Sunday, 5 July 2015

How to be a tourist in your own city


Cambridge was always my nearest city growing up. I lived just down the road in Royston for 22 years. Having said that, I've always left the exploring to the millions of tourists that flock to Cambridge every year to swarm the streets. I never really appreciated how nice this place is! Now that I've lived in Cambridge itself for over a year I feel like I've pushed myself to explore a little bit more of the place, and it's definitely been worth doing. In the past I always felt the need to get out of the country (or even better, the continent) to truly travel, but there's often a lot more to see on your doorstep than you might think.


Get out and about before the crowd - Cambridge is obviously pretty famous for it's beautiful university buildings (like the iconic Kings College), and these areas are always incredibly crowded with tour groups over the weekend. If I explore these areas I'll come out nice and early before the shops even open and just sit and take everything in.


Go off the beaten track - Some of the loveliest parts of Cambridge can be found just by taking a stroll down an alley or two. Get away from tourist attractions and shopping districts and just have a wonder. You never know what you might find, and being local you'll be able to navigate your way around fairly easily with the help of Google maps.


Go into the places you always walk past - If I'm shopping in the city centre or out running errands I completely places that could be really interesting. Last weekend I wondered into a craft faire that runs every weekend, which I would usually whiz straight past and head for Space NK. If there's a coffee shop, museum or boutique that's always caught your eye but you've never ventured into, just go for it.


Seek out the niche - There are all sorts of quaint little shops around Cambridge, the sort in which most people would never buy anything. I had always heard of The Haunted Bookshop but never bothered looking for it. If you've seen or heard a place or activity recommended but always ignored it and dismissed it as touristy, just this once allow yourself to check it out. You might be surprised.

So what are you waiting for? Get out and explore your town or city with fresh eyes!

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