Parks and Green Spaces, Cambridge
Cambridge truly is a green city – the natural fen landscape flows right into the centre along the river Cam, cows grazing within sight of Kings College Chapel. You can picnic under the trees along The Backs and admire the stunning displays of flowering bulbs in Spring, or while away the hours in beautifully kept College grounds and Fellows gardens. The public parks and commons provide a paradise for children with play equipment, football pitches and tennis courts.
The Botanic Garden is a huge park south to the city centre, not far from the train station.They open at 10 and for a while we felt we were the only tourists there. I noticed that many of the other visitors seemd to have yearly passes and I can understand that.If I lived in Cambridge, I know I would spend a lot time there.Later in the morning several groups of language students arrived and it was not so quiet any more.
There are theme gardens, like a dry garden for plants not needing much water, a rock garden, rose garden, winter garden etc.
I especially liked the grass maze, which is not a maze to get lost in, but one which you can overlook.
Another very interesting area showed which plants had come to the UK in which time. I was wondering how these dates are known. Did the botanists find a letter, saying:"Darling, I've come back from my trip around the world and I brought you these seedlings for
your garden."? Or did someone mention in a diary:" I hope the new plants will grow here."?
There are also several glass houses which show plants typical for other countries. Koala loved the Australian house ( see the travelogue ).
The colleges consist of several buildings each, often built around a large garden.Two years ago, I had the chance of seeing the gardens of Trinity College. I remember a small pond, almost hidden by the beautiful bushes and shrubs around it.
This year we went to Pembroke College. This is the third oldest college in Cambridge, founded in 1347. Immediately after we had passed through the entrance gate we were in a beautiful garden . You could just tell it's an old garden, many tall, old trees are standing there.
The flowers looked especially pretty against the background of the red brick buildings.
From the boat we also passed several of the college gardens, also the one in Trinity, but I couldn't see the little pond . I remember how surprised I was about the size of this garden.
I think the last picture shows the garden of Clare College, but I'm not entirely sure.
With the warm Summer weather and the beautiful parks around you having a little picnic is only a natural choice. In Cambridge you can even spoil yourself more because the river Cam will provide you with beautiful scenery.
The longest running beer festival in the UK and its good !! Starts early/mid May and enjoys 170 beers and also 60+ foreign beers . get there before 5pm and you can get in for free, if not you have to pay £2.50 and then pay a deposit of £2 for a beer glass. Keep it if you like or hand it back after supping the beers. A beer guide is on hand too.
Cambridge is a cycling city and the best way to get here, but if you have to drive, park on ilton Road, Chesterton Road or in the multi storey car part at Park street, not 5 minutes walk from the tents
The biggest Fair in the Uk is in Cambridge on Midsummers Day and if you are into this type of thing worth visiting. Look for the reduced priced rides on the last Monday.
In early June the marvellous Strawberry Fair covers almost the entire area. this is an annual hippy fair which stages free bands on many stages, along with the beer tents, art workshops and clothes and food stalls. Some unusual sites can be seen but that is what makes the Fair special. Park the car at Cambridge City FC ground just up the road at Milton Road
This common land lends itself to many things throughout the year, and the light changes tomake this an enchanting green space in the centre of Cambridge.
On a windy day fly a kite; on a sunny day sit on the grass amongst the cows; on Bank Holidays enjoy the circus or fairground; in November marvel at the Fireworks on around the 5th; or just park the car and take a walk along the paths bordering the river, watching the students practicew rowing.
Opened in 1846, this is a lovely place to have a wander, (in fact 40 acres!!) a chat, admire the plants and waterbirds. It was a great place to start our VT meeting too :)
Entry is 3GBP per person
Concessions are 2.50GBP
Children 0-16 - Free
Feb, Mar, Oct 10am-5pm
Jan, Nov, Dec 10am-4pm
The gardens are just under a mile to the south of the City centre and 5 mins walk from the railway station.
Open spaces are known as 'pieces' in Cambridge.
Parker's piece is a large squarish area, mostly of grass only just out of the centre. It is actually named after a cook of Christ's college who leased the land for farming. For centuries it has been used for formal and informal sports. There always seems games of football and cricket going on, whatever the season in addition to the joggers and kite flyers.
Some say that this is the birthplace of football / soccer, when 'Cambridge rules' were posted to trees. However a game where ball-handling handing is allowed, and no forward passes are allowed either. That's is hardly football ! - we call that Rugby. There is supposed to be some plaque to record it, but I've never found it.
Great area to chill out, picnic and people watch.
Next to Jesus College, there is beautiful park called Jesus Green. Walk through Jesus Green and you will end up to Cam River.
My visit of Jesus Green was in autumn and as you could see it is still looking beautiful.
When you are in Cambridge, you will come across with plenty of parks and green. Parker’s piece is an example of it. In summer you could see cricket game here.
There is a path way which is short cut for Police Station.
This is the one thing that really struck me about Cambridge - all the open green spaces. Looking at a map of the city you can see just how much of it is nice and green. I think it says a lot about the pride of the citizens when prime parcels of land are left for the people and not sold for huge profit.
Christ’s Pieces is located on Emmanuel Road.
It is another beautiful park which offers its fresh and green atmosphere to all visitors.
During summer it is best place to enjoy sun.
Great big park where students and locals stretch out to enjoy a sunny day or kick the football around.