When I was a child I was always told not to walk on the flowers … never.

It stuck with me, and I try my best to avoid breaking stalks or crushing petals underfoot.

This weekend though was the exception.

We were in Cambridge for a family get-together.

The college buildings are very grand and the atsmosphere and general vibe is great and what you’d expect: it’s awash with quaint middle England tastefulness. A historic time-warp where everyone and everything seems protected from the woes of modern, largely, urban life.

One thing we did enjoy though, were the flowers underfoot. Between Magdelene Street and Northampton Street there are – apparently – 600 brass flowers set into the pavement. There are four types of bronze flowers, each one representing designs of flowers on the buildings and railings of colleges around Cambridge.

Because they were underfoot they felt subversive, in a way. They weren’t as eye-catching as the Colleges themselves, but they always seemed to be there, sparkling and shining as they looked up at you from the pavement.

They were simple, beautiful and timeless, linking Cambridge’s history and heritage close to everyone in a modern and slightly unusual way.

We liked them.

So, if you visit Cambridge. Don’t just look up and around. Look down underfoot. It’s worth it.


walking on flowers in Cambridge …
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