Day 19 of 30 Days in May Challenge: Cambridge

If you are looking for a day away that’s not too far away, then why not Cambridge?We chose this as actually, it’s our wedding anniversary so we wanted a treat. I’d seen Enchanted Cinema were opening their season with ‘A Star Is Born’ and wanted to try an open-air cinema experience without going all the way to London and also not sitting in a car draining the battery.

So here we are….The buildings are simply stunning wherever you look. Old-fashioned winding streets, decorative cornices, and peculiar statues. A photography heaven (when no one’s around!).

Shops are obviously in abundance and on the main strip, you’ve got every designer you need, Harry Potter goodies galore, university clothing for anyone to buy and also the knick-knack tourist shops. We walked along Regent Street looking in the smaller shops bought a few delicacies from Chocolat Chocolat (yum) and then into Grand Arcade. There’s a lot of mixed shops in here if you need to get out of the rain as well as the Grafton centre which is the other side of the city.We looked around the market square where you’ll find scarves, jewellery, clothing, handmade crafts and a selection of street foods to choose from if you’re hungry.
Onto King’s Parade and the centre is full as it’s also graduation ceremonies. It was great to see so many smiling, proud faces as they donned their black capes and university colours. We came across a lovely map of the city set out a bit like the Game of Thrones intro model… easy to see where you are and find where you want to go.

We walked along where you can see the famous grasshopper clock near Corpus Christi college… a really strange object which really does tell the time with each jump it makes….! Then we walked up along Trumpington Street where there’s a mini river along the roadside! This also takes you off in the right to the river and behind the colleges for punting.

Food can be cheap or expensive. There are loads of independents or chains to choose from for lunch. Whether it’s sat in a restaurant, a coffee bar or a takeaway sandwich sitting near the river watching the punts go by. You can spend all day just wandering around the city and not getting bored.

On to the cinema garden: Our evening started in a closed garden in the grounds of the Gonville Hotel. Multi-coloured deckchairs set up, fairy lights and a large screen. We were prepared with a blanket and chose our seats before going for some street food for tea from Nanna Mexico.. a chicken burrito. We grabbed a drink from the drink’s shed and took our seats. You have to wait for sunset so there was some live music for an hour as everyone arrived, settled, chatted and ate. Headsets on and the film began. It does get cold so you need your coat and a couple of blankets.
Great film! Entry £14.50- yes more than the cinema but it’s the experience of it that counts.
A day out in Cambridge will also keep your fitbit happy with probably anything over 10,000 steps just for wandering around. 😉

How to get here:

  • Car 40 minutes (approx).
  • It will cost you £20 return by train and it takes just under 1 hour… but if you treat yourself to a Two Together Railcard you’ll get two people for just £26.90 which is a great saving, so if you are planning a few trips with your best mate or family member then get one…
  • You can also get there by bus with National Express which costs £8 each way and takes just over 1 hour.

Cambridge centre is a 15 minute walk from the train station, whereas the bus station is right in the centre.

Cambridge always has something going on somewhere, great shops, great choice of food and is definitely worth a day out.

#WeLovePeterborough #WeLoveDaysOut #WeLoveWeekends #WeLoveShopping #WeLoveWalking

The story behind the Corpus ”Grasshopper’ Clock:

The Corpus Clock is one of the most distinctive public monuments in Cambridge and has been admired by residents and tourists since its inauguration in 2008. It is an unusual device for the measurement of time being both hypnotically beautiful and deeply disturbing. It was invented, designed and given to Corpus Christi College by Dr John C Taylor OBE FREng  (m1959), who worked with local engineering company Huxley Bertram in constructing the Clock.

The face of the clock is plated in pure gold and the radiating ripples allude to the Big Bang, the central impact that formed the universe and could be considered as the beginning of time. Sitting atop the clock is an extraordinary monster: the ‘Chronophage’, meaning ‘time-eater’, for that is what the Chronophage does, devouring each minute as it passes with a snap of its jaws. It evolves out of a grasshopper, a term used by eighteenth-century horologist John Harrison to describe his invention of an escapement which was a strictly functional innovation.

The Corpus Clock has no hands or digital numbers and thus at first it appears difficult to tell the time. However, look carefully and there are 3 rings of LEDs, which reading from the innermost ring show hours, minutes and seconds. When an hour is struck there is no chiming of bells, but rather the shaking of chains and a hammer hitting a wooden coffin. Time passes and we all die, a fact further represented by the Latin inscription underneath the clock, mundus transit et concupiscentia eius, meaning ‘the world and its desires pass away’.

A further Latin inscription adorns the pendulum: Joh. Sartor Monan Inv. MMVIII, which translates as follows: Joh. is Johannes, Sartor is the mediaeval Latin for tailor, Monanensis is the Isle of Man, Inv. is invenit, a verb with multiple meanings, e.g. discovered/made/brought to fruition, and lastly MMVIII is the year 2008. Thus, John Taylor, of the Isle of Man, made it, in 2008.

If you wish to learn more about the Corpus Clock a book is available for purchase in the Porters’ Lodge.
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