Cambridge University Botanic Gardens | October 2020
It’s half term this week, so Ed’s got a week off work. The original plan was to go down to London and visit Kew Gardens, but we hadn’t factored in the daylight savings time change meaning sunset will now be at 4 something, or the three hours it takes to get to Kew in the first place as it is the other side of London – two hours on the train from Birmingham to London, and then the best part of an hour on the tube to get across the city. As members of Birmingham Botanical Gardens we only have to pay for one ticket to get in, but that’s still £20 and it feels silly to pay it when our time there would be cut short. Besides, autumn has mostly peaked already.
We decided to go to Cambridge Botanic Gardens instead. While Cambridge is more or less the same distance from Birmingham as London is, it’s quicker to get there, by car at least, and once you’re in the city it’s only a short walk to the gardens. I’m really glad we made the effort and went to Cambridge for the day. It was lovely to explore the gardens again. The last time we visited was May 2017, so a few years and a different season made everything feel very novel.
Though many of the trees had turned and dropped their leaves already, the gingko biloba was at its best, and the giant redwood was a treat, I don’t think we saw it last time we visited. The gardens are actually quite large, and there are lots of different paths you can take so it’s easy to miss things unless you double back on yourself.
Some of the glasshouses were closed and the one way system in place because of the pandemic meant that at times it was a bit crowded and felt a bit rushed. You couldn’t pause too long to look at something because there was always someone behind you wanting to pass, but it was worth it all the same and I still enjoyed looking at the collections. If you’re ever in Cambridge and have some time to spare, do visit the Botanic Garden there because it really is beautiful, their glasshouses are some of the best in England in my opinion.