Grantchester is famous for its high-brow artistic connections. But as well as Robson Green and The Great Storyteller ™ you may be surprised to hear it’s also linked to famous wild swimming pioneer Lord Byron and Rupert Brooke, who wrote a poem titled The Old Vicarage, Grantchester that, to the non-literary at least, reads rather like a grumpy twitter rant about how rubbish people from all the other local villages are.
Grantchester Meadows drop down from the village to the river and are utterly enchanting. Get there early for a peaceful misty sunrise or in the afternoon on a sunny Sunday to watch countless people leaping in the river and dodging cows. You can walk or cycle into town, via Newnham, along a tarmac footpath at the top of the meadows.
There are four pubs in the village, though the future of one is uncertain at the time of writing. The Blue Ball Inn, a proper local freehouse that’s worth 5 in snooker, The Red Lion, a nice big restaurant pub with a family garden, The Rupert Brooke, named after Rupert and The Green Man, not named after Robson. The Orchard Tea rooms are an established local institution and the Gin distillery is becoming one.
... it really is a very special place. It’s one of our most lovely villages to visit, but it’s also brilliant to live in.
If you want to get into the fields you can walk or cycle over to Barton along Bridleway to avail yourself of Burwash Manor’s boujeeness or in the other direction there’s a lovely route over the fields to Haslingfield and Harston. There are four main options for local runners every year, depending on your fitness level: The Cambridge Half Marathon that passes through (21km), The Grantchester 10k (10k, but with a 3k option), or the Boxing Day barrel roll (a few dozen yards with hay bales to sit on if you get tired).
It’s easy enough to take Grantchester for granted, but it really is a very special place. It’s one of our most lovely villages to visit, but it’s also brilliant to live in.