Historic Cambridge Guide
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Cambridge owes its continued popularity as a tourist destination primarily to the presence of the university which bears the city's name. The wonderful medieval architecture of the early colleges that make up the university provide a delightful glimpse of life long ago, and the history that is bound up in those colleges makes for fascinating exploring.
The oldest colleges face away from the River Cam, but share an expanse of lawn running down to the river known as The Backs. The Backs provide an excellent space for strolling and relaxing, and walkers along the river can view the often comical efforts of neophytes attempting to pole a punt along the water.
[Editor's note: it is much harder than it looks, and quite embarrassing when your pole gets stuck in the river mud and your punt drifts away. I speak from experience!]. No one should visit Cambridge without trying their hand at punting - the boats can be rented for quite a reasonable price.
Cambridge boasts superb museums and art galleries, and the University Botanical Gardens are world-renown. Near the city is a whole range of attractions, from Duxford War Museum to the stately home of Wimpole Hall. Further afield the cathedral cities of Peterborough and Ely offer more architectural delights.
You are never far from the fenland in Cambridgeshire; in bygone centuries much of the fens was underwater, and only small tufts of solid ground rose above the surface to provide space for settlement.
Since the fens were drained in the 17th century the rich soil of the area has provided excellent agricultural opportunities and even the outskirts of Cambridge back onto farmer's fields. The unique flora and fauna of the fens can be explored at the Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, the oldest such reserve in England.
Address: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Attraction Type: Town
OS: TL457 581
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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Medieval (Time Period) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Emmanuel College - 0.3 miles (Historic Building)
Scott Polar Research Institute - 0.3 miles (Museum)
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - 0.4 miles (Museum)
Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences - 0.4 miles (Museum)
Cambridge University Museum of Zoology - 0.4 miles (Museum)
Pembroke College - 0.4 miles (Historic Building)
Cambridge, All Saints - 0.4 miles (Historic Church)
Christ's College, University of Cambridge - 0.4 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Cambridge: