The City of Cambridge and it’s bridges
The city of Cambridge has a total of 25 bridges (soon to be 26), which you may be thinking is quite a lot for the size of this city. This is true, but as the River Cam flows through the centre of Cambridge it’s hard for a bustling city to be accessible without all of these river crossings. The site of the very first bridge across the cam is located on Bridge Street and still to this day has a cast iron bridge in its place known as Magdalene Bridge. Some speculate that this first bridge that crossed the cam gave the city its name Cam-Bridge.
The River Cam
The River Cam itself enters Cambridge from the south west of the city and heads north. Travelling in this direction you’ll past many of the historic Colleges, which have grounds on either side of the river bank. This section of the river is known as ‘The College Backs’ or ‘The Backs’ for short. After the Colleges the river then runs east, through the weir at Jesus Green and along the commons. After the river runs past Chesterton it turns north again leaving the city to then finally merge with the Great Ouse at Pope’s Corner to the south of Ely.
The College Backs
So going back to the ‘The Backs‘ section of this river, it is here where 9 of these bridges are located (and that’s ‘9’ in only one mile). Admittedly, some of these bridges are more famous, more interesting, or just prettier than the others. But regardless of what your taste in bridges is Cambridge
has you covered. Even along the College Backs you have stone bridges, wooden bridges and even iron bridges to name but a few. Most people come to this historic city to gaze at the dramatic buildings but the bridges are not to be overlooked. It is along the College Backs that you can witness Cambridge’s oldest surviving bridge, Clare Bridge, Cambridge’s last standing place where technically you can still duel to the death, King’s Bridge, and Cambridge’s most famous and only covered bridge, the Bridge of Sighs.
Find all the Bridges along the colleges back on our latest virtual punting tour video.
Posted on June 20th, 2021, by the Traditional Punting Company