The University and its 31 colleges dominate the centre of Cambridge. It lends the city the quintessentially English charm of a period drama. It was in fact Christ Church college in Cambridge that was the setting for parts of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, as well as Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and it was also used to film parts of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter. The ancient looking shop fronts display women’s fashion from what seems a bygone era, the tea shops are sleepy and the Sunday market attracts a thick soup of tweed clad academics and students. But with the bicycles whizzing down the cobbled streets and the bells ringing from the cathedral you can’t help but slip into the rhythm of one of Britain’s most historical cities. It’s packed with culture; laminated posters for theatre, recitals, concerts, films and literary events hang from every inch of the railings of the ornately carved buildings and there are historical , garden and punting tours to keep the scores of tourists happy. If you’re heading to Cambridge for a heritage holiday, don’t pack your bag without checking our sartorial guide to 24 hours in Cambridge.
GOOD MORNING: If you find yourself in the city for a weekend wander through the courtyards, bridges and gardens, but remember to wear a pair of flat shoes as the winding streets are cobbled. If it’s sunny and you’re wearing a dress, remember to bring something with sleeves so you can cover up if you’re thinking of snooping around the old chapels and cathedral.
Clockwise from above: Take inspiration from Brideshead Revisited, pack a quintessentially English Mac (Aquascutum, £750), a white silk shirt (Equipment, £220), a pair of biscuit coloured chinos (Local, £150), a fine knitted scarf (Missoni, £85), a pretty dress in an unobtrusive print (Atelier, £130), a sensible pair of flat shoes (Bloch, £130) and lastly a classic cable knit cardigan (Local, £230).
GOOD DAY: Spend the afternoon in and out of the old shops and maybe go and see one of the afternoon concerts. Although Cambridge has all the shops you can expect from an English town, it also has amazing boutiques selling gorgeous leather bags, outdoors fashion, luxury women’s tailored jackets and little fudge shops, tea rooms and the most amazing bottle shops stocking some of the world’s finest wines. Dress appropriately in a classic Barbour and some stripey socks.
Clockwise from above: Sartorial elegance begins with a quilted Barbour jacket – especially if it has a tweed collar, (Barbour, £119). When it comes to socks, bright colour and pattern is the traditional mark of English style, (Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, £30). An outdoorsy leather bag will go down well in the historical hubs of England, (Barbour, £199). A stripey scarf and crested jacket are the last word in college comfort. (Both by Sonia by Sonia Rykiel)
GOOD EVENING: As the sun goes down over Cambridge wrap up in layers of cashmere, patch pocket knitwear and a woollen beret. There are plenty of restaurants with balconies that sit over the river so you’ll be thankful for bringing extra layers. If you’ve rented a bicycle opt for a hands free bag like our favourite leather satchel from Vida Vida.
Clockwise from above: Model wears knitted ensemble by Hush. As the evening closes in, opt for luxury knitwear with a loosely knitted cardigan (Hush, £60), or an elbow patch cashmere jumper (Chinti and Parker, £305). On top of the slouchy knits, throw on a boyfriend tailored jacket, (IRO, £300), a slouchy scarf (Hush, £55), and a cross body leather satchel (Vida Vida, £95).