Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Cambridge or York, which is more walkable?
Notices

Cambridge or York, which is more walkable?

Reply

Jul 8th, 2013, 08:47 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 168
Cambridge or York, which is more walkable?

Hello
So per your advice, thank you all, I am taking a day trip from London to either York or Cambridge and not Edinburgh like I originally intended. I only have one day so I need to choose.
When I get there, I prefer to walk around, like I did in Bath, and not use public transport. So which city is easier to navigate on foot and is more walkable? Any must see/do in either? I will be going in September.

Thanks a lot
Esperanza77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 08:57 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
Both are very walkable and have pedestrian-only areas.
tarquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 09:04 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
No discernible difference on the walkability scale unless you would have difficulty climbing the stairs up to the top of the city wall in York. Both very enjoyable.
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 09:16 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 168
Thank you both. Is the city centre of both cities comparable in size to Bath. I am wondering which is more compact and can be enjoyed in around 8 hours only.
Esperanza77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 09:18 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,083
Cambridge is a smaller town, York a small city. Most of the sights in Cambridge are outdoors, whereas York has good museums. So if it looks like rain, pick York.

For sights in each place, look at Fodor's Destinations (upper left on this page in orange bar). Or research in guidebooks. What's most important to see depends on you and your interests.
Mimar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 11:52 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,081
Presumably you'll be taking the train. In my experience the walk to the historic center of York is much easier from the station than Cambridge which is quite a hike and may be a consideration. I also think for a day trip York town center might be the more satisfying of the 2.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 12:17 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
I concur with Mme Perdu. While interesting, Cambridge is not as interesting as York, possibly because it's a university town and if you're not connected with the University. . . . York has lots of different things to do--York Minster, Viking Center, other museums, city walls, etc.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 12:41 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,490
To correct a previous poster, Cambridge is a city not a town, (as is York).
Cambridge train station is much further away from the centre than York.
I'm probably biased but I would say York - lots more to see and do. Lots of good 'outdoor' sights in York too - the Shambles, a boat down the river, a walk around the walls etc.
Morgana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 01:55 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,832
Cambridge also has good museums = the Fitzwilliam is great. Also, smaller museums like the polar research institute, and the museum of anthropology. Botanic gardens are lovely too. Some of the colleges are open to the public.

The city centre is a fair walk from the station, but there are regular buses that do the journey in 5-10 mins.
RM67 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 03:21 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,187
Haven't been to Cambridge yet so can't comment on it, but York is fabulous. The railroad museum is right next to the station and well worth a few hours alone even if you are not a train enthusiast. Then it is an easy walk to other museums and the shambles and the walk on the walls. York Minster is great too and should not be missed if going to York. At the exhibition center near the Yorkshire museum they run voluntary guided walks about York that is wonderful. Check the times to see if you can take one of those given a couple of times throughout the day.
europeannovice is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 03:49 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,269
Like Morgana, I am also biaised, I adore York and whilst I enjoyed Cambridge I dont think it has as much to offer as York. York is very walkable - indeed its a joy to walk around.
stevelyon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 06:00 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
I have enjoyed both York and Cambridge, but will give York the slight nod. I feel as if York is much more compact and you can pack in more variety in a day than with Cambridge.
irishface is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 06:43 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,699
Cambridge is a small town compared to York and the major attraction other than the Microsoft Office is the University which is lovely and I can highly recommend a walking tour from the local tourist office of both the town and university.

York is more a big city in that there are museums, tourists knicknacks and better transport options. It has a quaint walled section and if you stay overnight try to stay within the city walls. A totally different feel than Cambridge.

IMO, I would read more about each city and decide what attractions sound interesting.
emily71 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 09:14 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,053
If it's a day trip, without overnighting, the practicalities of train times and fares make Cambridge the better choice: it's a shorter journey while fares to York are substantially higher and usually require accepting significant restrictions on your flexibility to be reasonable. These will often limit the amount of time you've got in York: you need to play with a number of alternative scenarii on www.nationalrail.co.uk to see the financial consequences of different choices.

Cambridge's museum is, in some areas, quite outstanding and it has some of England's absolutely finest architecture. If what matters is the experience of looking at buildings as you walk, Cambridge wins. York offers a wider variety of distractions, but your one day is going to be full in either place.

The town/city distinction being made by some here is extremely confusing: "city" in real English is a meaningless honorific title bestowed by the monarch on many larger towns, and does not have the connotation of size it's acquired in some colonial dialects. The two cities (in the English sense) have much the same population (York's 200,000 plays Cambridge's 125,000). The only fundamental difference - that York's a mecca for stag and hen parties, and Cambridge isn't - is irrelevant if you're not overnighting.
flanneruk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 10:22 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
Cambridge is 45m and York is 2h out from London. I did Cambridge on a day trip from London and York on a return from Edinburgh. The York Minister is stunning and the city is great for a walk about. I prefer Cambridge. I took the HOHO bus from the station and got a good introduction to the city. Cambridge is an important part of the WWII story. The American Cemetery will give you pause. I stumbled upon the Eagle Bar in my wanderings. This was the hang-out for RAF and US pilots. The ceiling in the back room is covered with names and dates written in candle soot.
spaarne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 10:42 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
I am interested in ancient history. One of my objectives in going to Cambridge was to visit the Gog Magog. I took a bus out to the location but could find nothing remarkable. See http://www.troy-in-england.co.uk/ for one man's opinion about this spot. The book is fascinating.
spaarne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 11:19 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,269
York a mecca for hen and stag parties? I will have to go more often - this is certainly not my experience but I havent been for a weekend there for three years. In this region, most people use Leeds or Newcastle for stag and hen parties. Somehow, York and stag and hen parties don't seem to go.
stevelyon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 14th, 2013, 06:10 PM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 168
Wow thanks for all the info.
The distance/time is not an object for me. I want to walk around, see interesting things (scenery, people, shops). Have a nice place to sit and outdoors sites.
I think from what I've read here, York wins.

Another question, I've been to Oxford a few times. How comparable is Cambridge to Oxford, in terms of size and overall atmosphere.

Thanks again.
Esperanza77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 14th, 2013, 07:03 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,081
I find Oxford more dense with places of interest to me and a larger area of those things, if that makes sense. I like Cambridge too but find it just seems sparse and also a bit scruffy compared to Oxford, maybe more hard wear from the student crowd is my impression. I think everyone has a favorite of the 2 but that's just my feeling about them.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 14th, 2013, 08:07 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,689
What great information! Bookmarking
willowjane is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:21 PM.