Grantchester - Cambridge - Midsummer Common - Mill Rd - Newtown

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Cambridge is a city still dominated by academia. The most prominent (if plain) building remains Gilbert Scott’s 1930s University Library, only 157 feet in height but which can be seen from miles around; for this is a very flat landscape, ideal for cyclists who you will encounter around every corner, often heading straight for you!

The dominance of the colleges in the landscape has meant a city grid that is skewed, with almost all of the 19th century development taking place to the east of the city away from the colleges. The railway station was also relegated to the south east edge of the city to discourage undergraduates from hopping on the train down to London and neglecting their studies.

However, the huge benefit of this tight collegiate land ownership has been the large green open spaces that have remained intact, along the Backs, the river to Grantchester and also the numerous sports fields scattered across the city.

The other very noticeable feature of Cambridge has been its pedestrian and cyclist-friendly traffic policies. The town centre has been closed to traffic for many years, and is consequently a delightful area to wander through, full of interesting shops and cafés. Park & Rides dotted around the edge of the city have captured much of the traffic; and the recent innovation of the Guided Busway (which you pass on the walk) is yet another useful innovation.

The thrill of this walk is it takes yu to places you will almost certainly be unfamiliar with; but somehow at the same time you feel more connected with the past than any number of tourist visits could possibly make you.

England - East England - Cambridgeshire - Town or city

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Mostly Flat, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Woodland

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