- For other places with the same name, see Cambridge (disambiguation).
Cambridge is a university city in Cambridgeshire in England. It is a city of crocuses and daffodils on the Backs, of green open spaces and cattle grazing only 500 yards (450 m) from the market square. Cows sometimes wander into the market area, since they are not fenced in. The Cambridge of Brooke, Byron, Newton and Rutherford, of the summer idyll of punts, 'bumps', cool willows and May Balls is worth seeing.
Cambridge brings many images to mind: the breathtaking view of King's College Chapel from across the river Cam, the rich intricacy of Gothic architecture, students cycling to lectures, and lazy summer punting on the River Cam.
Cambridge manages to combine its role as an historic city with a world-renowned university and, since the 20th century, an internationally acknowledged centre of excellence for technology and science. The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. They chose the quiet town of Cambridge as a suitable location for study. In the 17th century Cambridge University educated many of the founders of an American university called Harvard, which is also in a place called Cambridge (named after the English university). Cambridge University has many famous alumni, including: mathematicians such as Sir Isaac Newton, scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin, philosophers such as Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and writers such as John Milton and Lord Byron. It was the site of Rutherford's pioneering work in nuclear physics, and Francis, Crick, and Watson's DNA work (see the Eagle pub below). Cambridge academics have won more Nobel Prizes than those of any other university in the world. The rumour that just one college, Trinity, had more Nobel prize-winners than France, however, is false.
The city is surrounded on all sides by heritage villages, towns and ancient monuments (such as Ely and Peterborough), all within easy travelling distance. Like Oxford, Cambridge was spared from the German carpet bombing that devastated many other British cities during World War II, and is thus one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the UK
More than 6 million visitors come to Cambridge every year to savour the delights of the historic city. The city itself is quite compact with many of the main attractions in easy walking distance. Cambridge is an ideal base for exploring some of the gentlest (read flattest; good for leisurely walks, poor for hills with viewpoints) and most unspoilt countryside in England.
Cambridge is 50 mi (80 km) north of London. With good rail services and road communication links, Cambridge is easily accessible, whether travelling by car, or by public transport.
Cambridge is closest to London Stansted Airport, but the capital's other international airports are also within reach:
- 1 London Stansted Airport (STN IATA) (30 mi (48 km) away and has regular bus and rail services into Cambridge). Direct rail services leave every hour (to Birmingham New Street) and take about 35 min with a return fare of £16. For more frequent services take the Stansted Express to London from platform 1 and change at Bishop's Stortford or Stansted Mountfitchet taking about 50 min. Rail services may be unavailable if your flight arrives at Stansted very late or departs very early in the day, and while the airport likes to advertise hourly services, there are some strange gaps in the timetable so check the boards before you buy a ticket, and go to the bus terminal if there is nothing sensible on offer. National Express coaches run between Cambridge and Stansted (including late at night), taking about 50 minutes with prices from £12. Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge rides there from £47 one way.
- 2 Luton Airport (LTN IATA). Best reached by National Express Coach, taking about 1 hr 40 minutes with prices from around £26, but these run only every 2 hours or so.
London Stansted and London Luton airports offer many of the cheapest international flights to be found in Europe, with many of the big low-cost European airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair, Jet2 and TUIfly having a hub at one of these two airports.
- 3 London Gatwick Airport (LGW IATA). Has an hourly direct Thameslink rail service to Cambridge and takes around 1 hr 55 minutes with a £35.50 single fare. Alternatively, two further services an hour require a change between London St Pancras and the adjacent London King's Cross. Gatwick is the least convenient London airport by car, being on the opposite side of London, necessitates a tour of the M25 London ring road and takes around 3 hr. Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge rides there from £100 one way. There is a National Express bus service available, again around 3 hr (and that M25 again).
- 4 London Heathrow Airport (LHR IATA). 90–120 min away by car, depending on traffic.
National Express coaches to and from Heathrow Central bus station take around 2½ hr with prices from £36 (Sep 2019).
By rail, there are two options, both of which should take approximately 2 hours:
- Take the Heathrow Express from Heathrow Rail station at Terminals 2 & 3 (there is no additional charge for transfer between Terminals 4 & 5 to Terminals 2 & 3) to London Paddington (PAD), this service departs approximately every 15 minutes. From London Paddington, take the tube (Hammersmith & City line or Circle line) to London King's Cross (LGX) and then take a train to Cambridge (CBG). The total cost when booking over 3 months in advance should be less than £20 one way and £30 return. If buying tickets for the Heathrow Express on board or at the airport, expect to pay £35 single and £55 return. This method of travel reduces the time spent on the tube to less than 15 minutes, which is advisable at peak tube times (7AM-9AM, 4PM-6PM).
- Take the tube (Piccadilly line) from London Heathrow underground Terminals 2,3,4 or 5 to London King's Cross (LGX) or (change at Holborn for Central line) to London Liverpool Street (LST). From there take a train to Cambridge (CBG). Fares from King's Cross £25.10 single and £38.70 off-peak return; from Liverpool Street £18.90 off-peak single and £27.50 off-peak return. The off-peak tube fare between Heathrow and central London is £3.10 with contactless – this method of travel is the cheapest method by rail but involves approximately 1 hr of tube travel, which is not advisable at peak tube times (7AM-9AM, 4PM-6PM).
Abacus Airport Cars to Cambridge cost £85 one way.
- 5 London City Airport (LCY IATA). Best reached by train to King's Cross or Liverpool Street as Heathrow, then Underground and Docklands Light Railway across London (tube/DLR fare £2.80 off-peak single with contactless). Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge rides there from £77 one way.
- 6 Cambridge International Airport (CBG IATA). Cambridge has its own airport on the eastern outskirts of the city; it is 10 minutes from the historic centre. However, it no longer has any scheduled flights.
Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain
Regular trains run from London (King's Cross and Liverpool Street) to Cambridge. The fastest "Cambridge Cruiser" services to and from King's Cross run non-stop and take under 50 min, generally departing at :15 and :45 minutes after the hour. "Semi-fast" services stop at a few intermediate stations and take about 65 min, slower stopping trains may take up to 90 min. Try to avoid taking a train with more than 8 stops between Cambridge and London King's Cross to avoid the slowest trains. Trains to and from London Liverpool Street all take about 75 min. If buying super off-peak tickets, these are the cheapest available, at £13 day return. Direct trains from Stansted airport to Cambridge take 35 min (catch trains from Stansted going in the direction of Birmingham). Because Cambridge is one of the main junctions of the East Anglia railway network, trains also run to and from Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough and Birmingham. See National Rail for timetable and fare information. PlusBus is available for purchase with your rail ticket for bus travel within Cambridge.
