It was a lovely day to venture out to Cambridge, and we had pre-booked our off-peak return train tickets (£16) and discounted punting tickets (25% upfront) online the previous night, so we were all ready to go!
It was quite easy to print out the tickets from the vending machine at London King’s Cross station, and we had time to visit the famous Platform 9¾ to take some pictures! Of course we chose to be Gryffindors!
Cambridge is a university town and a beautiful river, the River Cam, flows through the many colleges of University of Cambridge. It is here where tourists can take a leisure ride along the river on a river punt tour!
It was about an hour’s of direct train ride to Cambridge, and we decided to walk to the punting site instead of taking a bus or cab. It was a leisurely 45-minute walk and we discovered that this was a shopping town with lots of shops 😮
There were a few punting companies at along the same stretch of river, but the instructions were clear and we located the company, Cambridge River Tour without much problem, and quickly paid up the remaining amount (total £12/person).
The three of us shared a boat with a bunch of other tourists, but we got the 3-seater right in front and had the best views. That also meant that we were seated the furthest away from our guide-cum-rower, and also not facing him, so it was somewhat difficult to hear him speak. Nonetheless, it was a lovely day to be out punting!
Our guide, Benny, was very cheerful and knowledgeable, and sharing all sorts of information throughout the trip, to and fro. The rest of the guides that we met (and eavesdropped) along the way seemed to do commentary one-way only.
We also saw some others doing self-punting. It was much cheaper and cost is by the hour, but some of them were really struggling and getting themselves wet all over, while we relaxed and enjoyed the views. It was so relaxed, we all dozed off at some point, haha!
It started drizzling as we were on our way back, but thankfully, we didn’t get too wet!
With recommendations from the punting company, we went to Chinese Canteen for lunch, where we enjoyed some Roast Pork with super crispy skin, delicious Soup Wantons and Sin Chew Beehoon!
The roasted duck had unplucked feathers, so that was really quite a turn-off 😦 The very generous rice portion was crazy and we could not finish our food. The Singapore vermicelli, Sin Chew Beehoon, was very weird in taste, but thankfully the portion was much smaller.
If you are a big eater, we would recommend that you get the fried rice. We observed 2 students wipe out their mountain of fried rice while discussing school work and we were ultra impressed!
We continued to do some sight-seeing but were unable to visit the beautiful bridges that we saw during our punting ride. Apparently there were restricted opening hours, and the prices to enter some of the campuses were quite exorbitant, so we did not manage to 再别康桥… But we certainly can feel the poet’s overwhelmed emotions as he bade farewell to Cambridge… Oh well, there is always the next time!
We were lucky enough to catch a weekday market open and M was quickly attracted to the Cath Kidston outlet nearby. We decided to follow and spent the next hour or 2 inside this not-very-big outlet, because of the sale!!! Time to do some Christmas shopping! Poor hubby had to wait for us till he turned mouldy 😡 Sorry dear!! Thank you for being so patient 🙂
We then had to rush back to the train station to catch the 5+ train back to London as we had a dinner appointment… We were so tired that we fell asleep real quickly, and I lost my hat somewhere between the shop and the train… 😦
- Cambridge River Tours – There are various river punting tours in Cambridge. Not sure why we choose this one, but they are all quite similar. 🙂
- Cath Kinston Store – For those who needs a little ‘motivation’ to visit Cambridge. 🙂