Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Ellie. I’m originally from Poland, but I’ve been travelling and living abroad for about 10 years now. Prior to Cambridge, I lived in London for two years, and I’m currently in the process of moving back to that pretty little city!
In early spring 2016, I decided to dust off my old Instagram account, get out of the house and, initially, explore every college of Cambridge and introduce it to the Instagram community.
What are the must things to do in Cambridge?
I would suggest to go punting, climb up the stairs to the top of the Great St Mary’s Church and visit at least a few colleges.
Punting is so much fun! A return trip takes about 45min, and you’re allowed to bring food and drinks with you! As you pass along the river, a chauffeur (when not doing it yourself) shares some interesting facts about each university college you see.
Great St Mary’s Church tower is the best spot to see a panoramic view of Cambridge. You can’t miss it!
Many colleges are usually open to public for free and close only due to some events or examinations, so it’s always good to check their websites before visiting.
What is the best way to move around in Cambridge? (Public transport, by foot etc.)
Definitely by bicycle. Almost everyone in this town owns a bicycle. Cycling is convenient and quicker, especially on weekends when the streets are packed and you can’t walk comfortably.
What is the best season to visit Cambridge and why?
Without any doubt, the best season is spring or early autumn. It’s amazing how the town blooms on a warm day: people are out punting, all the parks, gardens and green areas are full of students. As the city centre is quite small and streets are narrow, I also suggest visiting Cambridge on a week-day and avoid coming over here on bank holidays. Generally, the weekends can be quite stressful, unless you don’t mind spending your free time being surrounded by crowds of tourists 😉
What restaurants would you recommend?
I adore Espresso Library, as it’s 2 min away from my flat. They’re menu changes regularly and the coffee is always so good. Pint Shop next to Market Square offers great lunch set menus. Afternoon Tease is a tiny café, where they serve some of the best cakes (and banana bread!) in the city. I’ve heard many good words about The Senate, Trinity and Six, too. And of course, if you’re a huge foodie 2* Michelin Midsummer House is a must-try.
Where do you like going out on a weekend?
To be honest, I don’t really go out on weekends in Cambridge as I find it impossible to relax in crowded places. But when I do, I like being close to the river or popping into one of my favourite cafes.
If you could choose to have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it in Cambridge?
Hm, perhaps being able to fly! I would be able to take photos of hidden corners, enjoy wonderful views, get from one place to another much quicker, or sneak into some university buildings and fly away once I get caught.
Are there any hidden gems you know about that you would like to share?
Selwyn College is a very underrated, but such an amazing place I keep going to from time to time. Bould Brothers is a newly open brilliant tiny café in the centre, run by two brothers, who are just hilarious and so welcoming! The views from the punts are also very appealing: you can see the backs of many colleges that are quite often closed. There are also some little charming alleys, like Willow Walk or Portugal Street.
If you could change 3 things about Cambridge, what would they be?
First of all, I wish the town was less touristic. During summer, the majority of students are away, and you can find summer school kids everywhere, interenational guided tourist groups on every corner, and generally the town looses its unique university vibe for a while. Moreover, I like that the town is very cyclist-friendly and cycling is a very important part of its everyday lifestyle. However many people, mainly visitors, don’t get it and I’ve witnessed many arguments between pedastrians/drivers and cyclists. Finally, I’d love to see more brunch spots and cosy cafes. There’s a huge demand and during term sometimes it’s hard to find a place to sit down.
Other than Cambridge, is there any other city in the world you think is a must? Why?
I’m forever in love with Lisbon. I lived there for a couple of years, and the relaxing atmosphere, beautiful architecture, excellent coffee and the close presence of the ocean is what I love the most about this city.
I’d love to visit Edinburgh, discover some towns in Iceland, and travel to South America at some point in my life.
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