City of Cambridge

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Cambridge (map) is a university city, England, 55 miles (89 km) north of London. Cambridge manages to combine its role as an historic city with a world-renowned university and, since the 20th century, an internationally acknowledged centre of excellence for technology and science.

The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. They chose the quiet town of Cambridge as a suitable location for study.

In the 17th century Cambridge University educated many of the founders of an American university called Harvard, which is also in a place called Cambridge (named after the English university).

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The city is surrounded on all sides by heritage villages, towns and ancient monuments (such as Ely and Peterborough), all within easy travelling distance.

The city itself is quite compact with many of the main attractions in easy walking distance. Cambridge is an ideal base for exploring some of the gentlest (read flattest; good for leisurely walks, poor for hills with viewpoints) and most unspoilt countryside in England.

Botanic Garden of Cambridge University (map). A relaxing way to spend a few hours, away from the hustle and bustle of the colleges and canals. Open to the public since 1846 this garden hosts some important botanic collections amongst its 10,000 or more species.

The Fitzwilliam Museum (map) is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge and is on Trumpington Street. The museum has five departments: Antiquities; Applied Arts; Coins and Medals; Manuscripts and Printed Books; and Paintings, Drawings and Prints.

The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (map). One of the university’s many hidden treasures, and actually its oldest museum, the Sedgwick is packed full of fossils with more than 1 million in its collection.

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (map). The museum contains large and important collections of archaeological and anthropological material from all parts of the world.

The Round Church (map). Dating back to 1130, this is one of only four medieval round churches in England, and one of the most visited buildings in Cambridge. Besides the remarkable architecture, the building contains historical exhibitions and hosts occasional concerts and lectures.

Public transport

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Cambridge is 50 mi (80 km) north of London. With good rail services and road communication links, Cambridge is easily accessible, whether travelling by car, or by public transport.

TRAVELINE – Provides online travel planner services for all public transportation across Great Britain. They also have separate planners dedicated to specific regions.

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 BUS >   National Express | UK Stop finder

 RAIL >   The essential source for rail travel information in Great Britain is the National Rail website. It includes an extremely useful journey planner, ticket prices and detailed information about every railway station in the country. (*Rail travel in Great Britain).

 AIRPORTS > The most important airports are London HeathrowLondon Gatwick and Manchester Airport. All three have multiple terminals and are collectively served by a vast range of airlines and flights from the four corners of the map.

 WATERWAYS >   There are many ferry routes into the UK from continental Europe. (*Ferry routes to Great Britain)

Bicycles may be taken on car ferries and on Eurotunnel shuttle trains. Eurostar allows folding bikes on all its trains, and offers a more restricted service for other bikes, but has quite strict and specific rules that are worth reading up on before you travel.

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