London Lantern

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Day Trips From London - Cambridge

22/09/2001, By Michael Tebbutt

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 16466 votes

For many Cambridge is the very epitome of what they expect a university city to be. That unique blend of ‘town and gown’ seems particularly appropriate in a place which has known academic excellence for many centuries, yet still contrives to retain a sense of antiquity, so that there appears to be no real conflict between a 14th century architectural gem such as King’s College Chapel and the Science Park to the north of the city.

Perhaps partly because of this Cambridge is one of those places to which even the most demanding shopper may turn with confidence, because it is all there and, whatever it may be, it is offered to you with an easy charm and familiarity that is both welcome and reassuring.

The colleges, all part of the University, have an individuality which is often subtle to the visitor. Each has its own architecture, its own academic inclinations, its own atmosphere.

Nearly all are open in one form or another to the visitor. Many back on to the River Cam, hence that phrase ‘The Backs’, which flows through the town rather akin to a Venetian highway.

On a summer’s afternoon there can be few more restful and civilised places than a punt on the Cam, a bottle of something cooling and a novel of ones choosing.

But should your interests be of a more lively turn check out the excellent Tourist Information Centre for what is on offer in the way of exhibitions, galleries, museums, guided tours, special events and interests.

As one might expect of such a place there is a wide and excellent range of places to eat and drink, ranging from five-star restaurants to splendidly obscure little pubs down medieval lanes, places that have changed little over the centuries. In the villages surrounding the town it is possible to widen the range, perhaps meeting ‘the locals’ whose knowledge and ancestry goes back into the misty Fens where Hereward the Wake was king.

Audley End lies conveniently between London and Cambridge. The great house which remains is but a fragment of the palace commenced by Lord Thomas Howard in 1603, a man of great ability and consuming ambition.

As Lord High Treasurer to King James 1, Howard was in a position to amass great wealth and influence. This inevitably caused jealousies and even the King was heard to remark that Howard’s palace was too grand for a King but might do for a Lord Treasurer. There was not too much surprise therefore when Howard was charged with embezzlement and corruption.

Major demolition occurred in the 18th century, when the house took on its present form, still one of the great historic homes of this richly endowed country.

The combination of historic house and ancient university offers a day out of London which is not only unique but presents a cameo view of the history of England.

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Re: Suggested Day Trips From London - Cambridge

By Dennis Radke 02/10/2001, (Rating: 2.9 from 15671 votes)

Visitors to Cambridge will want to walk through the American Military Cemetery here, the final resting place of far too many members of the "Mighty" Eight Air Force and other branches of the armed forces. Far bigger than life-size statues of men of the Army, Navy, Air Corps, and other services watch over the rows of headstones.

There also is a beautiful chapel on site with superb coloured glass windows bearing official seals of at least forty-eight states and of a number of "gongs" (military decorations) starting with the Medal of Honour. The oversized bronze doors are mounted with representations of ships, planes, landing craft, armour, etc.

God forbid we should soon be looking for real estate for more establishments such as this.

Dennis Radke - Anglophile

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