By Elizabeth Whitten
Special to The Telegram
Samuel Johnson wrote that “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
But if you are even a little tired of it, visiting the city of Cambridge is a perfect day-trip for those visiting London for any extended length of time.
All that a tourist needs to do is board the Cambridge line from Liverpool Street Station in the morning and head back on the same train at night.
After arriving in Cambridge it is a half-hour walk to get to the main square where many of the colleges are located.
The King’s Parade is full of students and tourists as well as groups that cater to visitors.
From here it is not hard to find an opportunity to go punting, a favourite tourist activity that gives a great view of the colleges.
Punting is essentially a gondola ride down the Cam River and most trips last around 40 minutes and provide for some beautiful scenery.
There are several other leisurely ways to spend time in Cambridge, such as the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
Many different companies offering walking tours of the colleges, some of which date back to the medieval period.
Following the King’s Parade, it is easy to get to the Fitzwilliam Museum, an impressive Gothic-revival building that holds numerous collections from Egypt, the Romans, Asia, and the West.
It also houses an impressive collection of art that includes work from the likes of Monet, Rubens, Cézanne, and the Pre-Raphaelite group.
Admission is free but donations are welcomed.
Another famous activity for visitors is to drop by King’s College Chapel.
The college and chapel were founded by Henry VI in 1441.
However, the construction of the chapel was continuously interrupted and would be overseen by five different kings.
The chapel is renowned as for its perpendicular Gothic architecture and its Renaissance decoration added by Henry VIII.
He left a deep impression on the ornamentation of the chapel, such as several references to his marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Her initials can be seen in the rood screen, which were never removed after her execution.
The chapel is famous for having the world’s largest fan-vaulted ceiling and I recommend sitting down and staring at it for a bit.
One side of the chapels has been converted into a museum on the construction of the building and its history.
There are also many helpful aides about who are willing to answer any questions visitors have about the chapel.
Be sure to check their website and make sure the chapel is open for visitors, though.
The city of Cambridge is recognized for being home to one of the greatest universities in the world.
It recently placed third in the top three universities, just behind MIT and Harvard.
The city is the perfect day trip for those who are tired of London, even if it is only for a day.