This large college, located directly next to kings, has some beautiful gardens. Beside for its elegant buildings, it is known for its bridge and the anecdote behind it. Clare Bridge was built in the 17th century, making it the oldest still existing bridge in Cambridge. It is decorated with 14 stone balls, but une of them has a missing section. There are many theories about that, with the most popular stories involving the architect of the bridge, Robert Grumbold. It is said that he was not paid for his work and swore that he would not finish the bridge until he was fully paid. The bridge was never completed… A slightly different version of the story says that Grumbold claimed the difference of the final price and what he was paid by removing this section out of the ball. The most realistic, yet most boring theory is that the section of the ball just fell into the river. For reparating works, such a section had to be cut out of the balls and than inserted again. It looks like the section was not properly fixed on one of them. Perhaps, divers will once reveal the secret of the missing section.
This college requires a passing fee. It means that you pay it once and afterwards, you are allowed to walk through the college as often as you want for the whole day. It was 2.00 pounds in 2007.
Clare College & Cam Bridge
Entry into Clare College will allow you not only to marvel at the beautiful buildings but also what Cambridge is famous for in this part of the city. You will be able to walk across Cam Bridge and get a picture perfect view of the River Cam with its many bridges and gondolas filled with cuddly lovers lost in their own world down below you. Now that's people watching!
But, I'll let you in on a better tip. If £2/- is too much for you to pay (like yours truly...well, almost every college charges an entrance fee ranging form £2/- to £4.50 so they do add up!), from Clare College, turn left and walk along the cobbled street until you reach Garret Hostel Lane, which is on your left. Turn into Garret Hostel Lnae and you will soon reach the river, and the best part is you don't have to pay! It's a public right of way.
read on...in my page on King's College for where this path will lead you towards...
The college is right next door to King's college (you can see the top of the Chapel in the picture) There is not much to see of the college, one hall is usually open. It is still worth going in though. If you walk down to the river you cross over a lovely bridge and then go down to the gardens. There is a £1.50 entry fee.
On a previous visit to the gardens we were lucky to encounter a garden party with classical music, very fitting.
The gardens are beautiful and tranquil. You can take a wander around or sit by the pond. You can also sit on the banks of the river and watch the punts go by.