Cambridge is one of the UK’s finest cities, steeped in history and with the 800-year-old iconic university at its heart. It’s a town where Martin Luther’s works were once burned in Market Square and where literary giants such as E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, and Bertrand Russell could be seen walking its fabulous, narrow, medieval passageways a century ago.
Yet Cambridge is not just a college town, and not everything’s centuries old here, reports the New York Times. Visit the new Polar Museum (spri.cam.ac.uk/museum), which reopened in June on the 100th anniversary of Robert Scott’s last Antarctic expedition, and see the personal letters and journals of the expedition team. Then head for the University Zoology Museum (museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk), home to three of Charles Darwin’s original Galápagos finch specimens.
And although the world famous and much visited Fitzwilliam Museum (www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk) embodies old Cambridge, its outdoor Sculpture Promenade was unveiled in 2009, displaying nine abstract works cast in bronze, steel, fiberglass and iron, giving this two-hundred-year-old institution a modern twist and attracting significantly more visitors.
The university playhouse ADC Theatre (adctheatre.com), home of the student comedy troupe the Cambridge Footlights, has also been revamped so visit this renowned venue where Hugh Laurie got his start. The regular shows start at 7:45 p.m., but there’s an experimental show at 11 p.m. if you prefer something more daring.
So take a train to one of Europe’s best cultural capitals. First Capital Connect (firstcapitalconnect.co.uk) and National Express East Anglia (nationalexpresseastanglia.com) run a frequent service from London, with fares from £19.10 pounds one way. Book a cheap hotel or stay in a Cambridge University dorm room (cambridgerooms.co.uk) when classes are not in session.