You can buy an overnight Rail and Sail ticket from Cambridge to Hook of Holland for around £80, using the Harwich-Hook of Holland ferry route. Ensure that you choose the correct ticket, but you can find deals that cover the ferry (including a room and bed) and travel between Cambridge to the Hook. Departures from Cambridge are at about 7PM; going the other way, you arrive a bit before 10AM. (There are daytime ferries too, but the train timetables mean you can make no train connection.)
- 7 Cambridge railway station (about 1.2 mi (1.9 km) south of the city centre). There are regular buses to town and a taxi rank outside the station. The station has a staffed travel centre, self-service ticket machines (many take only European smartchip cards and do not accept cash) and automatic ticket barriers (you need your ticket to get both in and out of the station). Pay attention to buying tickets as there is often a queue at the machines and none at the ticket windows. There are also ATMs, several cafes and a bookstore, on the platform accessible only to ticket holders, and a mini-supermarket in the station foyer. The station is very long, with several trains parked end-to-end on the main platform, so you may need to walk a long way between trains if you have a tight connection.
- 8 Cambridge North railway station (located in the north-east of the city). Served by trains to and from London, King's Lynn and Norwich. This station is convenient for Cambridge Science Park, but there are few tourist sights in this part of the city.
Cambridge is very accessible by cycle, and the local government encourages sustainable travel (such as walking and cycling). National Cycle Network routes 11 and 51 both pass through the city, and Cambridge is also served with a comprehensive local cycle network. Within the city, cycling is a common means of getting around. Cycles can be rented from a number of outlets, including Station Cycles (located just north of the railway station), Station Cycles' central branch (located on floor -1 of the Grand Arcade shopping centre) and from City Cycle Hire (on the western edge of the city centre, in the suburb of Newnham).
Some quick notes on cycling etiquette: cycling on the pavement (sidewalk) is not generally permitted unless there is a specifically signed shared-use cycle lane; cycling on the road is always allowed, even if a shared-use lane exists (but you may find this annoys car drivers). One-way streets apply to cycles unless there is a cycle lane for travelling in the opposite direction. Respect red traffic lights and always use cycle lights in the dark. If you are caught without lights, you are liable to an on-the-spot fine of £30. Obey the rules even if many others break them. Always lock your cycle to something solid with a good lock - cycle theft is a problem in Cambridge.
Parking can be difficult in central Cambridge (the best parking, if you're prepared to pay, is in the Grand Arcade in the centre of town) and the one way street system is extremely confusing. Added to that is the traffic congestion in the centre and many camera monitored "bus gates" make driving an unpleasant and potentially expensive experience. The Council recommends the use of the "Park and Ride" scheme (free parking for up to 18 hours and a £3.50 return bus fare).
- Cambridge is connected to London primarily by the M11 or the A10.
- From the north, come off the A1 onto the A14.
- From West and North West London and Hertfordshire, the A1(M) and A505 via Letchworth and Hitchin is a fairly fast alternative route that avoids the M25 (especially during peak traffic).
- The A421/A428 is also worth considering if driving from Milton Keynes and Bedford.
National Express provides bus links to major cities around the country, including direct services to London Victoria and Birmingham, as well as frequent airport coaches to Luton, Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick. National Express coaches depart from Parkside, next to Parker's Piece park, about half a mile from the City Centre. Many services also stop at the Trumpington and Madingley Road Park and Ride sites.
The bus station for shorter-distance buses is on Drummer Street, conveniently located for all the main sights. Stagecoach operate routes from Cambridge to Bedford, Ely, Peterborough (via a connection at Chatteris), Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Bury St Edmunds and Oxford.
Several different bus and coach companies (notably Stagecoach and Whippet Coaches) operate services within Cambridge and the surrounding area, and therefore tickets for one company may not be valid on bus routes operated by other companies. The service is notoriously irregular, and it is best to leave around half as much time again for a journey as the buses are often delayed/cancelled/slow, and if an urgent connection is to be made they are best avoided, especially the "citi" branded buses: walk or take a taxi.
Intellectual college joke
So the cop pulls over an electron on the city bypass:
Cambridge is mostly pedestrian-friendly: most sights can be easily reached on foot and much of the central area is traffic-free. Some of the pavements are shared use between pedestrians and cyclists; this can catch you out unless you watch out for it. Cambridge walking directions can be planned online with Google maps & other websites & apps. Students and locals often use bikes to get around and hiring a bike is a viable alternative to simply walking.
You can also opt for a hop-on, hop-off open-top sightseeing bus which provides commentary in several languages. The sightseeing bus passes the railway station, American Cemetery, and many of the historic colleges, but as the city centre is pedestrianised, it can approach the more central colleges on only Sundays.
There is little need to use the local bus services unless you are staying in a far-flung area of the city, but they are clean and efficient if you need to. Citi buses cost between £1 and £2 for individual cash fares within Cambridge City (change is given but drivers may refuse large denomination notes), contactless payments are available on most buses, but just tell the driver your destination as you board and take your ticket from the machine. The dominant bus operator is Stagecoach but Whippet also operate buses within the city and offer day tickets for their buses only. There is a multi operator bus day ticket available for £8 which you can purchase on the bus services of any participating operator. If you are arriving in Cambridge by rail, Plusbus tickets offer good value.
Cambridge City Council discourages car use. Parking charges are high and although the hated rising bollards are now gone they have been replaced by which are monitored by cameras and fines are issued to unauthorised vehicles passing through them.
Uber ride-hailing is available, and there are many taxi companies in Cambridge.
- Panther Taxis, ☏ .
- Camtax, ☏ .
- Camcab, ☏ .
- Hyfly Taxis, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NLG Airport Transfers (NLG Trading), 1 Hadleigh Court, ☏ , email@example.com. 00:00 - 00:00. £90.
Focus on Architecture
Cambridge, especially the various colleges and university buildings, is fascinating for people with an interest in architecture. The colleges have been built sporadically over the centuries and the result is a mixture of styles both ancient and modern. Although the modern architecture is sometimes controversial, especially in how the newer buildings (fail to) harmonise with adjacent older buildings, it is in its way as interesting as the older. A tour of the backs (see above) gives the visitor a good feel for the various styles and a few small diversions add to the experience. One obvious landmark is the tower of the University Library. The library was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also built the Bankside Power Station in London that is now the Tate Modern. It does have a very industrial feel to it perhaps because of this. On the far side of the library the curious can see Robinson College, the newest college and built in about 1980 and one of the few pieces of modern architecture in Cambridge that has no notable old buildings nearby. If you prefer to see a blend of old and new, it is worth making the way out to Homerton College, which is fifteen minutes walk on Hills Road. Homerton College is particularly interesting as there are examples of various styles of architecture on-site such as the neo-Georgian buildings at the front of the college and the gothic Victorian hall on the inside of the college. This is an excellent place to take a stroll through the grounds which encompass an old orchard, water features and even a small honey farm, in order to appreciate the architecture from afar.
