The Cambridge University buildings are superb, from the stately elegance of Trinity College to King's College Chapel, whose fan-vaulted ceiling presents arguably the finest example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in England. The chapel was begun in 1446, though it was not completed until 101 years later. Daily services featuring the world-famous Choir are a treat not to be missed.
Trinity College was founded by Henry VIII in 1546, though many buildings are earlier. The impressive brick gateway (1535) is a perfect example of Tudor style. The library of the college was built by Sir Christopher Wren.
To gain a true appreciation of Cambridge University, don't miss a walk along The Backs, where the lawns of six of the oldest colleges sweep down to the River Cam, overshadowed by willows and dotted by punts (flat-bottomed boats propelled by a long pole). Boats can be rented inexpensively if you'd like to try your hand at punting, but be warned, it's not as easy as it looks, and the efforts of neophytes provide light entertainment for spectators on the banks of the river!
This "lantern tower" is actually formed by a series of massive oak beams which rise to a height of 63 feet. The tower is supported by diagonal oak beams resting upon stone pillars. These pillars support a total weight of some 400 tons of wood and lead.
- King's College Chapel, Cambridge
- Ely Cathedral
- Peterborough Cathedral
Competing with Ely Cathedral for attention is Peterborough Cathedral, where the 13th century western front is one of the most impressive feats of medieval architecture in Britain. The three story nave is topped with a unique timber ceiling, which still retains much of its original painted decoration.
On the border of the fenlands is Ramsey, during the medieval period home to a powerful abbey. Only the ruined 15th gatehouse, now run by the National Trust, remains. Duxford Aircraft Museum, south of Cambridge, houses the largest display of historic aircraft in Europe in the grounds of an important WWII airfield. Duxford hosts regular airshows, and there are also museum displays depicting land warfare.