Short term business travellers are unlikely to have time to enjoy many of the cultural or architectural highlights Cambridge has to offer. For everyone else, though, there’s plenty on the cards at any time of year.
Cambridge is a University city – and so during term time the place always has something happening, either something aimed at students or something done by students. Out of term time, the place continues to thrive as a major tourist destination – again thanks to the University, which pervades most of the town in one form or another. As one of the two most famous universities in the United Kingdom, it is an attraction in its own right, and draws many day trippers from London.
The city is small enough (mainly thanks to its University layout and heritage status) that most accommodation in Cambridge is within easy striking distance of popular places to be. Cambridge city centre is also surrounded by four roughly equal green spaces, which are frequented during term time by groups of students and which also play host to a number of small festivals and fairs during the summer months.
Musically, Cambridge has as thriving a scene as any university town – more so, by some standards, because the city itself is so compact. There are plenty of pubs: and with a hefty seam of sporting endeavour running through most colleges, there’s also plenty of impetus to work off all the beer calories in the gym, on the river Cam, or on a cycle path.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Cambridge has easy access to the countryside – including Grantchester Meadow, which is just outside the city. The Meadow was a firm favourite of a then-unknown band called The Pink Floyd Sound: a group which, in modified form, was to become one of the most famous and biggest-selling rock outfits of all time.
Cambridge is also famed for theatre and comedy – thanks in no small part to the Footlights club, which provides annual entertainment and which has produced some of Britain’s all time comedy legends (including John Finnemore; Douglas Adams; and of course Pete and Dud). Business travellers staying longer term in accommodation in Cambridge may be treated to regular doses of Footlights or beyond the fringe style comedy.
Touring the colleges itself can keep a person occupied for a few consecutive weekends. Each college has its own grounds, often its own church or chapel – and many are ancient and grandly designed. King’s College and St Catharine’s College are the two most immediately famous – but there are plenty of others, each with their own personalities and charms to discover.
The city is also home to a number of museums and galleries, some sponsored or owned by the University. It’s also a hotbed of literary publishing, one of the last bastions of the industry: Granta magazine (named after an ancient word for the area) still publishes some of the most exciting and important literary fiction, and its prestige remains undimmed.
There’s plenty to see and do in Cambridge all year round.