Cambridge

Cambridge University is one of the most prestigious and oldest in the world and fortunately for me, it isn’t too far from London so I recently decided to visit for the day. As I’d never been to Cambridge and seeing as it is steeped in so much history I decided to join a tour. Cambridge University, unlike other institutions is made up of lots of individual colleges, and the tour was made up of visiting the main ones.

Most of the college buildings were made of distinctive yellow limestone, and the detail of the embellishment was amazing. I could tell that this was a wealthy university due to just how much detail and grandeur the buildings held.

Along the tour it was really interesting hearing the story of the discovery of DNA and about some of the now famous people that studied at the university. We walked past the River Cam and people punting (boating to you and me) which Cambridge is also known for. As I watched, a friendly duck came up to me to make my acquaintance.

Most of the colleges were off limits to the public as it was exam period for the students but I did manage to poke my head through some doors to admire the courtyards. Among the most famous colleges on the tour was Trinity College which was founded by King Henry VIII which is why it has his statue on the entrance.

One of the things I was fascinated to see was the tree (supposedly) that Isaac Newton saw an apple fall from and that inspired his theory of gravity (although I think it’s actually a descendent of that tree). I was inspired to be in a place where so many influential, intelligent people studied.

Once the tour was over I was free to do what I wanted so I took more time to look around a couple of the open courtyards and gardens and just re-visited some of the colleges to look at some of the intricate details more closely. On the way back to the station I also popped into Fitzwilliam Museum for a quick look around.

My favourite view of the day was the back of Kings College, with it tall spires reaching high and the enormous grounds that it was sitting on.

I would like to come back one day, to try the punting, take more time to see the museum and botanical gardens and maybe if I was lucky enough to have a look inside the colleges to try and get a sense of what it must be like to study at such a reputable and famous university.

A walk in Manchester

I recently went to Manchester for work and stayed in a stunning hotel and although I had a few super, busy days I did managed to disappear for a while and go for a walk. I came across some old buildings and a courtyard that looked beautiful in the bright, sunny afternoon. I would’ve liked to explore further but sadly, I ran out of time. I hope that next time I’m in the city I will have more time to explore and find the many other places that I’m sure are worth seeing. I’ll also need to remember to take my camera so I can take some better pictures of my discoveries (and maybe of the fancy hotel too)

Boats and ropes

In my travels around London recently I happened across St Katharine Docks. It seemed hidden away in the centre of London near Tower Bridge and the River Thames. This is one of the things I love about London, there’s so much history and interesting things to discover when you least expect it.
St Katherine Docks was built around the 18th century and although it has been around for almost 200 years it has been well kept with some modern embellishments

The colourful tiles just outside the entrance to the docks display facts of London and of the kings and queens of old. The inside of the entrance has larges panels of colourful tiles depicting different prints and scenes.

The boats that were tied to the docks were quite beautiful; with painted names and adornments added to the exterior, adding colour and personality.

I think what I liked the most though, were the details of the old, used ropes and chains, with lots of textures and colours, and with each one having their own story to tell

I enjoyed seeing something unexpected in the middle of London and I look forward to discovering more hidden gems