One of the many joys of London is the ease with which one can decamp to the glorious countryside, whether it is for a few days of walking, or admiring beautiful landmarked stately homes, or soaking in the rarified atmosphere of its university towns.

After a few days in London, we hopped onto a train to Cambridge, a mere hour and 20 minutes away. Our purpose was to spend a few days getting a little lost in the architecture, the stories and absorbing the wealth of knowledge that imbues this grand old university and its 31 colleges (the second oldest university in the English-speaking world founded in 1209, it was granted the Royal charter in 1231 by King Henry III). To be able to walk from one college to the next, admiring the architecture and centuries old buildings, while learning how each one differed in character and spirit — for all of this easy access we settled into our perfectly located handsome hotel, the University Arms. In a town with a lot of impressive history, this hotel had its own. From 1834, it is the oldest hotel in Cambridge, built as a coaching inn. Recently, lovingly restored by the classical architect John Simpson, it now boasts an impressive carriage porch with grand columns and a sweeping entrance into the lobby.

Reviewed by Rymn Massand