St John's College and Magdalene College also have a number of architectural treats. As well as the Bridge of Sighs, St John's has buildings in almost every style of architecture starting with the 16th-century hall in First Court and ending up with the extremely modern Cripps building. Near the Cripps building there is also the dramatic New Court built in the early 19th century and the School of Pythagoras, one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge which dates from the early 13th century.
Next door Magdalene College - cognoscenti know that Magdalene is accessible from the back of the Cripps building - is quite a contrast. Unlike St John's, which consists mainly of buildings designed originally as college accommodation, Magdalene has converted a number of old half-timbered inns as some of its accommodation. Magdalene also possesses the Lutyens building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and the Pepys building. The latter, which houses the Pepys library, has an imposing and almost symmetrical facade and looks completely different from the rear. The ugliest Magdalene building, the 1970s Buckingham Court, is fortunately well hidden, while across the river the Magdalene Quayside development (1990) is an excellent example of how the late century architects appear to have learned subtlety and harmony. Quayside is an excellent place to rent a punt.
Cambridge University consists of a number of semi-independent colleges, many central, some up to 3 mi (4.8 km) from the town centre (traditionally measured from Great St. Mary's church). The following are a good selection for sightseeing. Most of the colleges within the central area are worth a look, if you have the time.
Some colleges charge for entrance. It can be expensive, around £5 per person or more. If you're friends with a student, they're allowed to bring a visitor in for free. Colleges are typically closed to visitors during the University exam period, at the end of May and the first week of June.
Please remember to be respectful when visiting the colleges. They are students' homes for much of the year, and the workload and pressure at the University can be immense. Do not enter buildings you are not explicitly invited to, do not stare into people's windows, and be polite when taking photographs; be especially discreet in the libraries. Always remember that the colleges' role is first and foremost that of academic institutions; they are not there for tourists, and it is rude to do anything which impedes or inconveniences the people who live and work in them.
- 1 King's College and King's College Chapel, King's Parade, ☏ . College grounds open term-time M-F 9:30AM–3:30PM, Sa 9:30AM–3:15PM, Su 1:15PM–2:15PM and 5PM-5:30PM (summer only). Out of term M-Sa 9:30AM–4:30PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Grounds closed during exams (late April to mid June) though Chapel is open. Chapel opening times vary, ring for details. The most visited attraction in Cambridge, the architecture of King's College Chapel towers above the town and its world-famous choir have spread its reputation around the globe. £9 adults, £4.50 children/students.
- 2 Queens' College, Silver Street/Queens' Lane, ☏ . Open approx 10AM-4:30PM, see website or ring for updated times. Closed mid-May to mid-June. Founded by two Queens - Margaret of Anjou in 1448 and Elizabeth Woodville in 1465, the College stretches across both sides of the Cam, linked by the famous Mathematical Bridge. The myth goes that it was designed by Isaac Newton without the use of pins, screws, nuts or bolts, but when disassembled, the fellows and students couldn't figure out how to put it back together again. This is sadly false, the bridge dates from 1749, 22 years after Newton's death. The stunning medieval Old Hall is also worth a visit. £5 (includes printed guide). Free mid-October to mid-March.
- 3 Trinity College. Large attractive courtyard and library designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The interior of the Wren Library (M-F noon-2PM, Sa 10:30AM-12:30PM in Full Term) is particularly beautiful and features medieval bibles, items from the possession of Isaac Newton, original manuscripts by Wittgenstein, a Winnie-the-Pooh manuscript by A.A. Milne, and notes by Bertrand Russell, among other things. Even when the college is closed to visitors, the library may still be accessible from Queens Road on the other side of the River Cam. As of July 2022 the college is closed to the public. £2.
- 4 St Johns College. Formerly the St Johns Hospital (13th century) before being refounded as a college in 1511, this college houses the oldest academic building in Cambridge (the "School of Pythagoras"). It has a number of large courtyards, and has the Cambridge "Bridge of Sighs". As of July 2022 the college is closed to the public. Adult £10.
- 5 Jesus College. Attractive grounds and sculptures scattered throughout.
- 6 Pembroke College. The 3rd oldest college in Cambridge, founded in 1347 by the Countess of Pembroke, Marie de St Paul, is well known for its beautiful gardens.
- 7 Clare College. The 2nd oldest college with pretty gardens, courtyard and the oldest river bridge in Cambridge.
- 8 Peterhouse. The oldest Cambridge college was founded in 1284 and has two large gardens, the Scholars' Garden and the Deer Park, both of which students and visitors can walk all over (unusual for Cambridge colleges!)
- 9 Saint Catharine's College. St Catharine's College was founded in 1473 by Robert Wodelarke, Provost of King's College. The college was christened in honour of the patron saint of learning and used to be known as Katharine Hall. It was largely rebuilt in the 17th century with work on the Main Court beginning in 1673; the Chapel was completed in 1704. In spite of its modest size, the college's three-sided brick Main Court is almost unique among Cambridge colleges and deserves a short stop while strolling down Trumpington Street. The college is in the very centre of Cambridge next to King's College and facing Corpus Christi College.
- 10 Homerton College. Homerton College is one of the newer colleges, though it has existed for centuries as an academic institution and is architecturally very pretty, with extensive and tranquil grounds and a picturesque orchard. It is in a beautiful location on Hills Road, about 15 minutes walk from the town centre. The Victorian hall here is one of the most beautiful in Cambridge and definitely worth a visit. Free to enter, so worth the walk to see.
- 11 Corpus Christi College, Corpus Christi College, Trumpington St, CB2 1RH. Uniquely, founded by Cambridge locals (from two town guilds). Its Old Court (to the left of the main entrance, behind St Bene't's church) dates from the 1350s and is the oldest courtyard in Cambridge. Old Court rooms have no plumbing, so you may occasionally be treated to a student walking across the court in their dressing gown to get to the toilet complex.
- 12 Selwyn College, Grange Rd, CB3 9DQ. Founded in 1882, Selwyn is one of the newer Cambridge colleges. Its buildings and grounds are excellent examples of Gothic Revival architecture and it has been named one of the “most obviously impressive” of 68 listed buildings in the West Cambridge Conservation Area appraisal. Entering through the Porter's Lodge Gate on Grange Road puts you in the attractive Old Court with its manicured lawn surrounded by red brick, turreted buildings. The gate next to the college chapel leads into the Selwyn gardens. Selwyn College is located less than a ten-minute walk south of the Cambridge Library, and is about 250 m from the Museum of Classical Archaeology. Free.
