Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Cambridge

Thu May 7, 2009 2:29pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato

CAMBRIDGE, England (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore the colleges, pubs, green spaces and the leafy tow paths of Cambridge, England.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a visit to the city that is a rowing Mecca and home to one of world's most famous universities, celebrating its 800th year.


6 p.m. Arrive at Cambridge train station and breathe in the soft air of the Fenlands. Cambridge is a town of cyclists, where everyone from students to software millionaires ride bicycles to get around. If you want to get the most out of the city, you can rent one too right outside the station at Station Cycles ( Buy a map while you're at it.

7 p.m. If you're staying in the center of town and you like a bit of history, stop in at The Eagle. It is one of the oldest pubs in Cambridge, dating back to the 1600s with a galleried courtyard for outdoor drinkers. A plaque outside will tell you this is the pub where Cambridge scientists Watson and Crick cracked the secret of DNA and there will likely be plenty of modern-day geniuses knocking back their Friday night pints. The ceiling in the RAF room at the back is festooned with the smoky signatures of World War Two airmen stationed around Cambridge, who wrote their names with cigarette lighters on the ceiling before flying off to confront the German Luftwaffe.

11 p.m. Most pubs in Cambridge still close near or around this traditional closing time, though some stay open past midnight. You could try the nightlife if you're keen. There are at least three busy late night clubs close by The Eagle: The Kambar, the Soul Tree and Fez Club.

But beware it's an early start in the morning...

SATURDAY   Continued...

<p>Cyclists cross a bridge as a man punts on the River Cam in Cambridge, central England February 20, 2008. REUTERS/Darren Staples</p>