I walked to Girton… and I survived it!

Yes the Tab needs more jokes about Girton being far away

As a fresher, my experience of Cambridge colleges (other than my own) has been somewhat limited this year. So as restrictions have started to become a bit more lenient, I’ve been making sure to visit all my friends in their own colleges to widen my experience of Cambridge.

But I had not mastered the strength or courage to journey to the far realms of Girton. That is until now when I visited my good friend and Tab Features editor, Zac, at that distant college…

Last weekend I undertook the arduous expedition, on foot, from my central college (I’m not going to say which one, but a lot of people would rather be at Oxford than where I am…) to the most distant boundaries of the known world, i.e. Girton College. Fortunately, I survived this voyage, and I couldn’t help feeling that I should share my story with you dear readers of the Tab. So here it is: my journey to Girton.

The hill

Okay, the first obstacle hit me straight away. I spend most of my time in the central area of Cambridge, which is pretty much as flat as a pancake. So when it transpired that, to reach my destination, I had to climb up a hill, I was stricken with terror. How was I to accomplish this daunting endeavour?

I had no choice. I mustered courage in my heart and faced up to this momentous challenge. Step after step, I began to climb, leaving the familiar world of central Cambridge behind and venturing into the unknown.

Already questioning whether I can be bothered to make this journey (Credit: Declan Boyd)

The boundary

After about 10 minutes, I had reached Fitz and I was still feeling fine. I paused for a moment of reflection. From this point onwards, I knew that there would be no more Cambridge colleges in sight until I reached Girton. With a small degree of trepidation in my heart, I took the next step and left behind safe territory. I had no idea what I was about to encounter on the rest of my journey…

About to step into a whole new world (Credit: Declan Boyd)

The Premier Inn

Cool, I didn’t know that was there. I can mention that to my parents when they come to visit. The exciting things you discover when you walk to Girton! Maybe this world wasn’t going to be as terrifying as I had anticipated.

Is this just there for people travelling from Cambridge to Girton? The journey is so far they need a room for the night? (Credit: Declan Boyd)

The sign

I had been walking for nearly 20 minutes now, a momentous feat that required all of my wills. My right foot was aching a little – but, to be fair, only because I had hurt my toe earlier that morning.

The Cambridge I know and love was far out of sight. Was I going the right way? I had no idea. And so it gladdened my heart when I finally saw a sign with the word “Girton” written on it! A new hope arose within me. I gathered my spirits and told myself I could do this.

Seeing this sign: the happiest moment of my life (Credit: Declan Boyd)


I almost did a double-take when I saw this. What alien land was this? I had heard rumours of another Sainsbury’s, but here it was, in real life! The renowned Eddington Sainsbury’s. That meant I was no longer within the sphere of influence of Mainsbury’s, and that was a terrifying thought. Oh, how far away home seemed. I must have been trekking for a whole 25 minutes! And still, I had further to go…

Sorry, Girtonians, I just don’t see how this could beat Mainsbury’s (Credit: Declan Boyd)

The better sign

I had almost given up hope. 40 minutes on foot, the furthest I had travelled from college this whole term. Was I ever going to reach Girton? Did Girton even exist? Had Zac given me false directions so I would walk off forever into the wilderness, just because he was jealous of my brilliant Tab articles (wink, wink)?

But then, my fears abated when I lay eyes on one of the most joyful sights I have ever seen. Another sign. A more delightful one. It said I had arrived at Girton College. I had achieved my goal! I had arrived!

Seeing this sign: an even happier moment in my life (Credit: Declan Boyd)


Guess what, I hadn’t arrived. Nope, the sign had deceived me. I had yet further to walk. I was not happy.

Not there yet… the pain… (Credit: Declan Boyd)

Destination reached!

But then, after a few more minutes, when I was on the brink of collapse from my 45-minute odyssey, I suddenly became aware that I was here. I had reached Girton. I had done it. I was taken aback by the shock at what I was certain was the greatest accomplishment of my first year at Cambridge.

I was so proud of myself that I just knew I had to tell people about what I had done. And what better way to do that than write a melodramatic Tab article acting as if I had undertaken one of the greatest of all human accomplishments?

And you know what? Walking to Girton was more than worth it! I had such a great afternoon there and I would certainly recommend visiting. It’s such a pretty college and getting out of central Cambridge for a bit was really nice and was quite mentally relaxing. Plus, I got to meet Tab Senior Editor Harriet in person for the first time! Despite the impression, I may have given, the walk there was actually really pleasant and relaxing, especially given the lovely weather.

Finally made it to Girton for this Tab team crossover! (Image credit: Fiona Gibbs)

So there you have it. My walk to Girton. Not so bad after all. That is until I realised I had to walk back… 😉

Feature image credit: Declan Boyd

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