Say hello to our brand new Cambridge Columnist, Debbie-Ellen, a lifestyle writer and blogger, running the blog, Tiger-Mint.com. Each month she will be sharing her favourite locations in the city…
Catch the last of the Cambridge summer in Grantchester
Cambridge is a city that has everything. It has beauty, architecture and vast green spaces, but it doesn’t compromise on modern tastes either. When it comes to the latest trends in fashion or food, you will find it here.
Along with its fabulous location – 45 minutes to London by train – these qualities make it hard for me to drift from my long-maintained opinion that Cambridge is at the centre of the universe.
But! And this is a big but! Cambridge is one of the busiest cities I’ve ever known – that being traffic, cyclists, and sheer amounts of people. And trust me, I’ve compromised on this issue – what do I expect from living in one of the oldest, most famous cities in the world? Everyone comes to see the beauty, the sights and to soak up the diverse cultures.
As the summer draws on, however, it’s nice to escape the hustle and bustle of Cambridge’s quirks in exchange for some country views and well-deserved downtime.
You don’t have to go too far. Take a 10-minute journey by car or bike or a brisk 45-minute walk and you can find yourself in one of the most delightful villages of East Cambridge – Grantchester.
If you plan to spend a whole day in Grantchester, you won’t find yourself wondering at things to do. The only thing I will say is you should expect the pace of your day to be a lot more relaxed and leisurely compared to that of one spent in the city.
Check out some of my favourite venues and activities:
The Red Lion Pub
This beautiful pub is quintessentially British. It has that old-worldly feel with open wood fires and vast beams shouldering the roof, and the décor inside is classically refined with deep armchairs and a mismatch of oak tables.
The menu is far more than what you’d expect from a regular pub. The Red Lion takes inspiration from the “Best of British”, using only fresh, seasonal ingredients in its kitchen and then – in my experience – transforming them into something spectacular and wholesome.
Every dietary requirement is catered for here, the staff are lovely and helpful, and alongside the delicious food, the Red Lion boasts a large selection of draft beers, wines and spirits. Perfect to cool off in that late summer sun!
The Orchard Tea Rooms
There is nowhere in Cambridgeshire quite like The Orchard. Wander into the gardens and be met with countless deck chairs and tables; idyllically placed beneath row after row of green apple trees.
It’s a great spot to take a cream tea for two and enjoy the sunshine – if you can bear the wasps enjoying your scones as well, of course! But insects aside, this place is unique in its setting and with its laidback atmosphere, you can spend a couple of hours here without even realising.
If you’re looking to enjoy the last of the summer sun, punting along the River Cam is a wonderful way to do so. Pick up a punt from Mill Lane Punting Station in Cambridge and drift the 2-3 hours all the way to Byron’s Pool in Grantchester – named as such after Lord Byron who was a frequent visitor.
Another popular activity is swimming in the river and local pools in Grantchester. There are even climb up ropes hanging from the trees on the banks. But always remember that caution should be taken with this, no matter how perfect and calm the water looks!
St Andrew & St Mary Church
This Anglican Church comprises of parts dating back to the 14th century and is believed to have ties to Corpus Christi College. If you enjoy looking into the history and architecture of buildings, then this pretty church is not one to miss.
Whatever you plan to do as the end of the summer draws near, make sure Grantchester is on your list. It hosts some of the best pubs and beautiful sights in our county. Don’t miss out!