More from the public service arm of my blog, as I bring you a “complete” guide to refreshment options if you find yourself at Cambridge North Station.
Our newest station opened at the end of May to give easy access to the Science Park for the Computer Games designers that make up 85% of Cambridge’s booming workforce. It may also mean folk park and ride from here, rather than clogging up the roads at the next station up the line (Waterbeach).
It’s a very shiny station. No Cambridge North Tap yet though. Or even a Pumpkin Café.
In the interests of research I made an unscheduled stop on the way to the Cambridge Beer Festival. The National Rail website tells me there is just the ONE journey possible from Waterbeach to Cambridge North, at the handy time of 15.42.
The options for the return aren’t great either, but they do allow you enough time for a quick tour of the delights of the area.
Within five minutes (my pace anyway) you’re at the Cam.
Do NOT attempt to cross the river by this bridge.
Instead, follow Fen Road along the north of the river, pausing to admire the £1.25m houses daubed with Latin graffiti.
These houses stand on the site of one of the original Greene King dining pubs, where I’d pop most Fridays for a couple of pints of IPA (which I thought was called Ipper) and Brakes Bros finest pies.
Two minutes down Water Street you can cross the bridge towards Newmarket Road’s retail delights, admiring the callous disregard of Cambridge cyclists for the “Do Not Cycle” sign (before legal action ensues, yes it is “advisory”).
Instead, press on along Chesterton High Street (actually, the only High Street in Cambridge), pausing to admire the former offices of Hallens Motor Sales in Chapel Street. This is where I hid the green pen from the External Auditor during the 1985 annual accounts review.
Directly opposite you’ll see our destination, the Haymakers. Until it’s gentrification (joking, slightly) under the stewardship of Milton Brewery a few years back, I’d been in here less than any pub apart from The Ship.
Nowadays it’s Mrs RM’s go-to pub when she needs two quick pints of Marcus Aurelius* and a calzone. Our sons tend to pass on the Marcus.
Milton’s beer are a bit underrated, but the Haymakers has just won local CAMRA City Community Pub of the Year so clearly the pub isn’t.
Along with the equally transformed Devonshire, it’s my top tip for a Pegasus.
More gorgeous wood panelling and bench seating, though we like to squeeze into the little snug below; sadly a wine drinker had nabbed it.
A really good mix of professional drinkers and pizza munchers in the Haymakers as usual, and a decent place for live music, though unlikely to match the night Allo Darlin’ played here 5 years ago.
If you do resist the Margherita here, you’re left with my standby from the ’80s. World Heritage status can’t be too far away for Small Fry.
I can guarantee the presence of the doner kebab; I cannot guarantee the presence of the accompanying feline. Sorry Mudge.
Go back to the station the way you came.
You may notice the Plough in fen Ditton is technically closer to the new station. If you are 50 feet high you may be able to jump across the Cam.
*some Nanny-Staters pub will only serve this in halves. They lose out on Mrs RM’s patronage, of course.