Parks and gardens
- 13 The Backs. The gardens by the river behind various colleges. Heading downstream from King's you can pass through the gardens of Clare, Trinity and St John's Colleges (which has the "Bridge of Sighs").
- 14 Botanic Garden of Cambridge University, Bateman St CB2 1JF, ☏ . Nov-Jan: 10AM-4PM, Feb-Mar and Oct: 10AM-5PM, Apr-Sept: 10AM-6PM, closed 24 Dec to 1 Jan. A relaxing way to spend a few hours, away from the hustle and bustle of the colleges and canals. Open to the public since 1846 this garden hosts some important botanic collections amongst its 10,000 or more species. In summer they have concerts on the lawn. Adult admission £7.20, children and Cambridge University students free.
- 15 Jesus Green. Jesus Green was proposed as the site for Cambridge's main railway station, but is now a broad piece of parkland immediately adjacent to Midsummer Common. Provides a quiet retreat away from the city centre, and has grass and hard tennis courts, and an outdoor swimming pool. Plans are underway for redevelopment of this much-loved park in Cambridge.
- 16 Parker's Piece. One of the best known open spaces in Cambridge. In the centre of the city, it is bordered by Park Terrace, Regent Terrace, Parkside and Gonville Place.
- 17 Christ's Pieces. In the centre of the city, it is bordered by the bus station, Christ's College, Emmanuel Road and King Street. It is of typical Victorian park design with tree lined avenues. The formal seasonal bedding displays planted in the 'petal beds' near Emmanuel Road, provide all year round colour. There are also large ornamental shrub beds around the perimeter to add further year round colour and interest.
- 18 Coe Fen. A beautiful, semi-wild green near the centre of the city, but far enough out to be quiet. Less manicured than some of the college gardens and parks around Cambridge, but nonetheless a great space to be in the summer with cows roaming and the Cam running through.
Museums and galleries
- 19 The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington St, CB2 1RB, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su noon-5PM. The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge and is on Trumpington Street. It receives around 300,000 visitors annually. The museum was founded in 1816 with the bequest of the library and art collection of the VIIth Viscount FitzWilliam. The bequest also included £100,000 "to cause to be erected a good substantial museum repository". The "Founder's Building" itself was designed by George Basevi, completed by C. R. Cockerell and opened in 1848; the entrance hall is by Edward Middleton Barry and was completed in 1875. The Egyptian Galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum re-opened in 2006 after a two-year, £1.5 million programme of refurbishment, conservation and research. The museum has five departments: Antiquities; Applied Arts; Coins and Medals; Manuscripts and Printed Books; and Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Highlights include masterpieces by Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso and a fine collection of 20th century art. Admission free.
- 20 Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, ☏ , email@example.com. House open Tu-Su and Bank Holiday Mondays 1:30-4:30PM (1st weekend in April - last weekend in September); Tu-Su and Bank Holiday Mondays 2PM-4PM (1st weekend in October - last weekend in March). Gallery open Tu-Su and Bank Holiday Mondays 11:30AM-5PM. Kettle's Yard is the former home of Jim and Helen Ede and houses the fine collection of art, from the early part of this century, which they gave to the University. Artists represented include Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, David Jones, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. There is a separate gallery for exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, which are widely advertised and detailed on the website. Each exhibition is accompanied by a lively programme of talks, workshops and discussion groups for all ages. Music at Kettle's Yard: Kettle's Yard presents programmes of chamber music concerts and contemporary music concerts. Admission free.
- 21 The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street, ☏ . M-F 10AM-1PM and 2PM-5PM; Sa 10AM-4PM; closed on Bank Holidays. One of the university's many hidden treasures, and actually its oldest museum, the Sedgwick is packed full of fossils with more than 1 million in its collection. These range from the earliest forms of life from more than 3000 million years ago, to the wildlife that roamed the Fens less than 150,000 years ago. Displays include a gallery of minerals and gemstones, the world's largest spider, rocks collected by Charles Darwin on the 'Voyage of the Beagle', dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Triassic, and fossils from the local area including a hippopotamus from the nearby Barrington gravel pits. The museum organises many activities, so it's always a good idea to check its website.. Admission free.
- 22 The University Museum of Zoology, The New Museum Site, Downing Street, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 10AM-4:30PM; Su noon-4:30PM; and Bank Holiday Mondays noon-4:30PM. The University Museum of Zoology displays a great range of recent and fossil animals, emphasising the structural diversity and evolutionary relationships among the animal kingdom. The collections were accumulated from 1814 onwards, and include many specimens collected by Charles Darwin. To find the museum, look for the spectacular whale skeleton, hung above the entrance and visible through the archway from Downing Street. Free.
- 23 The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, ☏ . M-F 12:30PM-4:30PM; closed at weekends, bank holidays and occasionally over the Christmas period. Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Free School Lane, just off Pembroke Street. Visitors are advised to check beforehand by contacting the museum. The Whipple Museum is a pre-eminent collection of scientific instruments and models, dating from the Middle Ages to the present. Included in this outstanding collection are microscopes and telescopes, sundials, early slide rules, pocket electronic calculators, laboratory equipment and teaching and demonstration apparatus. Free.
- 24 Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Su 2PM-4:30PM; closed at Christmas and Easter and on most public holidays; possible extended summer opening - please telephone or email for details. The museum contains large and important collections of archaeological and anthropological material from all parts of the world. The archaeological collections from all periods include significant collections from Palaeolithic Europe, Asia and Africa; Precolumbian Central and South America; early civilizations of the Mediterranean; and British archaeology. The world-renowned anthropological collections include important collections from the South Seas, West Africa and the Northwest Coast of North America; historic collections from the 18th century; and extensive photographic collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. Free.
- 25 Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, ☏ . M-F 10AM-5PM; Sa 10AM-1PM. The Museum of Classical Archaeology is one of the few surviving collections of plaster casts of Greek & Roman sculpture in the world. The collection of about four hundred and fifty casts is open to the public and housed in a purpose-built Cast Gallery on the first floor of the Classics Faculty. Although nothing here is an original, nearly all the well-known (and not so well-known) works from the Classical world can be seen together under one roof. The reserve research collections consist of another two hundred plaster casts, Greek vases, pottery sherds, and epigraphic squeezes. These can be consulted by arrangement. Admission is free.
- 26 The Museum of Cambridge (formerly: Cambridge Folk Museum), Castle Street. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4PM. The only local social history museum in Cambridge and is the most comprehensive collection representing life in the South Cambridgeshire villages. Housed in an old Coaching House, the museum is home to some 20,000 objects representing the history of local life away from the University. Staffed by volunteers which may cause unscheduled closures, phone to confirm if required. Standard £6, students & 16-17 £4.50, -16 free.
