My Favourite Place in Cambridge: Grantchester Meadows and the Orchard Tea Garden
Having lived in Cambridge my whole life, choosing a favourite place was not an easy task, however, one of the numerous has definitely got to be the Grantchester Meadows and the Orchard Tea Garden that is located there.
Only a walk or cycle ride away from the city centre, the Meadows feel like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Cambridge. They provide a really great place to relax and catch up with friends and family. Renowned for its afternoon tea, the Tea Garden is enjoyed by many throughout the summer season.
It was in 1897 that a group of Cambridge students asked whether they could enjoy their tea under the blossoming fruit trees within the Grantchester Orchard. They were unaware then that they would be sparking a great, long standing Cambridge tradition. Word about the Orchard spread quickly among the Cambridge colleges and it swiftly became a popular spot for the students to enjoy their leisure time in, with them either walking, cycling or punting up stream to it. Since then, many world-famous Cambridge scholars have enjoyed afternoon tea within the Orchard, including Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing and Rupert Brooke.
The walk through the meadows to the Tea Garden follows the course of the River Cam, the famous Cambridge punting river, along which you are often able to take in the spectacular views of Cambridge throughout the summertime months. Residents, as well as students, are often found across the green fields relaxing in the sun, playing team sports or enjoying picnics with friends and family. Upon reaching the tea garden, visitors are greeted by the wealth of green apple trees, under which you will find hundreds of comfy deck chairs scattered across the orchard for you to relax on.
Whilst you admire the beautiful surroundings, you should enjoy a small slice of Britain with the tearoom’s extensive selection of delicious tea and scones or indulge in another of their sweet treats – the Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle cake are my personal favourites.
If you enjoy more active activities, there are several signposted walks from the Orchard that include routes venturing towards the Byron Pool nature reserve as well as Trumpington Meadows. These are a great way to take in more of the countryside surrounding Cambridge and escape the liveliness of the city for a bit of peaceful down time. All of the routes offered from the Orchard will offer you fantastic views of the striking wildlife and nature nearby, as well as providing you with plenty of beautiful photo opportunities.
There are so many reasons to visit the Grantchester Meadows and the Orchard Tea Garden, and as such treasured hideaways, they are definitely worth a day trip whilst you are studying with Oxford Summer Courses here in Cambridge!
Share this article
Wondering where you should visit in Cambridge? One of our marketing interns, Millie, who worked with us on-course in 2019, reveals her favourite places to go in Cambridge.