Cambridge’s best architecture – Lonely Planet

Home to just one of England’s oldest and most prestigious universities, attractive bridges and amazing procuring streets, Cambridge is a fascinating metropolis for architecture aficionados.

The town is designed close to the River Cam, and its 25 bridges present exciting architectural feats best appreciated up near on a punting tour that requires you specifically beneath them. Incorporate this with 1 of the city’s strolling tours and you are going to go over numerous of Cambridge’s city landmarks.

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The metropolis is a pleasure to stroll, with yellow-stone properties, clear streets and cobbles beneath your toes. The properly manicured lawns exterior the historic university buildings are iconic, and the medieval churches and reduced-rise Tudor residences are an outstanding sight for any enthusiast of fantastic architecture. Pause to see how the more recent constructions are mixing in with the older structures in the town. In Cambridge, design and engineering occur alongside one another to produce a single of the most architecturally attention-grabbing cities in England.

Go punting beneath the Mathematical Bridge

The Mathematical Bridge is 1 of the most legendary places in Cambridge. This wood footbridge is supported by the Riverside Constructing – the oldest constructing on the river relationship from 1460 – and a Quality-II-shown building.

Designed and created in 1749, the bridge has been rebuilt twice many thanks to the getting older timber, but the exclusive structure has been conserved. It appears to be like an arch, but as you get closer you will see it is made entirely out of straight timbers, applying the Chinese creating approach of tangential radial trussing. The timbers are at many tangents with an open structure to assistance the wind movement by way of.

Remaining a bridge, the greatest way to see this rigidity and compression at operate is by heading underneath it, on a punting tour. It crosses the 50ft-vast (15m) River Cam, so you have a good deal of house to maneuver. If you never extravagant a punt, then you can see it for free of charge from the bridge on Silver Street, or shell out £3.50 to cross it.

Discover special architecture all by the streets of Cambridge © Pictures Aubrey Stoll / Getty Visuals

Wander around Cambridge’s special outlets

Some of the best representations of amazing Cambridge architecture are casually observed on the streets, inside of and outdoors the quite rows of retailers alongside Mill Road, All Saints Passage and St Edwards Passage. Glimpse out for the intriguing colourful facades on the Cambridge Gin Laboratory, Chocolat Chocolat and The Cambridge Cheese Company in specific. 

Admire the Fitzwilliam Museum inside of and out

If you are looking for the most impressive properties to see in Cambridge, reserve a trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Most individuals stop by the Fitzwilliam Museum to see the about fifty percent a million will work of artwork, masterpiece paintings and historic artifacts inside, but the exterior of the constructing is truly worth the journey way too. Launched in 1816, the Quality-I-shown making signifies some of the finest architecture in Cambridge.

Enormous green gates topped with gold pineapples guard the constructing, while the classy neoclassical pillars make for a grand entrance. Phase inside of and look up in the breathtaking main hall for some spectacular ceiling get the job done right before wandering the quite a few prolonged corridors and higher ceilinged rooms in a person of Cambridge’s prime points of interest. It is no cost to go to but you require a ticket.

A large Gothic building on an open green, viewed from above, with spires
Love the sights of Cambridge’s breathtaking architecture, this kind of as King’s Higher education Chapel, from the top rated of the church tower © eXoxideZ / Shutterstock

Consider in the panoramic sights from Great St Mary’s Church Tower

If you’re traveling to Cambridge to admire the architecture, you are going to make a beeline for the university buildings. The alumni walking excursions are a fantastic way to shell out a working day, but one more great option for admiring Cambridge’s architecture is to climb up Wonderful St Mary’s Church Tower and see it all from previously mentioned.

For just £4 you can ascend the 127 slender, medieval spiral stairs to attain the viewing balcony. Time your go to with sunset for a gorgeous check out (verify opening hours in advance).

Stay at the modern West Courtroom, Jesus College

The West Courtroom, Jesus Higher education is a single of the very best illustrations of fashionable architecture in Cambridge, with high home windows and an open design, finish with a microbrewery.

This new extension has managed to harmony the heritage of the city architecture with modern day architectural specifics. The progress has won various architecture awards due to the fact opening, and if you guide into the hotel rooms now housed there, you can get an up shut glance at why.

Try out to get within the Wren Library

Only 15 men and women at a time are authorized in the Wren Library, and it’s only open up in excess of lunchtime – indicating you have to strategy your trip very thoroughly. If you’re one particular of the lucky number of you’ll get to admire the substantial home, with its checked floor, home windows to the ceiling for ideal examining light-weight, and several VIP busts dotted all over the edges.

The Wren Library was intended by Christopher Wren, 1 of the world’s most vital and prolific architects. As effectively as visiting the library for its architectural benefit, there are also some remarkable publications among the the 70,000 here, which include a single of Sir Isaac Newton’s initial notebooks and two of AA Milne’s manuscripts for Winnie the Pooh.

A large open space in a mosque with large arched wooden pillars leading to a light-filled space
Cambridge Central Mosque is one of the city’s most recent structures © Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

See modern architecture at the eco-welcoming Central Mosque

One more triumph of modern architecture, Cambridge Central Mosque was accomplished in 2019 as Europe’s to start with eco-pleasant mosque. The very same architects who designed the London Eye worked on it, with the quick to “build the idea of a British mosque for the 21st century.”

They’ve produced an creative, architecturally stunning creating which is practical and sustainable as well. Be a part of a tour and you will understand about how it is specifically designed to limit carbon emissions with a heating procedure using solar panels and locally produced strength. Rainwater is used for irrigation and bogs, and sustainably sourced elements had been applied in the setting up. There’s a botanical backyard within, when massive timber tree-like columns spread out and intertwine to hold up the roof – built to capture the gentle as it changes as a result of the day. It took a 10 years to create, at a charge of above £23 million, and is just one of Cambridge’s latest structures.

Stop by the spectacular Spherical Church

As a person of the oldest structures in the city and a person of only 4 round churches in Britain, any self-guided architecture tour of Cambridge desires to cease by the Spherical Church.

This Norman construction dates back to 1130 CE and is modelled on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, with different improvements and influences more than the a long time generating the architectural surprise that stands there these days. The treasured Cambridge landmark is surrounded by trees and for just £3.50 you can phase inside of and discover extra about its unique architectural history, and why it’s one particular of the most crucial structures in the city.

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