We're now moored in Cambridge after making the decision to bite the bullet and pay the extra £45 for the Cam Conservancy licence to come here. We called into the Cam Conservancy office near Baits Bite Lock to fill in the comprehensive application form and expected to be given some sort of information pack/leaflets, similar to what we'd been given by the EA at Denver, but there was nothing forthcoming. It's almost as if they don't particularly want visiting boats down here. The approach into Cambridge is lined with residential moorings full of dirty, scruffy boats - very similar to the linear moorings on the South Oxford, and when you get to Jesus Lock which is the end of the navigation there are only 100 metres of visitor moorings. That's only enough room for 3 narrowboats and 2 small cruisers. Talking to a couple of local boaters we're lucky to even have that much visitor mooring as the local Labour council wanted to turn this area over for more residential boats to provide cheap housing options.
One good thing about having so many residential boats here is that the council have provided a sanitary station with a super-efficient pump-out machine at the very small cost of £3 a time. With it being such good value, we made the most of it and gave the tank a really good cleaning out by refilling it with clean water and doing a second flushing out pump-out.
Yesterday we took the open top bus tour round the city. It lasts an hour and a quarter and was very interesting and we saw all the university colleges that we would probably have missed by going on foot.
This is the Mathematical Bridge which was built in 1749. Although it looks to be an arch, it is actually made up of straight timbers and was self-supporting without the need for nuts and bolts. Allegedly it was taken apart by some students in 1866 but they were unable to rebuild it and had to add the nuts and bolts that can be seen today.
This is the Round Church, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It's one of only 4 round churches in England and dates back to 1130 AD
The Great Gate of King's College
and the main building of King's College
This is the Catholic Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs which is commonly mistaken for Cambridge Cathedral. Although it is a city Cambridge doesn't actually have a cathedral. It was granted City status purely due to the university colleges.
We've really enjoyed our time here and it was definitely worth the visit - and the extra cost. There are LOTS pubs and plenty of superb restaurants. We've tried a few but the best has to be The Oak Bistro where we had lunch today. Superb food and excellent service - and the diet starts tomorrow!