- 27 The Polar Museum, Lensfield Road. Tu-Sa (and Su on Bank Holiday Weekends) 10AM-4PM. A short walk from the Fitzwilliam Museum is The Polar Museum. It was a finalist for The Museum of the Year Prize in 2011. Its extraordinary collection covers the Arctic and Antarctic, native peoples and the Golden Age of Exploration of heroes such as Scott and Shackleton. It also serves as the National Memorial to Scott and his men, as well as being the public front of The Scott Polar Research Institute which continues their scientific work. Special events, exhibitions, tours, children's activities and behind the scenes Open Days are held quite often.
- 28 The University Library, West Road. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-4:30PM. Exhibition of treasures and highlights from the Library's world-class collections of manuscripts and printed books. Two major exhibitions are held each year (roughly January to June and September to December): check website for details.
- 29 Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane (bus #3,11,12 Stanley Rd. Accessible on foot from centre by crossing Midsummer common and following the River Cam eastwards.). F-Su 10:30AM-4PM. An exhibition of items from Cambridge's industrial past based at the city's old sewage pumping station on Riverside. Exhibits include the working steam and gas powered pumps, printing technology and items from several decades of electronics manufacturing within the city. The museum holds several 'steaming' days a year, usually on bank holidays, when engines and pumps may be seen working.
- 30 The Centre for Computing History, Rene Court, Coldham's Rd, CB1 3EW, ☏ . A small museum dedicated to the field of computing including video game consoles and arcade machines that can be played. The museum is also a hire-able venue for "Gaming Parties".
The history of Cambridge is entwined with that of the Church of England. The colleges (see above) all have chapels which can be visited, but town churches also offer a rich insight into the history of the town and university, and are usually free. Even if you aren't interested in places of worship, they are well worth a few minutes attention and are peaceful places to enjoy.
- 31 The Round Church, Bridge Street, CB2 1UB, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily. Dating back to 1130, this is one of only four medieval round churches in England, and one of the most visited buildings in Cambridge. Besides the remarkable architecture, the building contains historical exhibitions and hosts occasional concerts and lectures. Included is a 20-minute film that provides an excellent overview of Cambridge's history. Tour guides based there offer walking tours of Cambridge which are highly rated. Adult £3.50.
- 32 Great St Mary's (GSM), Senate House Hill, CB2 3PQ, ☏ , email@example.com. M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su noon-5PM (may vary depending on service times). Open daily, free. This fine example of 15th-century English Perpendicular architecture is on the market square opposite King's College. As well as viewing the beautiful nave, visitors can climb the bell tower (admission £6 adults, £4 children (5-16 years), £16 family (2 adults, 2 children)) for spectacular views over the city.
- 33 St. Benet's, Bene’t Street, CB2 3PT, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tucked away in the lanes is this tiny 11th-century church. Its main attraction is a Saxon arch in the nave. One of several churches in town with bells, this one is a good location to see English bellringing. The times are unpredictable and not published but Sunday afternoons are your best bet. Please be quiet, ringing takes a surprising amount of concentration and the ringers can do without distractions.
- 34 All Saints, Jesus Lane, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BP, ☏ . Open daily, free. This 19th-century church is no longer used for worship but has been preserved as a rare example of the Arts and Crafts movement, featuring a highly ornate interior by Bodley, and windows and wall decorations by William Morris.
- 35 St. Andrew's, Chesterton, Church Street, CB4 1DT, ☏ , email@example.com. A walk from town, but with an impressive (if somewhat faded) medieval Doom painting around the chancel arch, showing the Judgement and giving worshippers good reason to pay attention to the sermon.
- 36 World War II Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial (3 mi (4.8 km) west of the city on Highway A-1303). Daily 9AM-5PM except for Dec 25 and Jan 1. The cemetery is on land donated by Cambridge University and is the final resting place for 3812 American military dead lost during the War in the Atlantic and Northern Europe. A monument is inscribed with the names of 5126 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. The chapel contains mosaic maps of World War II campaigns and a mosaic memorial to American Air Forces on the ceiling. Free.
- 37 Imperial War Museum Duxford, CB22 4QR (Bus: M-Sa train from Cambridge to Whittlesford Parkway station then Bus 7a (limited service) Su only direct bus 132 from Cambridge.(Stagecoach bus 7 only serves Duxford village only)). This World War II airfield south of Cambridge houses the Imperial War Museum's aircraft collection, and is the largest aviation museum in Europe. As well as military aircraft, it houses a large collection of non-military aircraft including a Concorde. There is also a land warfare museum attached that has many examples of armoured vehicles from the First World War onwards. It really a full day for a proper visit. Flight shows are sometimes held; these days will be very busy.
- 38 Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Quy Road, Lode, CB25 9EJ (Stephensons bus #11 to Swaffham Road, Lode.), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 39 Wimpole Hall & Home Farm, ☏ , email@example.com. Wimpole Hall is the largest house in Cambridgeshire, set amongst rolling "Capability Brown" landscaped parklands, with a Home Farm hosting many rare breeds.
- 40 Denny Abbey and Farmland Museum, Ely Road, Waterbeach, CB25 9PQ (7 mi (11 km) north of Cambridge. Stagecoach bus#9, take care crossing busy main road.), ☏ . adults £7.50, children £4.50, concessions £6.00. English Heritage members free..
- Further north see Ely for Stretham Old Engine and Wicken Fen.
- 41 Grantchester: "The women there do all they ought, the men observe the Rules of Thought...." - Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) was in Berlin when he wrote this semi-comic paean to the village. It's 3 miles south and upstream from Cambridge, a pleasant afternoon stroll or punt. The Church of St Mary and St Andrew (C of E) dates from 12th century, with several distinguished figures in its graveyard. There are thatched cottages, several pubs, and the famous Orchard Tea Gardens, open daily 10AM-6PM. The orchard was planted in 1868; in 1897 a group of student visitors asked if they could take tea there rather on the lawn, and this became a fashion. Brooke took up lodging at The Orchard in 1909 and attracted a glittering coterie: They love the Good, they worship Truth, they laugh uproariously in youth . . . Continue upstream to the pool below the weir at the confluence of the Cam and Brook. This was frequented by Europe's most famous "wild swimmer" Lord Byron.
- 42 Bourn Windmill, Caxton Rd, Bourn CB23 2SU (Off A1198), ☏ . 13/14 May and then five Sundays between May and September 2023 (see website for details). A medieval post-mill, probably the oldest mill in Britain. It's at risk of collapse and stabilisation is under way; it will be open for a few days in 2023. £3 adult, £1 child.
- Explore the backs. It's free, and gives you a real flavour of the city. You can walk through King's College, onto King's Parade, a beautiful row of exclusive shops. You can also experience the backs by punt which is extremely popular.
