Sometimes we all just need to take a moment. Find a nice, high place and relax, gazing across the landscape as though we are monarchs of olden times looking down upon our kingdoms. Preferably with a glass of something nice in our hands and perhaps a few nibbles to boot. In Cambridge, the only place to truly achieve this level of regal fantasy is the iconic Roof Terrace of the Varsity Hotel Cambridge. And this is the best time of year to visit.
It’s strange but true that we humans gravitate to high places. Not for any real sense of achievement in climbing them. But simply for the view. Which for most of us means that attaining that view without having to climb them is a win-win scenario. Making a lift up six floors to our Roof Terrace a great idea.
Though there are of course the competitive ones who insist on doing things the hard way. And naturally there are stairs to climb on the epic quest to the fabled terrace. Taking this perilous route will award you with experiences few others will share. Such as striking artworks, the outer doors of hotel rooms, and by the 4th floor the sight of panting customers who now agree that maybe the lift was the better option all along. Each to their own.
Upon reaching the legendary Sixth Level one must leave the comfort of the lift and ascend once more through the very roof itself. For unlike so many others who claim to have a “roof terrace”, ours is actually on the roof! The novelty alone makes it worth the trip. And once there one can survey one’s kingdom at leisure from a lofty place of luxury.
Some may scoff at the idea of a terrace only six floors up being considered so high and mighty. Most impressive a century ago. Now…not so much. But it’s not about absolute height as much as relative height. For Cambridge is generally speaking a low rise city built upon a wide plain of mostly flat land. Meaning that from only six floors up, you can see a lot.
From one angle you can see into the city itself. See into some of the oldest Colleges with prestigious inner city locations. Like Trinity, St. John’s, Caius and King’s. See the patterns of the square, almost cloister like Courts stacked behind each other and how they all fit together. And some of their more iconic buildings such as King’s College Chapel.
Or from another the eye will catch the river itself, as it flows out of town and becomes wide enough for the racing eights so famous here. And you’ll pass across the wide open vista of Jesus Green, often clogged this time of year with groups playing games and cooking barbeques. And then beyond into the rural lands beyond.