Boats, burgers and whale bones: Cambridge for kids

Cambridge is brilliant and my Granny Eva lives there too. It has a river and loads of museums and parks. It is fun to travel there by train. I’d like to be a train driver when I grow up, or maybe a pilot. Last time, we shared our seats with another family and I got to watch Paw Patrol on another boy’s iPad. So I made a new friend, which was awesome. Do you want to know what I like to do in Cambridge?

Big cactuses and rock gardens

Children at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Kids with backpacks at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

  • Exploring Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambridge University Botanic Garden is very near the station and is great to run around. It has a fountain, a mini-maze and stepping stones over a little lake. I think that the tall yellow grass plants look like fur. I like to hide behind the trees. You can’t climb them as it might hurt the branches. I like to make up games in the rock garden instead. The greenhouse is not green but it is hot and made of glass. Go to see the big cactuses and pretend you are a cowboy. They have very prickly spines so watch out. Also, there is a lily pad big enough for a frog the size of me.

Long boats and flying bats

The Mathematical Bridge over the Cam.

  • The Mathematical Bridge over the Cam

From here you can walk into town by following the river. You go over lots of bridges. If you want you can play in the Lammas Land playground. In summer, there are brown cows in Coe Fen and Midsummer Common. Real cows, you say, in the middle of Cambridge? Yes there are, and it’s kind of cool.

At the Mill Pond, by the Mathematical Bridge, there are lots of people on small boats called punts. An adult has to stand up with a long pole. It looks like they are fishing but really they are pushing the boats along. We went on a punt and ate strawberries. The man who pushed us was really good at ducking down under the bridges and not falling off. You can even go at night on a Bat Punt Safari. Spooky!

Do you like skateparks, tennis or playgrounds? Jesus Green has them all, right next to the river. Sometimes we go to family runs on Sunday morning in Milton Country Park. I can run really fast. The Science Centre has a cool marble run, and the Centre for Computing History has a lot of retro games that my dad knows all about.

Castles and a clock that doesn’t tell the time

Trinity College.

  • Trinity College

There are lots of buildings that look like castles in the middle of Cambridge. King’s College looks like a church castle and Trinity College is where a man called Newton went. He had an apple fall on his head, and then he invented gravity, which is very cool. Did you know that there is a banana tree in Cambridge? It’s in Pembroke College. See if you can find the big Corpus Clock made of real gold. I think it is funny as it doesn’t even tell the time. It has a mechanical insect on the top, and if you wait for ages, his eye blinks. If you like climbing high you can see the whole of Cambridge from Great St Mary’s Church Steeple. Just don’t get stuck next to the bell when it rings! It can be fun to explore the small streets in the centre, you could even do a treasure trail. If I get tired of walking, we go into Heffers, Waterstones or the Central Library and look at children’s books.

The biggest whale bones I ever saw

The Fitzwilliam Museum.

The Museum of Zoology in Cambridge.

The Museum of Zoology.

  • Art at the Fitzwilliam, and whale bones at the Museum of Zoology

Did I say that there were loads of museums? Just on Downing Street there are three, like the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. Find the bronze statue of Mr Sedgwick. He is holding a hammer and a trilobite shell that is 500m years old, which is older than my mum. My favourite is the huge fin whale at the Museum of Zoology. It hangs on the ceiling and it’s ginormous. You can look up and see all its bones and teeth. I also like the stuffed animals, games, and big screen with tiny square TVs of different creatures. My brother says we have to look after animals or they just get extinct. There is a museum that also looks like a castle. It is the Fitzwilliam and when you get in the ceiling is really high. You have got to see the Egyptian mummies, the knight’s armour and the swords – they are awesome. If you like real animals, then the red pandas in Shepreth Wildlife Park are really cute. It is right next to Shepreth train station, just a few minutes outside Cambridge.

Hungry by now?

The legandary Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

  • Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies

Aromi has tasty Sicilian margherita pizza that you eat from a wooden plate. I love the dark chocolate ice-cream. My brother likes Bill’s restaurant, as he says it has delicious buttermilk pancakes with bacon and the staff are really friendly. They are only served at brunch so you must be early. He also likes the spicy chicken rolls in Pho (Vietnamese). La Margherita has nice pasta, and is near Kettles Yard Art Gallery. The MillWorks has a real gigantic wheel in the middle and is right next to the river. My favourite is a plain burger and fries at Byron Burger or Honest Burger, but it has to have ketchup. If you want some treats for the train home, there are Chelsea buns in Fitzbillies. On Mill Road, near the station, you can get nice cakes in the Urban Larder or Norfolk Street Bakery. And if you want an apple to fall on your head and have a big idea, you can go to the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester for strawberry jam scones and sit under the trees in a deckchair.

Take a trip to Cambridge. Up to four kids per adult can travel with Thameslink on most journeys for as little as £2 on Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets (T&Cs apply). Find out more and book at

The Guardian

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