Visit Cambridge University, England

Trinity College, Cambridge, a quadrangle layout, England

Trinity College, Cambridge, a quadrangle layout that is common to most of the historic colleges. Photo by Treasury 78.

Oxford vs Cambridge Universities

Oxford and Cambridge universities are the best universites in the UK, with unique entry requirements and degrees that bestow lifelong status to graduatesinterviews and guaranteed employment if graduates can be bothered to attend job interviews. The two universities are also known as Oxbridge.
Oxord is the older institution and has been involved in high education from at least 1096, making it probably the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
Cambridge University was the result of a dispute between Oxford students and local people in 1209, which led to them leaving Oxford in something of a hurry for the city of Cambride to the north, where they established a new seat of learning.

Academically the two universities are practically identical, trading places at the top of UK university league tables regularly, just as they trade places at sporting events such as the ‘varsity boat race. The Boat Race is an annual rowing race between the universities on the River Thames near London and has been held annually since 1856, except during the First and Second World Wars.
Oxford and Cambridge maintain a long standing academic and sporting rivalry, but both cities offer similar superb old buildings and plenty of history in their respective centres once the visitor has struggled through modern problems of traffic congestion and depressingly dull suburbia to reach the hallowed halls and manicured lawns of world-famous academia.

Cambridge University, River Cam and punts, Clare College, England

Punting on the River Cam, ‘The Backs’, outside Clare College. Photo by Dmitry Tonkonog.

One speciality of Cambridge is the university’s ‘The Backs‘, a green and delightful area that is bisected by the Cam river and is to be found at the back side of many of the colleges.

Punting is the activity de rigeur – in the summertime at least – and punts can be easily rented, though not so easily propelled.
Bicycles are an excellent way to travel around the university and town centre and easily rentable.

Visit Cambridge University

Just your average dining room in Cambridge as Corpus Christi scholars have dinner.

Just your average dining room in Cambridge. Corpus Christi scholars tuck in.

Most colleges charge a modest entry fee and open at various times but generally around 10am – 3. 30pm/ 5pm, with more limited times on Sundays. Times vary slightly according to whether you visit during term or not, so check before planning your schedule.

The main train station is about half an hour’s walk from the city centre.

Cambridge main attractions

St. John's College main entrance onto a Cambridge city street, England

St. John’s College main entrance onto a Cambridge city street. Photo by Green Lane.

• King’s College and especially its stunning chapel with equally well-known choir, performing Tuesday to Saturday at 5. 30pm during term time.

• Kin’s Parade (a medieval street).

• Clare College bridge and the wooden Mathematical Bridge.

• Fellow’s Garden, a beautiful college garden open to the public.

• Trinity College’s Great Gate and the Tudor buildings in the Great Court (as seen in Chariots of Fire).

• The magnificent twin courtyards of Old Court and Cloister Court’s in Queen’s College.

• The Wren Library (free entry).

• Finally, Cambridge’s best museum is the Fitzwilliam (free entry).

Some Cambridge Sights

King's College Chapel, Cambridge, England

King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. Chapel? Oxford and Cambridge all full of these vast, elaborate ‘chapels’. Photo by Sailko.

The famed Mathematical Bridge of Clare College, Cambridge, England

The famed Mathematical Bridge of Clare College. Photo by Oxyman.

The President's Lodge in Queen's College, Cambridge, England

The President’s Lodge in Queen’s College. Unusually Tudor for a Cambridge college. Photo by Cantab12

Charles Darwin at Cambridge

The master of evolution theory studied theology in Christ’s College in 1828, though his passion was Natural Science, particularly beetles at that time. Darwin met many leading naturalists through the university. After Cambridge, he joined the good ship Beagle for the 5 year South America journey that triggered The Theory of Evolution.

Fitzwilliam College Museum exterior, Cambridge, England

Fitzwilliam College Museum, free to enter. Photo by Andrew Dunn.

Selwyn College Old Court, Cambridge University, England

Selwyn College Old Court.