Boating for beginners

All photos in this entry taken by myself.

I’ve been out of London on a mini-break which took in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. 2 nights / 3 days. Was good to get out of London.

We spent all of Sunday in Cambridge. I’d never been before. It’s under 2 hours driving time yet I’d never before been. I’ve been to Vancouver and San Francisco and Hong Kong and Seoul and a fair number of other places – but I’ve been to comparatively few places in the UK.

It’s a memorable place. It is of course a university city and the colleges that make up Cambridge University dominate the whole place. And they are quite staggering to behold. I can’t imagine how awe-inspiring it would be to study here. An ex-boyfriend studied here (graduating with a double first in history). Sheridan narrowly missed out on going to Oxford and it’s one of those things he’s never quite got over, even though he went to a very good university in the south-west, one that is perhaps best known for being the Oxbridge fall-back university.

I think I would have been happy at Cambridge. I like tradition and I love old buildings and I really think it would have been inspiring to study somewhere this old (it is 800 years old). I would have enjoyed dining with peers and tutors in the refectory, wearing gowns, etc. The surroundings and the ambience are just amazing.

The building in the middle is King’s College chapel which is widely considered the finest example of late Gothic English architecture (yes, I’m quoting from Wikipedia!). It was built 500 years ago and has the largest fan vault ceiling of its kind.

Inside the chapel. Rubens’ ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ is the picture at the end.

Jesus College, Cambridge. It dates to 1496.

65 various photos of Cambridge University and its colleges, below.

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We spent Sunday night at very old/close university friends of mine who are now married with a 10 month old baby and a second on the way. Was great to catch up. Friends looks very tired and worn out. Babies have that effect, it seems!

On Monday we headed to Burghley House which is considered the largest and grandest house of the Elizabethan age.

Burghley was built for Sir William Cecil, later 1st Baron Burghley, who was Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587 and modelled on the privy lodgings of Richmond Palace. It was subsequently the residence of his descendants, the Earls and Marquesses of Exeter, and is now owned by a charitable trust established by the family.

Lady Victoria Leatham, a daughter of the 6th Marquess and a well-known antiques expert and television personality ran the House as a Director of the Trust from 1982 to 2007. She has been succeeded by her daughter Mrs Miranda Rock.

The house is one of the principal examples of 16th century English Elizabethan architecture and also has a suite of rooms remodelled in the baroque style. The main part of the house has 35 major rooms on the ground and first floors. There are more than 80 lesser rooms and numerous halls, corridors, bathrooms and service areas. Source: Wikipedia

The family still live there so only part of the house is open but the tour of the state rooms is pretty good.

From there we headed to Belvoir Castle (pronounced ‘Beaver’).

A Norman castle originally stood on the high ground in this spot. During the English Civil War, it was one of the more notable strongholds of the king’s supporters. It eventually passed into the hands of the Dukes of Rutland and following a fire, was rebuilt by the wife of the 5th Duke, and gained its present Gothic castle look. The architect James Wyatt was chiefly responsible for this restructuring, and the result is a building which bears a superficial resemblance to a medieval castle, its central tower reminiscent of Windsor Castle. The present Castle is the fourth building to have stood on the site since Norman times.

Belvoir was a royal manor until it was granted to Robert, 1st baron de Ros in 1257. When that family died out in 1508 the manor and castle passed to George Manners, who inherited the castle and barony through his mother. His son was created Earl of Rutland in 1525, and John Manners, 9th Earl of Rutland was created Duke of Rutland in 1703. So Belvoir castle has been the home of the Manners family for five hundred years, and seat of the dukes of Rutland for over three centuries. (Source: Wikipedia)

Like  Burghley – the castle is occupied by the family who trace their ancestry and ownership of the castle back 500 years. How the other half live! Again, only a portion of the building is open to the general public but it was quite fun to look round. I’m always partial to castles.

On Monday evening we stayed at a lovely B&B in a Lincolnshire village. Run by a London widow. A beautiful rustic old cottage. We had dinner up the road in a coaching inn. Was a really lovely spot. It was so good to be out of London and in rural surroundings.

On Tuesday we drove to Lincoln and had an enjoyable morning looking round Lincoln cathedral, the castle and the old town.

