people, like did you know students there can't work while studying? Or where the phrase being robbed blind comes from? Because I do now. It's a great and scenic way to see some of Cambridge whilst enjoying the sun beat down on you, ducklings pass by you and you get to watch the locals show off their punting and canoeing skills. 





Roam The Streets:

Cambridge, much like Bath has those beautiful honey coloured buildings, cobble filled streets and bunting can be found stretching across each corner. People on bikes passing by at the speed of light, retro ice cream trucks and buskers are at each turn.


Find your way to Trinity Street, this is where you'll find a lot of the shops, cafes and other touristy attractions. Such as Portugal Street, Trinity Lane, Rose Crescent, St Edwards passage and more. All of these streets can be found whilst walking down Trinity Street and paint beautiful pictures of what makes Cambridge an idyllic place to visit / be. 



Climb St Mary's Tower For a 360 View of Cambridge:

For £6 and all the breath your body can produce, you can climb the 123 steep, tight and tiny steps that are St Mary's tower for an insane view of Cambridge from above. You'll be able to see the market, King's College, Trinity Hall and so much more.


Don't worry about if you need to stop on the stairs, the staff have cameras to monitor when people are going up and down to make sure there are no collisions because it's literally impossible for more than one person to share a step, it's almost impossible for one person to fit, let alone two! When you're at the top make sure you listen out for announcements of  when you can and can't go down the stairs to avoid any issues. This was one I booked when I got there on the day whilst visiting, so don't worry about having to book this one in advance and go when you're ready, just make sure you check the opening and closing hours.




Stroll Through Sheep's Green and Coe Fen:

When scrolling through Instagram to try and get inspiration I came across people posting pictures of cows and one of my travel dreams in life is to get up close and personal with a highland cow, so this was the next best thing. Littered with families having picnics, people jumping into the river and cows trying to go to town on each other (yes, yes I did see one cow trying to mount another, what about the kids guys?), you'll definitely walk away with something to remember from this spot.


As sweet and calm as the cows are, they were covered in flies and when I say covered I mean cooovered, so you might not want to touch them but rather pose from afar with them or get a great zoomed in shot like I ended up doing. Though I didn't make it there Midsummer Common is also meant to be another popular spot for cow spotting.




Visit the Fitzwilliam Musuem:

Again, if you're someone working on a budget I can't recommend visiting the museum enough, it's free and you have to book it online in advance. The staff here were SO lovely, I literally wanted to pick them up and put them in my pocket, people in Cambridge in general were all so lovely and helpful. The Fitzwilliam Museum is packed with so much to see, every time I thought I was coming to an end, another room would appear. 


From exhibitions about Catholicism, to touch and holding art by the likes of Chestnut Forest, it's a great place to lose yourself for some time. I definitely underestimated how much I would enjoy visiting here, it also wasn't super busy but I think it's due to it being a bit further away from the town centre If you plan to visit here I recommend going to Sheep's Green and Coe Fen after as it's about a 10 minute walk.





Visit Cambridge Botanical Garden:

This was the last thing I ended up doing as I was exhausted from walking around all day. This was another activity I booked in advance for under £7. I ended up visiting here around 2:30pm which is when they give a free guided tour but I wanted to rush through somewhat to sit down and rest. The botanical garden is another experience I recommend everyone does as the glasshouse is insane. Be prepared to sweat but for it to be worth it! It's not as huge as Kew Gardens or the Barbican so definitely take your time going round as it's a one way system so once you're done, you're done.


There's a shop by the reception where you can pick up plants and also there are maps available so you don't get lost as there's so much there, I entered from the Brookside Gate but there are other entries, as well as a cafe and toilets should you need it. This is about a 15 minute walk from Sheep Green and Coe Fen so I recommend doing them one after the other.




Get a Chelsea bun From Fitzbillies:

Did you really go to Cambridge if you didn't try a Chelsea bun? Similar to a cinnamon roll but filled with currants, much more syrupy and sticky, it's definitely a treat you can share as it is delightful but after a few bites it becomes a bit sickly. As well as being home to the famous buns, they're also very popular for their store front, time it right and you can get a picture with a cyclist zooming by showing Cambridge in all it's greatness.





Overall, I couldn't recommend Cambridge enough, there's a lot more to it than the university, it's affordable, it's friendly and it's full of things to do. But be prepared to walk, there are no ubers or bolt available but you can get around on the local buses if you're not up for breaking a record for your number of steps in a day. It's very easy to get around, I used my apple map for the majority of the trip and had no issue once my train arrived into the city, it was just the getting there that seemed to go 50 shades of wrong. 


I will definitely be returning to finish off the last things on my bucket list, if this post has made you want to add Cambridge to your bucket list don't forget to pin the photo below so you can refer back to this post when planning your itinerary!



Have you been on a solo day trip in the UK? If so tell me where as I'm on the hunt for my next location. In the meantime if you need some more UK staycation inspiration check out my blogpost on my weekend in Bath.


until the next post.

with love, yossy  

What's your opinion?

  1. I’m sold! I might look to go for a weekend away! Random but are your pictures taken with a film camera? They’re really nice! Can’t wait to read more of your posts x

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    1. It definitely makes for a perfect weekend away! Wish I had one more day as I got tired and gave up on my bucket list. Thanks so much! I took all my photos with my canon 6d mkii, it may be the editing style I picked aha, thanks once again my lovely x

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  2. You're so right about the Fitzwilliam Museum - it just seems to go on FOREVER! They often have temporary exhibits that are worth looking out for too. I've been to Cambridge countless times, as it's quite accessible to me by train and affordable off-peak, but you've found so many gems I had absolutely no idea about. You've got me hoping I can organise a visit with my boyfriend and his family - I think they'd love it! - as soon as possible (-:

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    1. FOREVER! I was so surprised, I didn't realise it went on for so long. So lucky, now that I've been once definitely will make it a yearly thing to visit, or I might go back in autumn as it looks lovely during that time also. So glad that I could share new places! Definitely think it's one older folk will love to, you can just stroll leisurely or fill your day with things to do, hope they love it as much as we do!

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  3. Before choosing https://www.cambridgepunting.co/, I was actually in a dilemma whether to choose them or go for another option. But later I made up my mind to make a try. And guess what! This was the best decision that I ever made so far for my trips. Their hospitality left me speechless. And also the chauffeur was not just an expert punter, but also was omniscient about the history and culture of Cambridge. If you are someone who is planning to go for a punting in Cambridge, trust me, Tyrrell’s Punting would be the best option.

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