- Punting. 9:30AM-dusk daily. If anything is stereotypically 'Cambridge', this is it. Punting involves propelling a flat bottomed boat with a long wooden pole (quant) by pushing a pole against the shallow river bottom. For the full effect, take strawberries and Champagne to quaff as you glide effortlessly down the river. You can either travel along the famous College Backs or head out towards the village of Grantchester. Guided tours are also available from around £20.00 per person on the day. Save by booking online at (Traditional Punting Company, Let's Go Punting, Rutherford's Punting Cambridge, Scudamore's and Cambridge Chauffeur Punts. If you're up for more of an adventure, try it out for yourself on a self-hire boat (typically about £30/hour for an entire punt, so can be a lot cheaper if you are part of a group). Punting to Grantchester (upriver) takes about an hour and a half for an experienced punter or tour, and the complete journey takes much longer for first-timers. Along the Grantchester route there are riverbanks on the way for mooring up with meadowland suitable for picnics (Note that pranksters have been known to push unattended punts out into the river.)
- Walking tours. Guided walking tours are available all year round with a range of walking tours to choose from. These tours can be tailored to suit group interest with the central tourist office. There is also the option to experience Cambridge virtually with some University Colleges providing their own tours. These include King's College and St John's College with a
- Rowing. Cambridge is renowned for rowing on the Cam. All colleges and some schools have their own clubs, and there are over half a dozen large 'town' clubs. There are a number of regattas and head races on the river throughout the year, though the highlight in the rowing calendar on the Cam is the annual bumping races. For College crews, the 'May' bumps are in June, for the local clubs, this normally is the fourth week in July. Over four evenings of racing (Tuesday - Friday), eights attempt to gain higher position by catching the crew ahead of them before being 'bumped' by the crew behind. Races take place downstream (north) of the city, between the A-14 road bridge and the railway bridge at Stourbridge Common, and are best viewed from the towpath alongside the river, or from the Plough pub in Fen Ditton, both accessible by foot from the town centre - words of warning though - if on the towpath side, be careful for the massive number of bikes that accompany the crews racing, if in the pub, you may not get a seat, and beer prices are at a premium.
- Cycling. Rent a bicycle and bike the mostly flat terrain around Cambridge. Popular destinations are Grantchester (3 km), American Cemetery (5 km), along River Cam towpath to Milton Country Park (5 km), Wicken Fen (12 km), Duxford Imperial War Museum especially during air-shows (15 km) and Ely (23 km). (More trips)
- Football: 1 Cambridge United, Newmarket Rd CB5 8LN, ☏ . United play soccer in League One, the game's third tier. Their home ground Abbey Stadium (capacity 8000) is two miles east of city centre.
- Cambridge RUFC were promoted in 2023 and now play rugby union in the RFU Championship, their second tier. The home ground is Grantchester Road, capacity 1250.
- Cambridge University RUFC plays the annual Varsity Match against Oxford but doesn't play in a regular league.
- Play tennis for free for up to 45 minutes at a city-council tennis court. No need to book – just bring racquets and balls. Parktennis runs free social games at Jesus Green most Saturdays at 10–11 a.m.
- Play table tennis for free at Ping Pong Parlour[dead link] in the Grafton Shopping Centre (balls and bats provided), or on an outdoor table.
- 2 Cambridge Ice Arena, Newmarket Road CB5 8AA, ☏ . Tu-Su. This rink has public skating, ice hockey, curling, figure skating, and lessons.
- 3 Lets Go Punting, Landing Stage, Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8AG, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM - dusk. Independent punting company offering private and shared punting tours in Cambridge. Tours last 45-50 minutes along the college backs. From £20.
- 4 Traditional Punting Company (Punting Cambridge), Landing Stage, Thompsons Ln, Cambridge CB5 8AQ, ☏ , email@example.com. 9AM - dusk. The Traditional Punting Company offers the best punting in Cambridge, where you'll see the world-famous College Backs in the heart of the city. Expert chauffeurs will guide you along the River Cam, entertaining you with Cambridge’s inspiring history and secrets of the city over the last 800 years. Tours last 50 minutes and are a return journey. Shared Tours from £20, Private Tours from £79.
- 5 Cambridge Corn Exchange. The city's centre for arts and entertainment.
- 6 ADC Theatre, Park Street. The University's playhouse. Hosts student and local amateur productions. Look out for performances by Footlights, this has been the training ground for many famous comedians. Tickets £4-10.
- 7 Cambridge Junction, Clifton Road (close to Cambridge railway station. Bus Stagecoach #3). Artistic centre offering club nights, gigs, and new theatre, comedy, and dance. Ticket prices vary depending on the show/gig.
- 8 Arts Picture House, 38–39 St Andrew's St. Various foreign and art-house films (see the current listing ). A more conventional selection can be found at the large multiplex at the Grafton Centre as well as the Light Cinema at Cambridge Leisure Park in Hills Road.
- 9 Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward's Passage. Hosts a varied mix of professional drama, dance and opera including touring productions and an annual pantomime.
- Cambridge Summer Music Festival. Perhaps the most romantic way to appreciate the magnificent architecture of the many College Chapels is to hear a concert performed in their marvellous acoustics. Cambridge Summer Music offers world class performances in the well-known Chapel of King's College as well as many of the city's hidden gems.
- Midsummer Fair. (mid-June), Midsummer Common.
- 10 Strawberry Fair. On Midsummer Common in early June.
- Cambridge Film Festival. (July)
- 11 Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall Park. (late July)
- Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. (July–August) Every summer, six Shakespeare plays staged outdoors in gardens of various colleges
- Cambridge Science Festival. (March) Two weeks of (mostly) free events for all ages.
- Festival of Ideas. (October–November) A festival of free events celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences.
- Cambridge Literary Festival (Spring and winter). Twice yearly literary festival with talks, readings and events featuring local and national literary figures.
- Mill Road Winter Fair (First Saturday in December). Annual community festival based around the city's Mill Road featuring music, parades, food and art organised by local residents. The whole road is closed off just for the day.
- 12 Cambridge Beer Festival, Jesus Green. (May) Annual beer festival on Jesus Green, hosted by Cambridge & District CAMRA.
- Cambridge University degree ceremony. 4 days at the end of most months. Watch the processions and traditions before and after a graduation ceremony from outside the Senate House lawn or the Great St Mary's tower.
Most lectures are only open to members of the university; however, a variety of public talks and lectures are organised:
- Cambridge University public lectures and seminars
- Cambridge Video & Audio
- Trinity Public Lecture Series
- Darwin College lecture series
- Madingley Hall Public Lecture Series
There are a large number of summer schools, mostly English language, but also some offering tuition in a wide range of other subjects.
It is also possible for members of the public to attend residential summer schools within the University, such as Lite Regal Education
Cambridge University students aren't allowed to work during term-time, so there are often possibilities for punting, hotel services, bar or waitering work for foreign nationals. Those from outside the EU require a work permit, see the Work section of United Kingdom for more details.
