Travel: Harvard & Cambridge Walking Tour

I’m loving having the chance to write up so many of our travels over this summer break. I’ve been so lucky with the sheer amount of places I’ve been able to visit in the past months and it’s such fun to share about it all here!

On our US/Canada trip last fall we were mainly aiming to visit New York, Toronto and Las Vegas, but when the chance came for a couple of days in Boston too, we leapt at the chance. This city is such a big part of US history and we were excited to add it to the schedule.

After our Amtrak adventure we finally made it into the city and after checking in at our lovely hotel (more on which soon) we hightailed it to meet our group for a tour of Harvard and Cambridge. Being in Boston we couldn’t skip the opportunity to visit one of the pillars of the Ivy League (and where Elle Woods went to law school ;)).

We arrived at the rendezvous point just in time for our train across the Charles River with our guide, where we also discovered that we were the group – no-one else had signed up for the evening tour so we had our guide all to ourselves!

First stop was the Longfellow House in Cambridge. So named as it was the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for several decades, it also served as the headquarters for George Washington between 1775 and 1776. The home was built in 1759 for John Vassall, who fled the Cambridge area at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War because of his loyalty to the king of England. Throughout Cambridge reminders of the War of Independence were everywhere and it was fascinating to learn more about this era of American history.

After touring Cambridge in the evening sunshine, as twilight drew in we toured some key parts of Harvard’s campus. Having had a few friends attend the university it was so fun to get a glimpse of where they would have studied and spent their time.

Harvard is such an impressive school. According to Wikipedia (always good for a quick fact-check, right?), its alumni includes eight U.S. presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars. In addition to this, some 130 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists, and 13 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or staff.

The buildings and campus were really lovely, and I was kicking myself that I had my proper camera back at the hotel charging (hence the iPhone pics in this post!). The red bricks, the columns on so many of the buildings, the greenery all added to the gravitas of the place.

I’ll definitely be hoping to head back to Harvard for another visit and some further exploring. The Harvard Library (the world’s largest academic and private library system) is somewhere I definitely need to get to, if only to marvel in wonder.

Have you visited Harvard? Do you like visiting universities or colleges? If you do, be sure to check out the University of Aberdeen at Old Aberdeen, where I spent my undergraduate years – such a pretty campus!


  1. Emma Julia
    23rd August 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I'm intrigued by Boston – such interesting history!

    • Claire
      27th August 2017 / 1:06 pm

      I learned so much!

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