Top 10 Tourist Places In Cambridge
1. King’s College and King’s College Chapel
King’s College, founded in 1441 by Henry VI and the first of the royal foundations, is worth a visit for the vast expanse of lawn that extends down to the river and King’s Bridge. The Backs, the various college grounds along the riverside, can be seen from here. Among the notable alumni are writer Horace Walpole, poet Rupert Brooke, and economist Lord Keynes.
The King’s College Chapel is a must-see attraction in this area. Its 12-bay perpendicular-style interior and breathtaking fan vaulting by John Wastell make it a must-see in Cambridge (1515).
2. Queens’ College and the Mathematical Bridge
Queens’ College was founded in 1448 by Andrew Dockett under the patronage of Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI, and refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV. It has the most complete medieval buildings of any Cambridge college, including the magnificent gateway leading to the red brick First Court, which dates from the foundation period.
Other Queens College attractions worth seeing include the wooden Mathematical Bridge. This 1902 reconstruction leads over the Cam to the lovely college gardens and was so named because it was built without nails, relying on meticulous calculation for strength.
3. Cambridge University Botanic Garden
A visit to Cambridge University Botanic Garden, which spans 40 acres, is a must-do for gardening enthusiasts. The garden, which opened in 1831, houses an impressive collection of over 8,000 plant species from around the world.
Spend some time exploring the garden’s many glasshouses and trails, which can be done as part of a guided tour (free on Sundays). After that, stop by the Garden Café and the Botanic Garden Shop.
Check out their website for information on upcoming events and festivals.
4. Great St. Mary’s Church and the Round Church
Great St. Mary’s Church serves as both a parish and a university. It was built in the 15th century and has a beautiful interior, with galleries added in 1739 at a time when university sermons given by great scholars drew large crowds. The views from the 1600-year-old tower are legendary.
Little St. Mary’s is also worthwhile to see. St. Mary the Less Anglican Parish Church is well-known for its beautiful stained-glass windows. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Round Church, is one of only four Norman-round churches remaining in England. Its rectangular chancel was added in the 15th century after it was built in 1131.
The Gothic Revival Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in the United Kingdom, was built in 1885 and houses a rare statue of the Virgin Mary.
5. Trinity College
Trinity College was founded in 1546 by Henry VIII from the merger of several older colleges, including Michaelhouse and King’s Hall. Parts of the old King’s Hall buildings are still visible beyond King Edward’s Gate (1418).
Trinity Great Court is Cambridge’s largest court and was built around 1600. A passage leads into Nevile’s Court (1614), which includes a chapel and statues of notable scholars. Wren’s Library, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and later added, is notable for its old oak bookcases and fine lime woodcarvings. Trinity has the most distinguished alumni of any college. Statesmen such as Austen Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, and Nehru are among them, as are poets and writers such as George Herbert and Edward Fitzgerald, philosopher Bertrand Russell, and scientist Isaac Newton. Edward VII and George VI also attended Trinity.
Take the bridge over the Cam from New Court or King’s Court for a beautiful view of the back. The College Grounds are reached via a magnificent avenue of limes.
6. Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge’s most famous museum, should be on everyone’s must-see list of tourist attractions. This architectural masterpiece houses an impressive collection of English pottery and china, as well as Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities and illuminated manuscripts.
The gallery features works by Hogarth, Gainsborough, and Turner, as well as Impressionists and Dutch Masters of the Baroque period such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Rubens. There’s also a great café and a gift shop on-site.
7. Anglesey Abbey, Gardens, and Lode Mill
Anglesey Abbey, built in the 12th century, was renovated in 1926 and became known as a house of fine art and furnishings. This magnificent home, now a National Trust property, contains numerous tapestries by Gobelin, Soho, and Anglesey. There is also a collection of art, including Constable’s The Opening of Waterloo Bridge.
Spend some time admiring the surrounding gardens and 114 acres of parkland. The Wildlife Discovery Area, where younger visitors can observe birds and bugs in their natural habitats, and the Lime Tree Lookout are among the grounds’ many highlights. After that, pay a visit to the historic Lode Mill to see the grindstones in action.
8. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, founded by Cambridge University in 1884, houses an important collection of prehistoric materials and artifacts dealing with social anthropology. Collections have been gathered from all over the world, with a focus on the visual and classical arts, and include pieces from Africa and the Orient.
The Pacific collection, drawn primarily from Cook’s explorations and other research projects conducted by notable British anthropologists, is particularly noteworthy. Throughout the year, regular educational programs for children and adults are held (check their website for details). The newly renovated University Museum of Zoology is also worth a visit. A large collection of scientifically important zoological material is one of the highlights of this recently renovated Cambridge attraction.
9. Peterhouse College
Peterhouse, Cambridge’s oldest (and also one of its smallest) college, was founded in 1284. Its historic hall and storeroom on the south side of Old Court are the original 13th-century structures. Cardinal Beaufort, chemist Henry Cavendish, and poet Thomas Gray were among those who studied here.
Check out the Peterhouse Chapel, which has been a focal point of the college for over 700 years. The stained-glass windows (imported from Munich in the 1850s) and the 17th-century altar window are both worth seeing. Inquire about Peterhouse’s summer accommodation rentals for a truly unforgettable experience.
10. Pembroke College
The Countess of Pembroke founded Pembroke College in 1347, but it has undergone significant changes since then. The chapel (1665) is well-known as Christopher Wren’s first work, and it was later expanded in 1881.
Pembroke has produced many bishops and poets, the most famous of whom is Edmund Spenser (1552-99). Both reformist bishop Nicholas Ridley, who was burned at the stake in Oxford, and statesman William Pitt received their degrees from the university. The grounds and the chapel are usually included in a visit.