Hop on a University Arms bicycle and pedal to the city’s most enchanting outdoor spaces for some fresh air and fresh perspectives
1. Cambridge University Botanic Garden
A pleasant 20-minute walk or 7-minute bike ride from University Arms is the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and its 40 acres of parkland, which is home to a collection of more than 8,000 plant species, including rare and endangered natural wonders from all over the world. Pack a picnic to enjoy on a bench in the sunshine after exercising your inner Attenborough.
Open seven days a week, all year round (closed 24 December – 1st January). For more information visit www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
2. Parker’s Piece
Right on the doorstep of University Arms is Parker’s Piece, a 25-acre common on which the rules of Association Football were created. Its two principal walking and cycling paths cross it diagonally and at their intersection stands a single lamp-post – the first electric one in Cambridge – which marks what is affectionately known as “Reality Checkpoint”. The perfect spot for a picnic or quiet sit-down to watch the local cricket club play in the summer.
3. Jesus Green
Famed for its avenues of plane and horse chestnut trees that divide its open parkland, Jesus Green brushes the River Cam on one side and has Victoria Avenue and Jesus College on the other. It’s just a 20 minute walk or 7-minute bike ride away from University Arms, sosporty types can head over to enjoy its lido and the city’s only public grass tennis courts, while the lounge lizards amongst us can sit down with a sandwich, Chelsea bun and coffee from nearby Fitzbillies on Bridge Street and listen to the band strike up a tune on a sunlit summer Sunday afternoon.
4. Laundress Green
Just a 15-minute walk or 5-minute bike ride from University Arms, the countryside meets the city centre at Laundress Green on the banks of the River Cam, which is home to ancient willows and grazing cattle. Historically, local washerwomen from the Cambridge colleges would use the fresh water to wash the college laundry and dry it on the city council’s washing lines. Today it is a popular spot for picnics and a takeaway pint from The Mill, a 19th-century pub that overlooks the green.
5. King’s Parade
The best spot to people-watch, promenade and purchase a present for yourself is King’s Parade, just a 15-minute walk or 5-minute cycle from University Arms. Order a coffee and a bite from the many independent cafés and restaurants nearby, such as Jack’s Gelato, Fudge Kitchen or Aromi bakery, and enjoy them while watching the world go by from your perch on the famous low stone wall that runs along the pavement.