Tuesday 15 November 2016

A Day in the Garden

Cambridge is an easy day out from our home in Stamford and there is a lot to see there, so many day trips are possible without boredom ever setting in. While the rail station in Cambridge is a bit of a walk (or a cheap and simple bus ride using a PlusBus ticket bought with the train ticket) from the city centre places of interest, one destination for which the station is really well-placed is the University Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden is, of course, of academic interest for some but it also just a lovely place to visit, a pleasant day in beautiful gardens with some interesting plants and, as a bonus, a really good cafeteria, too!

Travelling on Cross Country Trains' 10:00 service from Stamford towards Stansted Airport, we arrived in Cambridge at about 11:00 and simply walked straight ahead out of the station, and right opposite the end of the station approach road is an entrance to the Botanic Garden. There is an admission charge of £5 for adults, well worthwhile for a day's activity but perhaps not for a quick hour or so. We arrived just at the right time for coffee and then explored the gardens, beginning with the hothouses, and broke off in due course for an excellent lunch, sitting out in the sunshine, and then resumed our exploration. We learnt a lot about the history of rose-growing, and a lot about fenland plants, relevant to our own lives and to Cambridge. We looked in more detail at some things than at others, but to some extent I think we saw everything there and eventually were tired enough to need to return home! The more energetic of my readers might like to go into the city centre shopping or sightseeing after visiting the Botanic Garden (and using the bus would make this less energetic than it sounds!) but for us it was time to make our way back down Station Road to await our train.

It is always disturbing to see the number of people awaiting the Birmingham-bound trains at Cambridge in the afternoon, but although the trains tend to be packed leaving Cambridge, a lot of people leave at Ely and there is soon plenty of space: Ely is not very far, and these trains, along with those to Norwich and to Kings Lynn, form part of a frequent local service for people who work or study in Cambridge, without whom things like the Botanic Garden would not exist for us all to enjoy. It could be worse: you could be stuck in the dreadful Cambridge traffic queues on the streets and highways!

I'll let my photographs speak for themselves about the wonderful things we saw on our grand day out in Cambridge!

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