Courts, Colleges and Comparisons in Cambridge

As an Oxford girl, my experience of Cambridge – aka ‘The Other Place’ – has been somewhat limited. Limited, in fact, to a single weekend a few years ago when I visited a friend who was doing her masters over there. For my second visit we had a great reason to swing by: my very clever sister Helen had just finished her masters and had a few days at leisure before she had to leave college. So we spent an enjoyable afternoon with her showing us round, and these photos are a lovely record. Our tour commenced at her college, Jesus, where I was struck by the huge size of the quads (sorry, that’s ‘courts’ in Cambridge speak!) in comparison with St John’s, Helen’s and my college at Oxford.

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Now, did you ever see such a magnificent wisteria? It was a little late for inclusion in my wisteria hysteria post, but impressive enough to warrant the next few photos being devoted to it.

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This is the main entrance to the college, complete with ubiquitous student bikes.

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One of the classic Cambridge views. I like the fact that the river feels a bit more central to the city than it does in Oxford, weaving, as it does, round the back of some of the colleges.

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King’s College Chapel, home of the definitive Christmas carol recordings. I think it looks slightly sinister seen from this angle. Kind of like a big gaping mouth.

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The famous Mathematical Bridge, which brought back memories of punting in Cambridge on my first trip there years ago. It’s an arched bridge made from a sophisticated design comprising straight pieces of wood.

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It’s hard not to draw comparisons with Oxford when you visit Cambridge. I think Cambridge is prettier in many respects, with the university buildings dominating to a greater extent than they do in Oxford. It has a much better selection of shops, too, despite being smaller! That said, I of course remain loyal to Oxford.

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Two things I like about this photo: the statue of Henry VIII, and the trio of porters with their bowler hats. So very Oxbridge!

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This was magnificent also (I forget which college it is).

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Rather an unusual round church. I think the only other round church I’ve seen is Santo Stefano Rotondo in Rome.

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Finally, more wisteria set against the glorious blue sky and another ‘court’, complete with exposed bell.

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