Punting on the River Cam (c) Shutterstock user Alex Jackson
Picturesque Cambridge is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most beautiful and historic towns. Set on the River Cam, it’s been settled since pre-Roman times; the University of Cambridge, founded in 1290, is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned educational institutions. The university’s scenic campus and college buildings are only one of the town’s attractions, though, with other highlights including art museums, medieval churches, stately homes, and a number of nature reserves. Whether you’re planning a daytrip up from London or are renting some wheels from Zipcar Cambridge for the afternoon, using Zipcar means you can skip around town with ease.

Bridge of Sighs (c) Shutterstock user Amra Pasic
There’s no dearth of fine dining in Cambridge, and the Michelin-starred Alimentum (152-154 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PB, 01223 413000, www.restaurantalimentum.co.uk) offers a three-course lunch menu that’s an indulgent way to start the afternoon. Helmed by celebrated chef Mark Poython, the restaurant focuses on slow cooking and locally sourced ingredients. A starter of grouse is served with sourdough, elderberry, and leek, while plaice is served with langoustine, cucumber, fennel, and seaweed. Expect big flavours and artful presentations.
Alimentum (c) Alimentum
Those craving a more casual lunchtime experience will want to motor over to the Kingston Arms Freehouse (33 Kingston Street, Cambridge, CB1 2NU, 01223 319414, www.kingston-arms.co.uk), recently voted as the city’s favourite independent pub. A summertime lunch in the garden is a restorative dining option, and the menu offers a number of daily specials in addition to classic pub staples, from the Kingston ploughman’s to honey-glazed gammon steak.
Kingston Arms (c) Darren Foreman
After a lengthy lunch, continue the outdoor relaxation with a languorous punting trip down the River Cam. Cutting through the university and along the backs of college buildings, the river provides a unique perspective on scenic Cambridge, and is crowded with students on sunny days. One of the best traditional punting operators, Scudamore’s Punting Company (Granta Place, Cambridge, CB2 1RS, 01223 359750, http://www.scudamores.com/cam/index.php), has been in business for over 100 years. Those looking to work up a sweat can rent a punt themselves, while chauffeured tours are also available.
Fitzwilliam Museum (c) Flickr user Lezan
A perfect way to round up the day is a trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum (Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1RB, 01223 332900, www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk), one of Cambridge’s leading arts and antiquities collections. Founded in 1816 and inhabiting an impressive Gothic Revival building, the museum’s permanent collection spans several millennia, including everything from Grecian marble sculptures to ancient coins, medieval illuminated manuscripts and Impressionist paintings.
Whether you’re seeking a touch of culture, a glimpse into its historical architecture, or a sampling of its finest fare, Cambridge is the ideal destination for a relaxing daytrip. With Zipcar, it’s but a quick journey away.
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