bikes boat race bristol cambridge cycling folk festival guide mill road moving night life pubs south students university varsity what Ill miss
18 things I'll miss about cambridge
1. Wandering through "the back way". Cambridge is a small city, and much of it is extremely safe when compared with bigger places like Nottingham and Sheffield. It means taking the scenic route never takes long, usually throws up some suprises, and gets you from A-B without having to take the busy commuter route.
2. Cambridge cycling. Love it or hate it, Cambridge's reputation as a cycling capital gives the city a charm. I'm very much a Cambridge cyclist, but I like to think of myself as one of the safe ones(!): stopping at red lights, signalling, heeding one-way roads etc. It's the best way to get around the city and though I will be cycling in Bristol, I have a feeling it will be more hectic/scary!
3. Knowing EVERYTHING is an hours walk / 30 min cycle away. The size of Cambridge means you can, should the mood take you, walk anywhere. I hear the modes of public transport around Bristol are unpredicatable, and it's far too big to walk one side to the other in any good time. I'm going to miss not having to plan every journey before I leave the house.
4. Mill Road. Mill road tried to fight a flippin' Tesco! It's badass. And you still won't see more than 4 people in that leech of an establishment 4 years on. I love Mill Road. Stay independant!
5. Summer students. While living in Cambridge, I actually live to fear the influx of European summer students that flock in around June and stay til September: the buses are crowded, roads become dangerously full of "bike rental tourists", the city centre is full beyond capacity, you can't find space to have a tea and a quiet read anywhere... But you know what... I might grow to miss it ;)
6. Nightlife. Ok, so Cambridge has the most absymal nightlife selection of any city I've known... but I can't deny I have had some amazingly fun night with friends in Ballare, The Place and Lola Lo (maybe not so much The Fez...) Keepin' it classy! Nightlife is cheap and cheerful in Cambs, and you're always bound to bump into someone you know!
7. Punts! Cambridge and it's punts is like Venice and it's gondolas. If the punts ever left, it just wouldn't be Cambridge anymore. The same can be said for the annoying "chirpy" Cambridge students they employ to bug you to get on one. There's a reason their parents didn't want them back for the summer!!! - LEAVE ME ALONE!
8. The Corn Exchange. The only venue that thinks putting Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat on every Christmas for 6 years is enterprising. However... Good nights had at many stages of life there. Under 18's discos, queuing for small-time bands coz it was "the cool thing" to do, dragging my mum to see Regina Spektor... Good times.
9. Stereotypes. Every time I see a Cambridge student in a tweed jacket and striped scarf I die a little inside. I don't know what they're trying to hold onto there... But man, I'll miss them and their fluffy heads of MENSA grade Einsteinian amazingness.
10. Not having a team in The Boat Race. I'm pretty sure noone outside Cambridge, Oxford and London gives two hoots about The Boat Race, but it was part of growing up for me. Now, I guess I'll have to find an affintity with Bristol Rovers?!
11. The Library. Cambridge Central Library is a Mecca: a bona fide Mecca of knowledge. Having all these brainy students around pays off when you need a quick read on DNA genomes and whatnot... *ahem*
12. The Folk Festival. My childhood home was right by the Folk Festival site. Listening to it on the wind on warm summer nights, with a glass lemonade, is a great memory.
13. 2-4-1 at The Snug. Probably not something I should be proud of missing, but splitting the price of a cocktail with a friend before the 7pm cut-off is something I wish I could still do!
14. The Cambridge Beach! So, as I leave, as I type this very sentence! plans are in the making to turn an old chalkpit in Cambridge into a beach. NO. KIDDING. If it materialises, I'll wish I was here so bad!
15. Spinning at Kelsey Kerridge. For anyone looking for a fun workout - try the Thursday night spin. Callum is a great instructor and I don't think I'll find another spin class as good as this one :( I might have to cycle to work every morning with Nicki Minaj blaring from my headphones just to make up for it!
16. The view from the Varsity Hotel Rooftop Bar. On a clear Summer night... just beautful.
17. The pubs. There are some great (and historic) pubs in Cambridge. Among them: The Blue, The Eagle, The Kingston and The King Street Run (which probably isn't to everyones taste, but I meant some amazing people in there!)
18. The University. So, it may have given us a trend for tweed jackets and a reputation for elitism the city can't quite shift, but the Uni also gives us: The Festival of Ideas, Science Week, Psy-Fi and Word Fest. All good things!
Cambridge, I'll miss you!
Emma is a designer living in Bristol, UK. A self-confessed stationery addict, book lover and TV sci-fi geek, she enjoys sketching zombie-eyed women and finding her next source of inspiration in the pages on the bookshelf.