How to tourist your way through Cam
Revel in post-exam bliss and break yourself out of the bubble
As exam season draws ominously near and you realise that you haven't actually seen the outside of your room or the library in an age, why not take a break (a bigger break than reading this article) and turn your thoughts to the glories of post-exam season? Forget about the Valois Dukes of Burgundy and focus on more pressing concerns: how am I gonna pick a May Ball outfit? Where am I going to stage my May Ball dp? What on Earth am I going to do now? While the first two questions are you-problems, hopefully this article will help with the latter.
The Corpus clock and other college marvels
You probably walk past something old and photo-worthy every day, de-sensitised to its tourist-attracting powers by your academic slog. Well, academic slog no more. Why not go and see what the fuss is all about? Witness the Corpus clock while basking in the guilt-free procrastination of post-exam season. Bug friends in other colleges for odd or interesting things to see – like the legit jet engine in Peterhouse or the many statues of famous people currently living it up in Trinity. An
Cambridge museums or galleries
Whether you are fond of Fine Art (check out Kettle's Yard or the Fitzwilliam with its collection of antique furniture that people accidentally sit on because they look like resting spots with #aesthetic), are interested in the infinite variety of SCIENCE and people who scienced (Whipple, Polar Museum or Earth Sciences), or want to ponder mortality as expressed through preserved animals (Zoology) or actual human skeletons (MAA), there is a museum out there for you.
Punting with a chance of airborne rodents
You have heard of the town-side punting (with its highly apocryphal tales) and punting on the other side of the river (where all the cows are), but now the advent of supremely late evenings means that bat-punting exists. Yes, *bat* punting. Sit in a punt while a guide regales you with twilight trivia and multitudes of bats sweep overhead wallowing in their bat-like thoughts: 'where are all the bugs? Is that even a bug? I can't believe it's not a bug'
Revisit Market Square
You know it as the land of infinite juice, Belgian waffles and things more expensive than Sainsburys, but now it is time to go window(less) shopping at the other stalls. Stock up on stash to brag about at home, discover the true nature of the Hemp Store (it really is just hemp fabric), ponder the merits of an Ostrich Burger, or pretend you can afford those crystals and fossils – the possibilities are endless, courtesy of the ever-changing stalls.
Actual shopping can have its drawbacks: the prices that far exceed your student budget, and the threat of lugging more dead weight betwee your room and car each term. But window-shopping is the future. Gaze upon the myriad of terrifyingly specific yet aesthetically pleasing products in John Lewis (for when will anyone actually need a giant doorstop shaped like a beehive or a duck?), enjoy the visual spectacle of Lush bathbombs (unbuyable because one does not have a bathtub), or drool in anticipation in Hotel Chocolat.
Get lost in nature
After being cooped up with books for about a month, why not enjoy their primeval form by surrounding yourself with plants? Have a look at the Botanical Gardens, take a leisurely stroll along the green areas of the river, or take a nap in a green area in your faculty (just like you did before the exams but now with 200% more relaxation).
When in doubt, find an historic pub
Every yard in Cambridge is punctuated by another historic pub – you are spoiled for choice. Be amazed by the Eagle's RAF Bar, enjoy some lovely pub grub, and (in true Cambridge spirit) intellectually spar with your fellow tributes about the addition of Rosalind to the Watson and Crick plaque. If the punting was not enough river for you, have a meal at the Anchor with its riverside seating and wave at the omni-present tourists.
These seven suggestions merely scratch the surface of random things one can do to enjoy the tourism side of Cambridge, I wish you the best of luck in finding more.