Village in Cambridgeshire is ‘a lovely’ place ‘to spend an hour or so’

The charming village of Grantchester is said to have the world’s highest concentration of Nobel Prize winners. It was also where the First World War poet Rupert Brooke lived. 

Despite its salubrious past residents, it’s one of Cambridgeshire’s hidden gems. The village sits about two miles outside Cambridge and has been inhabited since prehistoric times.

It has lovely thatched-roofed houses and narrow streets. It’s quintessential English countryside with lovely grassy banks stretching down to the River Cam. 

It runs for a mile or so through Grantchester Meadows, which is known for its beautiful swimming spots. Last year, King’s College put up signs prohibiting any swimming, though this only related to the river’s access from college land. 

This lovely open space is also home to a special garden; The Orchard Tea Garden is somewhat of an institution in the area and dates back to 1897 when Mrs. Steenson served tea and cakes in her front room. 

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On a summer’s day, she was asked by Cambridge students if they could have afternoon tea in her garden these blossoming trees are still hosting students and visitors today, who fall into the deck chairs and nibble on perfect scones under apple trees.  

Rupert Brooke actually rented a room in her house which included all meals for £1.50 a week. The garden featured in the TV period drama, Grantchester which really placed the village on the tourist map and you can follow in the footsteps of the vicar and Detective Georgie Keating on a walking tour of the locations that featured in the TV series.

The River Cam is widely known for its punting activity and in summer is particularly busy taking tourists past the colleges.

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If you’ve got the arm strength, you can punt from Cambridge all the way to Grantchester which takes just over an hour. You’ll pass through some of Cambridgeshire’s most quintessential scenes of verdant fields stretching down to the narrow river lined with overhanging willow trees. 

Most visitors start at the Red Lion pub which has an old-worlde feel with open fireplaces, rustic oak tables, and old armchairs. The Green Man and Blue Ball Inn are also hotspots for locals and visitors alike.

Grantchester is also home to, of all things;  a swanky gin distillery. The Gin Laboratory sits on Green Street and you can discover the skills of the gin tasters, and even try your hand at blending your own. 

Afterward, it might be appropriate to pop your head into the Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary, which dates back to the 14th century and also starred in the TV series. 

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