They’re both known for their prestigious world-class universities, historic buildings and stunning architecture. They’re also just a couple of hours apart, so you don’t have to choose between them! Experience Cambridge and Oxford over two days and see the more relaxed examples of British cities.
How to travel
A BritRail Pass is perfect for overseas visitors to the UK who want to explore a little (or a lot) further afield than London. Cambridge and Oxford are both covered by the London Plus Pass, which covers just the south of England, and all the other BritRail Passes that apply to England as a whole. It could not be easier to reach these two fascinating cities direct from London – and the BritRail Passes will save you a lot of money!
Day one – Cambridge
Depart from either London Kings Cross or London Liverpool Street and be in Cambridge in less than one hour. Get your bearings with the MP3 Walking Tour of Cambridge, covering the city’s major attractions, medieval college buildings and beautiful green spaces.
All that walking is sure to work up your appetite, so stop for lunch at one of Cambridge’s fantastic eateries. For an elegant selection of British food inspired by days gone by, try Harriets Café Tearooms. Whether you’re after a late cooked breakfast, light lunch or an afternoon tea, Harriets will be happy to welcome you in the traditional way – the waitresses even wear period outfits!
No trip to Cambridge would be complete without going punting. Punts are flat-bottomed boats available to hire for a trip along Cambridge’s River Cam, but don’t worry – chauffeured punting trips are available for those apprehensive about driving! Sit back and relax as your friendly chauffeur and guide does all the work, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery and riverside landmarks including King’s College Chapel and the Wren Library.
Day two – Oxford
Use your BritRail Pass to head from London Paddington straight to Oxford, home of the oldest university in Britain and one of the most famous in the world.
Movie buffs and fans of witchcraft and wizardry will be delighted to see Christ Church College, which featured heavily in the Harry Potter films – the Great Hall was even replicated in a film studio to become Hogwarts Hall!
Enjoy a selection of three MP3 Walking Tours to explore the city on foot, or if your legs are still tired from walking around Cambridge, get tickets for the City Sightseeing Oxford Bus Tour. The hop-on-hop-off tour starts its journey at the railway station so you can get straight on when you arrive, or come and go as you please at any of the 20 stops located around the city.
Wind down your visit to such a traditional British city with an evening at a traditional British pub. The Kings Arms Oxford in the city center has a great selection of beers, ales and authentic British menu choices such as steak and ale pie or Ploughman’s lunch. If you’ve been in Britain for more than a couple of days you’ll know it’s very possible to have sun, rain then sun again within ten minutes, so you’ll be pleased to know this pub has tables outside and a real log fire indoors!