Café Crawling in Cambridge

Cambridge has independent cafés in abundance, and I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last few months trying them out and establishing which ones are set to be firm favourites over the course of my time here. Whether you’re craving cake or have a fondness for flapjack, there’s sure to be a café on this list with something that will tickle your taste buds . . .

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48 Hours in Lyon (Part II)

I love Lyon. I lived there for ten months, so I might be a teensy bit biased, but it’s an absolute cracker of a city. It’s overlooked by so many city breakers – which is perhaps no bad thing, for it means it doesn’t get completely swamped with tourists like my current hometown – yet has lots to offer the discerning visitor, from world-class museums and cultural venues to picturesque streets and top-notch grub. Although you could easily spend longer than a weekend in Lyon, à la Travel Man, I’ve compiled an itinerary for time-poor visitors wishing to get a flavour for the city in a short space of time. If you missed it, you can catch up on the first part by clicking here. Otherwise, grab yourself a brew and settle in for part two . . .

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48 Hours in Lyon (Part I)

If you were planning a city break, Lyon probably wouldn’t be the first city to come to mind. Cities like London, Paris and Amsterdam tend to spring to mind first; second-cities rarely get a look in. Lyon, however, has cultural gems aplenty, stunning panoramic views and a foodie scene (or should that be boulangerie scene?) worth writing home about; in other words, all the essential ingredients for a memorable city break. While I was living in Lyon, I had a number of visits from family and friends, and therefore played tour guide a fair few times, pruning and refining my itinerary each time. Whether you’re plotting a city break or simply fancy an armchair getaway, here’s part one of my tried-and-tested guide to Lyon*. On y va !

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Cambridge University Botanic Garden: Orchids 2018

Just a couple of weeks before the ‘Beast from the East’ swept across the UK, our boiler broke down. (Looking back, it was rather good timing, as being without heat last week would have been much worse, but at the time it felt anything but.) Spending a day shivering on our sofa wasn’t all that appealing, so we ventured out to the Glasshouse Range at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

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The Skip Garden: An Oasis in King’s Cross

I’ve fallen in love with a few places in London, but none so quickly as Global Generation’s Skip Garden in the heart of King’s Cross. Coal Drops Yard, Granary Square and Gasholders may be the epitome of industrial chic, but if it’s a taste of rural bliss you’re after, look no further than this thriving community garden.

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Let There Be Light: e-Luminate, Cambridge

Over the years, I’ve seen a fair number of cities bathed in light, transformed by vibrantly-coloured installations. I remember travelling up to Blackpool for The Illuminations as a child, lights snaking for miles along the front. Years later, I stood in Millennium Square, alone, mesmerised by Light Night Leeds. Since then I’ve seen light shows in Bern, Lyon, London and, now, Cambridge. I didn’t expect much from e-Luminate, but I was quickly surprised by just how good a show my current hometown put on.

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Norwich: City of Stories

Steeped in history, culture and architectural heritage, Norwich is one of my favourite cities in the UK – and not just because it’s home to No. 33, a cake emporium which tops my to-visit list every time I visit the city. I doubt I could ever tire of wandering its cobbled streets and elegantly styled arcades, of browsing its antique sales and independent retailers, of working my way through the city’s many eateries. Designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2012, Norwich’s Business Improvement District (BID) has since commissioned a number of eye-catching murals which draw on the city’s vibrant past. Some seamlessly blend elements of folklore with the fabric of the city; others combine the city’s landmarks with its literary heritage. Here are six of my favourites, from a morning spent wandering the city’s streets . . .

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