Only one hour’s drive from London, Cambridge offers a lot of sights and activities. The city is incredibly entertaining for both visitors and locals that want to stay. Nearby attractions include Market Square, the Library, and the stunning new Cambridge Central Mosque, among many others.
We had spent the entire day in Cambridge, and it was the first time I had ever gone there with my entire family, including the elderly. Since we reserved our punting boat separately, we had to coordinate our travels throughout Cambridge.
There are many things to see and do in Cambridge, including:
- Cambridge Central Mosque
- Cambridge University
- Botanic Garden
- Market Square
- King’s College Chapel
- St John’s College
- Great St Mary’s Church Viewpoint
Cambridge Central Mosque
The perspective at Great St. Mary’s Church, for instance, was already closed when we arrived because we didn’t have enough time to see it when we wanted to. This was presumably because it was a Sunday when we came.
However, we began the day by traveling from London in the morning and stopping at the Cambridge Central Mosque, where we spent some time admiring the magnificent architecture and participated in one of the five daily prayers with the iman (leader). You may notice a nicely constructed garden area with gold Arabic writing at the entrance as you approach the mosque.
Inside Central Mosque
Before removing your shoes to enter the main mosque, you can discover a contribution box as you pass the garden area and treat yourself to some tea or water. There is a cafe area on the right, a men’s restroom up ahead, and the women’s restroom and prayer entry are on the left.
The Central Mosque is only one story, however, the women’s area is located behind the men’s, where they have barriers for them separately and they can access upstairs via elevator or steps. The mosque’s beautiful architecture is eerily similar to the mosques in Turkey. Both tourists and residents notice the design’s use of wood. If you glance up toward the front of the prayer room, you will see the dome’s structure.
The iman area has a special design with wooden and golden ornaments that include Arabic words.
Punting at Cambridge
After touring the Central Mosque, we needed to head over to the Punting area because we had a 2:15 pm reservation. For 12 of us to ride in one boat, the total fee after making the reservation through the Cambridge Punting website came to £129. We had to hurry because there wasn’t any parking and we were a little late. Despite arriving at the punting area five minutes late, we were still able to see all of the sights because they were included in the trip.
Given the difficulty of finding parking and the distance from the car park area, allow plenty of time for parking. Then you can take in the views of Cambridge once you’ve settled onto your boat.
If you want to book right away, there are people outside the punting area, but unless you can haggle a fair price, it can be expensive. The best course of action is to make a reservation in advance to ensure that you will be able to board your boat at the time you have requested it for. If you are running late or attending, they will also remind you on your cell phone 30 minutes in advance.
The trip takes about 45 to 50 minutes in total as you travel around the river and then back. You travel to and from your location with a guide who gives you information about the surroundings or just lets you take in the city.
As you travel across the river, you will see many other punters, some of them may have a guide on board, and others who paddled their boats independently. Paddling appears more difficult than it is because you have to exert effort and urge yourself to move forward and in a straight line.
The Bridge of Sighs
Built-in the 19th century, the Bridge of Sighs is a famous bridge that you may punt under. This is supposedly where Queen Victoria liked to hang out around Cambridge. The bridge’s construction is quite amazing, and anyone paddling would need to duck down to pass under.
King’s College Chapel
There are several types of buildings all across the city as you cruise across the river. King’s College Chapel is one of them. If you have the chance to tour inside, this historic edifice is a must-see. As you can take those lovely shots or stroll by the buildings from the outside gardens.
The top of St. Mary’s Church was unfortunately closed, and we ran out of time to see it. After ascending 125 steps, I’ve heard they have some really amazing views. But before we called it a day, we stopped by Zi’s Peri-Peri for a quick dinner.
Thank you for reading and following along with my first vacation to Cambridge. I sincerely hope you liked these lovely punting experiences in Cambridge and learned some helpful information about where to go on your future trip.
You may also like my other travel trips on my blog