There are also the Science Park and Business Park located around the city limits which are home to many global gaming, digital, technology, bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies.
King's Parade has numerous souvenir shops and gift shops with Cambridge (and London) branded merchandise. Scour the charity shops down Burleigh Street, Regent Street and Mill Road for bargains. Book collectors will find many shops especially Trinity Street. The market square in the centre of town has a general market Monday to Saturday with fruit and vegetables, bread and cakes, books, bicycle repair, tea and coffee, fast food and clothes, and a more arts-and-crafts oriented market on Sunday with pottery, ceramics, prints, clothing, etc. The surrounding streets and the nearby 1 Grand Arcade and 2 Lion Yard shopping centres have most of the common retail names and many individual shops to cater for most needs. The 3 Grafton Centre has all the usual high-street shops in a mall and surrounding streets.
M&S Food (part of the Marks and Spencer department store chain) have a mini-supermarket that sells high-quality sandwiches, prepared meals, snacks and other groceries - usually at a high price. The main supermarket in the city centre is Sainsbury's on Sidney St. which stocks a full range of groceries and everyday products as well as alcohol and cigarettes. There are many more supermarkets including large Tesco (Chedder's Lane & Yarrow Road), Asda, Sainsbury's, and Waitrose superstores as well as a large Aldi discounter on the edge of the city.
- 4 Ryder & Amies, 22 King's Parade, ☏ . "The University Store" sells Cambridge University merchandise.
- 5 John Lewis, 10 Downing Street, ☏ . Large department store.
- 6 Primavera, 10 King's Parade, ☏ . High quality contemporary art & crafts.
- 7 Cambridge Contemporary Art, 6 Trinity Street, ☏ . More art & crafts.
- 8 Cambridge Cheese Company, 4 All Saints Passage, ☏ . Excellent selection of cheese and delicatessan counter.
- 9 Cambridge University Press Bookshop, 1 Trinity Street, ☏ . Only sells CUP books, but it is the oldest bookshop site in the country - books have been sold there since at least 1581.
- 10 Heffers, 20 Trinity Street, ☏ . Large bookshop, with academic sections.
- 11 Beehive Center, on the A1134 (by foot about 10 minutes east of the Grafton Centre). A series of shops including Asda, DW Sports Fitness, TK Maxx, Next Home & Dreams. Further up Newmarket Road at the Cambridge Retail Park, there are several additional large stores like Tesco, Sports Direct and Curry's PC World.
Cambridge has a good range of eateries, as well as a daily market next to Great St Mary's Church where there are maybe 10-15 food stalls. Many of these offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, all for reasonable prices (a falafel wrap, for example, is £4-5).
- 1 Michaelhouse Cafe, Trinity St (inside St. Michael's Church). M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM. Beautiful cafe serving excellent sandwiches, salads, hot dishes, and soups. Desserts as well. Vegetarian options always available. Lunch served until 3PM.
- 2 Tatties, 11 Sussex Street. Busy cafe serving jacket potatoes and sandwiches. Very popular with students around lunch time.
- 3 Savinos, 3 Emmanuel Street. Authentic Italian coffee bar. Best espresso and cappuccino in town.
- 4 Trockel, Ulmann & Freunde, 13 Pembroke St.
- 5 The Garden Kitchen, 82 Mill Rd.
- 6 Cafe Oriental Dumpling Bar, 9 Burleigh St.
- 7 Zis Piri Piri, 36A Mill Rd.
- 8 The Cambridge Chop House, 1 King's Parade, CB2 1SJ, ☏ . Su-Th noon-10:30PM; F Sa noon-11PM. Good British cuisine in a great location, real ale (well kept!), attentive service, fixed lunch & (early) dinner menu (2 course). Booking recommended. £30-40.
- 9 De Luca Cucina & Bar, 83 Regent St, ☏ . Su 10AM-9:30PM; M-Th 11AM-11PM; F Sa 11AM-midnight. Great little Italian/British Fusion Restaurant with reasonable prices and great staff!
- 10 Fitzbillies, 51 Trumpington Street, ☏ . Su noon-5:45PM; M-Sa 9AM-9:30PM. Fitzbillies is a Cambridge institution serving refined food for lunches and dinners, as well as heavenly tea and pastries in the afternoon. Don't forget its adjacent shop selling the best pastries in town, amongst which you will find the world famous Chelsea Bun! They also have a smaller branch at 36 Bridge Street, which is often less busy.
- 11 Little Rose, 37 Trumpington Street, ☏ . Su 10AM-9:30PM; M-Th 9AM-10PM; F 9AM-10:30PM; Sa 10AM-11PM. Gastro-pub style food.
- 12 Sala Thong Thai Restaurant, 35 Newnham Road, ☏ . Daily noon-2:30PM, 6PM-10:30PM. This small place serves simple tasty Thai food with good service. £20-30.
- 13 Luk Thai at the Cricketers, 18 Melbourne Place, ☏ . M-Sa noon-1PM, 5:30PM-11PM; Su noon-1PM, 5:30PM-10PM. Average price: £15-25 per person for starter, main, dessert and drinks.
- 14 Thanh Binh, 17, Magdalene St, CB3 0AF, ☏ . Very good Vietnamese food in a pleasant atmosphere. No alcohol license, but you can bring your own; there is a good wine shop just over the bridge 50 m away.
- 15 Tipsy Vegan, 6-8 Quayside, CB5 8AB (Close to Magdalene Bridge over River Cam). Good quality vegan bar-restaurant with outdoor area. Tables can be booked online.
Many pubs in Cambridge also serve good food at reasonable prices, for example:
- 16 The Eagle, Bene't St.
- 17 Cambridge Blue, 85-87 Gwydir St.
- 18 Kingston Arms, 33 Kingston St.
- 19 Portland Arms, 129 Chesterton Rd.
- 20 The Mitre, 17 Bridge St.
- 21 Restaurant 22, 22 Chesterton Road, CB4 3AX, ☏ . Set in a converted Victorian house near the river. Serves up quality seasonal food from a monthly changing menu in an intermate dining room. Booking essential. Larger private room up stairs for parties of approx 12. One Michelin Star since 2023. £100+.
- 22 Midsummer House, Midsummer Common, ☏ . Tu-Th 7PM-9:30PM; F Sa noon-2PM, 7PM-9:30PM. Midsummer Common. By far Cambridge's finest restaurant and one of only ten British restaurants to have earned two stars from the Michelin guide. £100+.