This picture was taken from the castle ramparts which you can walk all the way round.

From here we drove to the cathedral city of Ely to look at the magnificent cathedral. It dates from 1083 and is very impressive.

All in all a great break out of London. We were lucky with the weather as I think the pictures show. I’ve had a week off. Back to work tomorrow.

We got back last night and it’s been good to have another day of down time. Went out for lunch, went to an art gallery after that and have just taken it easy this afternoon. At least it’s only a two day week for me. That said, I imagine work will be busy as I’ll have a week of catching up to do.

20 thoughts on “Boating for beginners

Add yours

  1. You could have visited Nutty Mummy, she lives in Lincoln 🙂

    And I have a picture of Jesus College just like yours, except I’m in it very heavily pregnant.

    Great pics.

  2. AMAZING photos. The colors…so vibrant. Glad you had a good break and sorry you had to return to London heat.
    I, like Sheridan am an Oxford reject (!) but it was the best thing that happened….
    Did study for a year in Cambridge (PGCE, not at Homerton, at the University) and I LOVED living there. I was in Halls so had the snazzy dining experience every so often. It is one of the few places in UK I would consider if we went back there to live.
    Hope you have the rest of the week to relax?

  3. Punting on the River Cam! Most excellent! I hope you passed under the Mathematical Bridge! (Given your shot of the back of Kings’, I suspect you caught it).

    Two thumbs up!

  4. Wowza! That second pic of the grassy lawn and bright blue sky is brillz! Good jerb you! Become a professional photographer and take artsy sepia-toned pix of me!

  5. Hi, you have nice pictures.
    I love Cambrigde a lot and it has been one of my favorite city beside Lombok my hometown.
    I went to study Language at EF in 93 and back again in 96. Looking at your pictures bring back all those memories, memories that lives forever. if I ever have a chance to go again I’d love to go punting. Punting is one of my fav scenery in Cambridge.

  6. Wow, those shots are truly professional-looking! Great work!! Makes anyone salivate to visit them in real life. You should take your camera (& your great talent for choosing the right angles) to the Czech Republic. And focus NOT on Prague (as it’s been shot by millions), but instead focus on the UNESCO-protected sites, ie Cesky Krumlov, Telc, Zelena Hora, etc.

    Q: can I have permission to repost your entry in my blog ( Thx.

    Best Regards, dian

  7. Daphne – thanks, was a fun trip!

    Jen – ah, I didn’t realise she lived there! I knew she was somewhere in Lincs but didn’t realise it was Lincoln itself.

    Mancais – thanks, sure was! Being back at work today was a shock to the system.

    Birdie – ah, I guess being an Oxford reject isn’t a bad thing. Keeps you anchored in the real world! I had Wednesday off but was back at work from today.

    Josh – thanks! I was surprised how well the pics came out, I didn’t PP them (post process, i.e. faff around). The camera has a vivid setting which was on and that helped with the really saturated colours. The lens is an ultra-wide angle which makes otherwise mediocre pictures look pretty good I think.

    Emerson / Bob / Laely / Kumar / Shahjvaln / Ace – thank you!

  8. Kdrah – camera is a second-hand DSLR, a Nikon D50 (6 MP camera). The Sigma 10-20mm wideangle lense really helped, as did the wonderfully sunny weather. I’m not being overly modest but it’s hard to take bad pictures with that set-up in good sunny weather. I tend to use this lens a lot as it produces ‘wow factor’ without much user effort.

    Dian – thank you! I went to Prague last year and enjoyed it. Agreed, it’s quite touristy though. Sure, feel free to re-post this entry.

  9. I went to a conference at University of Cambridge a couple of years ago and was amazed at how beautiful it is (I was working at the “Oxford fall-back” university at the time). Didn’t go boating but did take a heap of photos, one of which (thanks to flickr) got published in a travel magazine!

  10. Sven – yeh, is stunning isn’t it? Really dreamy. That said, Clifton is lovely too! I only went to Bristol for the first time a couple of years ago. And well done on getting it published!!

  11. Richard – thanks, I was pleased with how they came out! Yeh, is a stunning building. So much of Cambridge is stunning really, many of the colleges are amazing.

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