The Great Escape

Time to kill and money to spend? The Tab gives you some day-tripping ideas to get you out of the bubble.

anglesey abbey Booze boredom chalk pit duxford escape golf hedonism pick your own raspberries red arrows strawberries swimming wimpole hall


Yippee! You’ve finished your exams! But after the initial euphoria, the jubilation starts to lose its gloss. Getting drunk is anticlimactic once you remember how bad hangovers are. Sunburn is painful. The only solution is to escape. Even if you’ve only been at Cambridge for a year, the thrills of such a dinky little town have long worn thin, so it’s time to spread those rediscovered wings and get the f*** out of here.

Bus directions have been given where available to these exciting out of town locations, but almost all of the suggested destinations are within cycling distance if your bike isn’t made out of rust and your muscles haven’t totally disintegrated. All locations are easiest to reach if you have cheeky access to an independent means of automotive transport.


The Pit at Cherry Hinton

Described as a “closely guarded secret” by edgy Architecture students, The Pit is in fact part of a multi-million pound development scheme to turn a disused quarry into a Malibu Beach Party. Escape the hubbub of Emma pool and head to this huge expanse of freezing cold water, then liberate yourself by losing your testicles. Bring a towel and jumper. There are also opportunities for climbing, biking, birdwatching and archaeology in case you feel that you didn’t spend enough time doing useful shit over the past few weeks.

Getting there: Take the CITI 3 from Emmanuel Street (stop E2) towards Cherry Hinton, (departing every 10 minutes), get off on the High Street at Cherry Hinton (opp Gladstone Way). To get to the pit, walk up Queen Edith’s Way, and down Lime Kiln Road on the left (see map).
Journey time: 20 minutes on the bus and a 10 minute walk. 
Price: Free!


Newmarket Race Course

Betting, birds, booze, and a bit of Jedward thrown in for good measure. If that hasn’t persuaded you, nothing will. Not as snobby as most racecourses, Newmarket is full of under-30s getting hammered and waving wads of cash around. Join them during the day and waste some of that money you saved this term, then prepare for a 'Newmarket Night' of X-factor heroes, potentially with a brief foray into town to De Nero’s nightclub after you’ve had your fill of Jedward. If you thought Cindies was bad, you were so, so wrong. Drinks and food are overpriced and of terrible quality (warm, flat lager poured into plastic cups by acne-ridden 14 year olds, ugh) so getting boozed in the car park is not as adolescent as it sounds.

Getting there:  Due the logistical nightmare that this trip used to consist of, a coach service is now on offer from Cambridge station to the course and back. The July Course (as opposed to the Rowley Mile) where the concerts are held is a solid 2-3 mile walk from the train station, the traffic making it easier to walk back rather than sit in a taxi staring at the meter. This coach service is a dream for students, allowing any sense of responsibility to be thrown out the window, and it only costs £6.50 return. See the ‘directions’ section of the website for details.
Journey Time: 30 minutes.
Price: Tickets £18 – £28, including a day’s racing and evening concert (first is Friday the 18th June, with the stars of X-Factor playing, an ideal comedown to May week). See website for more details



Neaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww. Hear that? That is the sound of the Duxford Trophy Competition, an aerobatic aeroplane contest taking place at The Imperial War Museum Duxford on the 12th and 13th June from 11am-6pm. On paper this sounds terrifically lame, in reality check out this video and your adrenaline will be pumping more ferociously than it did last week when you took Paper 5 in the Corn Exchange.

Getting there: Take the CITI 7 bus from Emmanuel Street (stop E1) at quarter past every hour from 9.15am, which stops outside the museum.
Journey Time: Roughly 20 minutes.
Price: £13.20


Pick Your Own

Constipation? Vitamin deficiency? Time to lie in a field and stuff yourself full of fruit. Sunclose Farm is on Butt Lane in Milton, and you can bask in the bosom of Mother Nature as you pick gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants. Revel in guilt as you hand 20p over to an impoverished farmer having raped their field of fruit and eaten all the evidence.

Getting there: Get the CITI 2 bus from St. Andrew’s Street (stop 52), departing every 10 minutes, and get off at Ely Road Milton. Head for Butt Lane and the farm is about 800m up the road.
Journey Time: Roughly 30 minutes.
Price: Pay for what you pick.


The Cambridge Lakes Golf Course

Golf. No one likes it that much, that’s why you have probably never played before. There’s no time like the present for spanking something particularly hard, however, especially when you’re a tad bored and didn’t get much over the revision period. Chip and putt is especially recommended at this place because real golf is, like adultery, seemingly easy in theory, but impossible in practice.


Getting there: A quick stroll down Trumpington Street past the Fitzwilliam Museum, past The Leys School and past the much-neglected Botanical gardens that ‘Varsity’ are always banging on about (but are pretty dull really).
Journey Time: 15 minutes.
Price: £5.50 for student (with student card) for 9 holes, putting and chipping greens if you’re shit. Check out the website here.


National Trust Houses

Not to say that Cambridge architecture isn’t great, but ever since I sat my exams in the Senate House, that ‘magical’ sensation has been shot to shit. Wimpole Hall (farm included, awesome), Anglesey Abbey, and Wandlebury Park are all within easy driving distance of Cambridge, visiting by public transport is a bit of a nightmare given the rural locations, but the National Trust websites are extremely helpful (click on the links). To be honest, you’ve got all day, so does it really matter if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere?


Getting there: Car is a must.
Journey Time: It depends on who’s driving.
Price: It varies, but around the £10 mark.