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Entrance to Clare College. Cambridge University is made up of 31 Colleges. Clare is its 2nd oldest college founded in 1326

Confession…I am addicted to Instagram, there I’ve said it. What does this addiction mean though? For me it means my phone, and inevitably my Instagram gallery, is full of things that have caught my eye on my wanders around my home city of Cambridge, and a good helping from other places I’ve explored.

I enjoy capturing snap shots of the character, quirks, and ‘story’ of a place I am exploring, and yes I realise it means I am one of those annoying people who can be walking along, and then suddenly I’m not. I’ll usually be pointing my phone at something that intrigues me, looks pretty or is interestingly ugly characterful, or old, perhaps an interesting shape or angle, or strangely a bicycle fitting in perfectly with its surroundings (we aren’t short of bicycles in Cambridge!)

Corpus Christi College. The sixth to be founded (in 1352). The only college at the University founded by towns people.

I started this blog late last year and the card-carrying procrastinator that I am, have been waiting for the perfect first post. I realised recently if I continued waiting I’d never post anything! So, light bulb type moment, I thought it would be fun to write a post showing Cambridge’s character and abundant history, through some of my many photos.


Often I hear local people complaining Cambridge’s character and charm is being eroded as more and more independent shops are replaced by boring (also see ‘expensive’) chain shops and a multitude of coffee shops.

That’s not the way I see this city though and I always find myself thinking ‘but the charm and character is still there, you just have to make time to see it’ And this post has got me thinking…


Cambridge’s busy market square runs seven days a week. Behind it is Great St Mary’s Church, known as ‘The University Church’

Do we take the history and architecture for granted in Cambridge, too caught up in our daily lives to appreciate what is here?

Perhaps most cities and towns have this problem, maybe we are too busy rushing here and there, concentrating on too many things, needing to be somewhere, getting to work on time or needing to catching a bus, to notice the charm and character amidst all the modernisation and commercialisation.

If we slowed down occasionally and spent time appreciating it as a visitor would, we’d notice the things that continue to make our cities and towns unique.


Looking down King’s Parade from Trinity Street. King’s College and its chapel make this one of the busiest streets in Cambridge. This area was once the main high street in the 16th Century.

One of my favourite things to do in Cambridge is to wander aimlessly, as if seeing it through the eyes of a visitor. Looking around you without the pressure of having to be somewhere or needing to get things done is a fun thing to do.

Sarah Key Books, also known as ‘The Haunted Bookshop’, on St Edward’s Passage. It is said to be haunted by a lady in white!

Of course it’s important for indie and family businesses to continue to trade, but at the same time there is always much more to a place than its shops. The character and charm are always there, we just have to relax and notice our surroundings.


A view of the punting station from silver Street Bridge. The street name comes from when the area was occupied by Silversmiths.

Does this sound familiar where you live? What’s your experience? It would be interesting to hear about your city or town, your likes and dislikes and why you think I should visit and what I should look out for.


The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge’s second oldest building. Most famously known as the round Church. One of only four round churches in England.

Undoubtedly some of the places I’ve depicted here will get their own feature on this blog in future. There is such fascinating and intriguing history around Cambridge, I can’t wait to bring it alive in my blog.


View from Garrett Hostel Bridge, with Trinity Bridge in the distance

I hope the photos in this post go some way to show you Cambridge’s character and history in the way I see it.


A King’s College porter surveying his surroundings