Castle Hill, Kettle's Yard and Great St. Mary's
Best done on foot although it can be biked. About 2 miles.
Start at Great St. Mary's church
off the Market Square. Walk north
up Trinity Street passing Gonville and Caius, Trinity and St.
John's colleges on your left. When you reach the Bridge
Street junction you'll notice the Round Church
opposite you. Brass rubbing can be done inside.
Trinity Street looking towards St. John's college. Photo © Steve Chadwick - all rights reserved.
Turn left up Bridge Street and take the first turning on your right - Portugal Place. This is a quiet (no vehicles) and really attractive lane with fine, high terraces on either side. Turn left at the top into New Park Street, left again into Thompson's Lane, almost immediately right into an alleyway and left into Ship Lane. This takes you into a small, pleasant, modern square. Walk out through the far side of the square and left into Quay Side: lovely views over the river and to the picturesque college buildings beyond. Food and drink in abundance. Turn right onto Magdalene Street and cross the bridge. Further up this street you'll see some fine timbered buildings on your left. Hardly Stratford but still nice. The first 3 storey one has some erotic carvings supporting the first floor - perhaps indicating it was a brothel it has been suggested.
Head straight over the busy crossroads into the steep Castle Street. Pass the Museum of Cambridge (formally the Folk Museum) immediately on your left and turn down the alley way sign posted to Kettles Yard on your left after a few yards. Hop into the very old church yard on your right, shaded by some mature trees. This is Cambridge St. Peter, the second oldest church in Cambridge; the key is available in Kettles Yard. Hop back into the alley and pass between Kettles Yard gallery (modern, housing a range of exhibitions) and the house (old - an absolutely fascinating interior furnished with tremendous imagination and style): definitely worth visiting. Walk beyond onto the patch of grass in front of the house - notice the fine, old tiled roof. Head right up the narrow Honey Lane with interesting buildings (an old Free School) and walled gardens on the left. Cross Pound Hill (some attractive terraced houses), walk up Haymarket Street (unusual symmetrical terrace with central arch) and then turn right into Albion Row. Turn right into St. Peter's Street and then take the second left (Whyman's Lane) back onto Castle Street. Stop for a drink in either of the two pubs in view - the Architect or the Castle.
After libations walk straight into the Cambridgeshire County Council car park on the East side of Castle Street. You will see the steep mound of Castle Hill beyond the far right corner of the car park. No castle anymore, sadly, but splendid views of the town from the top. Apparently you can see Ely Cathedral to north on a clear day (I never have).
your way back to St. Peter's Street and go down Pound Hill, following it around a left turn.
Turn right at the bottom into Northampton Street.
Walk on the other side of the road past the
mini roundabout into Queens Road. Notice fine buildings on
your left eventually giving way to the riverside meadows - the
The Backs at Trinity.
Lovely views emerge of the back of St. Johns and Trinity colleges. An aside: my friend Deb fell into one of the muddy ditches here one Christmas Day morning - what a hoot!
Turn left into Garret Hostel Lane, crossing the Cam once more (if the Colleges are open you can continue further along the Backs and turn left walking through King's College and out onto King's Parade, but it'll cost ya if you haven't got a Camcard). Continue on, turning right at the junction into Trinity Lane. Then turn left up the cobbled Senate House Passage, at the end of which you'll find yourself back at Great St. Mary's church.
King's College Chapel and the Senate house from the top of Great St. Mary's tower.
I know it's a famous landmark but when did you last go up the tower? You get another brilliant view of the city from the top.