A Cambridge A to Z – Arrivals

I haven’t blogged about my home city for a while, but it’s a constant source of writing inspiration, and I’m excited that my first Cambridge mystery is due out in December.

One of the things I love about the place is its annual events and traditions, both town and gown related. They mark the passing of time as each year progresses. In early October, it’s the start of the new academic year at Cambridge University, which always leads to several familiar sights.

Students struggling to move their belongings into their college accommodation, with those charmingly traditional, yet hard to handle, trolleys borrowed from the Porters’ Lodge:


College boat clubs entertaining freshers (usually with booze and barbeques) to encourage a steady stream of new recruits. Rowers have to get up horribly early, so I imagine plenty of complementary social activities are a must for tempting people in:


And an influx of novice cyclists. Watching television programmes like Grantchester, you might be forgiven for thinking cycling is a genteel and relaxing way of getting round the city. However, I remember the feeling of terror when I first biked through its crowded streets, under pressure to keep up with my boyfriend (now DH), who was a seasoned cyclist. I can at this point, share my favourite Cambridge cycling video which I hope will explain my cowardice:

Students account for around 23% of Cambridge’s population. During the summer months, a lot of undergraduates go home or travelling, and the number of tourists goes up. It means there’s a definite change to the feel of the city when the new academic year starts.

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