by Peter Fernandez
Welcome to Citystay’s new series: “Word on the Street”. In this monthly column I will take you through a critical stroll through the many twists and turns of our fair city.
This Month’s Street is Hills Road. Hills Road is one the most interesting and diverse in the City.
It stretches from Addenbrooke’s Hospital all the way to Our Lady and the English Martyrs (commonly known to residents as simply “The Catholic Church” as if there were only one).
This means that it connects the south side of Cambridge (the station, etc) to the city centre.
The Road to Success
Hills Road has many research companies situated on it. There are technology companies like Apple, who research and improve Siri at their Hills Road offices, to analytics companies like Costello medical, helping improve our healthcare companies.
One thing, however, that tops Hills Road’s research acumen is it’s academic prowess. Hills Road gives a home and a name to one of the top Sixth Form colleges in the country. Hills Road Sixth Form College (HRSFC for short) has been at the forefront of education for decades and has educated several members of the Citystay team.
Not only is Hills Road great for mandatory education, it has you covered for additional and adult education as well! Our friends at OISE are teaching people the English language and making our great city even richer for it.
Taking the Easy Path
Hills Road provides the best access of any Road to Cambridge’s ever improving Lesiure Park. With 8 restaurants, 2 supermarkets and a Coffee shop in the park itself, (not including the immediate surrounding area which hosts even more of those) you’ll be spoiled for choice as to where to eat.
Before you eat though (or after depending on your preference) be sure to have some fun. Visit the arcade to blast away at some high scores. Take some friends and rent out a lane in the bowling alley or rack ’em up for a game of pool. Maybe though, you’d rather take your special someone to the latest blockbuster at the Light Cinema’s new IMAX screen.
After all the excess of the leisure park, there is a way to burn those calories. If you go up the spiral steps near the escalators you can go to a 24 hr Pure gym in which you can cycle, lift, and jog to your heart’s content (or discontent as the case may be). You don’t have to let a night out keep you from your cardio, at just £7.50 for a day’s pass (they text you a private code to get in) there’s no excuse.
If none of these activities excite you, there’s good money on you being the kind of person who enjoys looking at rare trees. Well what a coincidence that is because on Hills Road you have access to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden – basically a zoo for plants. You can stroll through the outdoor gardens or you can visit a tropical jungle or a searing desert right here in Cambridge thanks to the magic power of Glasshouses. The experience is truly breathtaking.
Snack on Track
Aside from those directly in the leisure park, there are many restaurants that line the sides of Hills Road.
If you’re into gourmet, one that stands out is Alimentum, for the obvious reason that it is one of the two restaurants in Cambridge to have recently had a Michelin star. The most coveted culinary credits in the world. Chef/patron Mark Poynton’s classic cooking is sure to titivate the tastebuds.
If you are looking for a little less slap-up, why not give the world famous Five Guys a try. A meal will cost less than a meal at a standard restaurant but more than any other fast food joint. Five Guys operates in strange limbo between the two. It rejects your restrictive binary descriptors and surprisingly it totally works. The burgers are some of the best ever. You’d be doing yourself a disservice not to give it a try.
On Hills Road you will find a few supermarkets, but not much else in the way of shops. There is the only board games shop in Cambridge “Inner Sanctum” and a bridal shop but they aren’t actually on Hills Road so they can’t be truly considered.
There are also plenty of shops on Regent Street, which is the road that follows on from Hills, but again, no points for almost having shops.
All the shops you need for food, but no clothing shops or anything special, there are certainly better roads in Cambridge if you need some serious retail therapy.
Some huge companies operate on this street, but the biggest prefer station road.
Everything you’d need for a short stay, and more.
A six for sheer variety alone but its Michelin star brings it up to a seven.
Middle of the road, the essentials but nothing more