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Cambridge with Kids | Where to go in just 24hrs

Cambridge with Kids | Where to go in just 24hrsScore 63%Score 63%

The essence of road schooling is to experience places at first hand, to try and stimulate questions from the girls, to draw out thoughts on why things are as they are, and to then have the confidence to express this learning (or the inevitable questions that follow). So here’s how we got on in the centrepiece of English learning in Cambridge.

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Amost every child knows the dreaded uniform word ‘Blazer’ but have you ever wondered where the word ‘Blazer’ (i.e school blazer) comes from? Well, it’s not one that  we knew the answer to either but interestingly it comes from Cambridge! Deriving its name from the ‘blazing red’ ivy used to hide the less attractive walls of the impressive St John’s College. It’s just one of the interesting facts that we discovered on a visit to Cambridge in the early spring sunshine this week….


It seems Cambridge has plenty of these historical expressions within it’s rich and varied history… like the phrase ‘Taking Hobson’s Choice’… a phrase along the lines of ‘take it or leave it’. Or did you know that the first UEFA football match took place on Parkers Piece between the ‘townies’ and the ‘students’ … or that journeys between Trinity Colleges in Cambridge and Oxford can take place without ever stepping off their land… such is the wealth and reach of these Colleges due in part to the  extensive historic backing from monarchs such as Henry VIII.


Heading into Cambridge using the efficient park’n’ride service from Trumpington,  our fantastic Visit Cambridge guided tour offered plenty of interesting anecdotal stories to break up the visits across Cambridge. We’d opted for the ‘Kings College and Backs‘ tour… and were treated to a visit to the oldest Anglo Saxon church in England plus a trip to one of the oldest coach houses in England (with its own ghost and Second World War stories)


Every city should have Something special

Kings College has always held an interest ever since seeing the world famous Christmas Eve ‘ Carol Service‘. The one where the choristers raise shivers down your spine with their opening lines to the carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’… but the chapel is something to behold. Privately owned, it’s one of the Top 3 largest chapels in the world behind the Sistine Chapel, it could easily be a cathedral (interestingly Cambridge has no Cathedral despite being a city…)

The chapel has intricate carvings, stunning stained glass window and an organ that will draw a gasp of amazement! Its history includes housing Cromwell’s troops in the Civil War yet was never bombed in the Second World War as Hitler believed the place to be too beautiful to be ruined… it’s amazing to think it’s been there since AD43!!


Something for everyone… it’s full of quirky facts to learn

But the choice of a self-punt or guided punt is an easy one as the Scudamore’s guide was fantastic. Captivating the girls with modern stories about Cambridge through to the darker times that saw students pitted against towns folk. We’d not known the association with Henry VIII or his wives but there’s plenty to learn here. Nor did we know about the beautiful Elisabeth de Clare responsible for the Clare College banana trees… or the fact that Queens was actually founded and re-founded by two separate Queens of England! It was a brilliant way to spend an hour and certainly generated multiple questions from the girls about both history and modern day life in Cambridge.
As we’ve said all along, the main point of road schooling is to experience places at first hand, to try and stimulate questions from the girls, to draw out thoughts on why things are as they are, and to then have the confidence to express this learning (or the inevitable questions that follow). Although truly special in it’s own right, it may not quite fit into our ‘Top 12 European Ed-Ventures‘, but we’ll certainly return again to discover more about this beautiful city.



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Summary Need to escape for a few days? Want to compare weekend breaks to top cities such as Bordeaux, Rome or Copenhagen? Does your family love to explore new cities too? Do you also think that city breaks aren't just for adults and are a great way to learn, relax and bond as a family. If so, grab a seat, make yourself comfortable & discover some of the favourite 'family friendly' cities we've visited in our 700+ day European Roadtrip

value for money
ease of access
activities for families
motorhome accommodation availability
public transport
would we return factor

About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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