- 23 Cotto Restaurant, Gonville Hotel, Gonville Place CB1 1LY, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-3PM and Th-Sa from 7PM.. The twice-Gold Medallist at the Chef's Olympics, Hans Schweitzer has amassed an impressive repertoire of culinary skills, including training as a Confiseur and Chocolatier in Switzerland and Paris. He is considered the best chef in Cambridge. A contemporary, restaurant, convenient if you are near Parker's Piece, Anglia Ruskin University or the Grafton Centre.
Charming pubs and peculiar drinking traditions abound. Cambridge has a colossal number of pubs, over 110 at the last count. For specialist and obscure spirits and wines check out Bacchanalia, Vinopolis or any of the Cambridge Wine Merchants stores.
- 1 The Cambridge Blue, 85 Gwydir Street. A friendly pub with a large garden and good range of real ale.
- 2 The Castle Inn, 38 Castle St,CB3 0AJ. One of the best and busiest, traditional pubs in Cambridge. With an eclectic mix of locals and visitors, it can get impossibly busy of Friday and Saturday nights, however, the beer is excellent (the wine less so) and the food is home cooked and good value - the "Castle Burger" is a popular choice.
- 3 Champion Of The Thames, 68 King St, CB1 1LN, ☏ . Old style pub in the centre of town with a blazing fireplace in the winter. One of the few pubs to sell a local cider rather than the mass-produced stuff.
- 4 The Devonshire Arms, 1 Devonshire Rd, CB1 2BH (Mill Road end), ☏ . Good selection of Milton Brewery beers. Good menu. Friendly, and handy for the station.
- 5 The Eagle, 8 Bene't St, CB2 3QN, ☏ . Franklin, Watson, and Crick were regulars here whilst in the process of unravelling the secrets of DNA. American airmen also burned their names into the roof of one of the bars during the Second World War.
- 6 The Fort St George, Midsummer Common, ☏ . Noon-11PM. Been there for hundreds of years, overlooks the Cam and Midsummer Common. Also one of the best places in town for a pub lunch! (Think Sunday roast.)
- 7 The Free Press, 7 Prospect Row. Mobile phone use is not allowed, making this a pleasant quiet pub. Pub terrace.
- 8 The Granta, 14 Newnham Road. A large terrace looks out on the river and surrounding nature. Popular during the summer, this pub serves excellent food, and rents out punts and canoes.
- 9 The Kingston Arms, 33 Kingston St, Cambridge CB1 2NU, ☏ . Underrated old-fashioned free house with friendly atmosphere, open later than other Cambridge bars (2AM weekends, drinking-up time generally half an hour).
- 10 The Live and Let Live, Mawson Road. A small and very friendly place with an excellent selection of real ales.
- 11 The Maypole, 20A Portugal Place, CB5 8AF. A Cambridge institution, still independent and it's noticeable in its style and management. Smart pub, heated outdoor area. Enormous range of alcohol, perhaps slightly higher prices than the local average, but only slightly and it's worth it for the atmosphere. Late opening, last call's at 1 on weekends but boot-out's a good hour later.
- 12 The Mill, Mill Lane. Cosy in the winter, bustling in the summer, this pub offers a refined selection of real ale.
- 13 Old Ticket Office, Cambridge Railway Station, CB1 2JWT (Just to the right as you come out of the railway station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-W noon-11PM, Th-Sa noon-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM. Friendly bar with outdoor seating just next to the station, mostly commuters. Very comfortable seats, live train times on screen. City Pub Co. bought and renovated the former ticket office in 2018 and it's been very successful, with a handful of regulars despite being on the outskirts of town. Wide range of craft beers (more than 30!) and gins (more than 20), wines and cocktails. Extensive hot food menu and takeaway pastries. Pint £4-9 (high abv).
- 14 The Pickerel Inn, 30 Magdalene St, CB3 0AF, ☏ . Noon-. Claims to be the oldest pub in Cambridge, Has live music.
- 15 The Pint Shop, 10 Peas Hill, Cambridge, CB2 3PN, ☏ . M–W noon-11PM, Th F noon-midnight, Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 11AM-11PM. Known for their selection of craft beer on tap.
- 16 The Regal, St Andrews Street. Formerly a cinema, the Regal is the largest pub in the city and according to some, Europe. Offers a broad range of drinks including cheap ales you´d expect from a Wetherspoon´s chain pub, plus music and a rowdy dance floor in the evenings.
- 17 The Wrestlers, 337 Newmarket Road. A bit of a walk from the City Centre, but great real ales and some of the best Thai food in town.
Grantchester is home to four pubs - 18 the Red Lion. and the Green Man are closest to the river bank, and the Rupert Brooke and Blue Ball are to the right (Cambridge direction) along the main street of the village.
- 19 The Six Bells, 9 High Street, Fulbourn, CB21 5DH (No 1 Citibus to Fulbourn. Last stop.), ☏ , email@example.com. 11:30AM-11PM. Typical British country pub. Grade II-listed building with thatched roof and large beer garden. Beer festival and musical events in the summer months. Bar food and restaurant.
- 20 Vinyl (The Place), 22 Sidney Street. Affectionately known as 'Life' (its previous name) to students.
- 21 Lola Lo, 1 Guildhall chambers, Guildhall Place. Three separate areas over four floors.
- 22 Indigo Coffee House, 8 St. Edward's Passage (central). A tiny cheerful place with excellent coffee and bagels!
- Savinos, Emmanuel Street. Italian coffee bar. The best place in town where you can relax drinking a true and delicious Italian coffee or if you are hungry you can try a tasty Italian baguette with ingredients imported from Italy. While you are chilling out with your drink you can read Italian newspapers or listening to Italian music.
You'll also find all the usual coffee chains:
- Caffè Nero (Five locations in the city centre).
- 23 17 King's Parade, ☏ . M-F 7AM-8PM, Sa-Su 7:30AM-8PM.
- 24 11 Market Street, ☏ . Daily 7AM-8PM.
- 25 SU1, St. Andrews Street (Grand Arcade, next to John Lewis), ☏ . M-F 6:30AM-8PM; Sa 7AM-8PM; Su 8AM-8PM.
- 26 Station Road, ☏ . M-F 6:30AM-8PM; Sa-Su 7AM-8PM.
- 27 22 Fitzroy Street, ☏ . M-F 7:30AM-6PM; Sa 7:30AM-6:30PM; Su 8:30AM-6PM.
- Starbucks (Six locations).
- Costa (inside the Grand Arcade on the ground floor). M-Sa 7:30AM-7PM; Su 8AM-6PM.
- Pret à Manager (Two locations).
There is a range of options for accommodation in the city, although not so many for the budget traveller. In addition to guesthouses and hotels, there is a youth hostel and the option of staying in one of the rooms in a college. These rooms can be old with fantastic original features; they're a great base from which to explore the city. Outside of term, these will often be rooms which students have vacated for the holidays. Colleges can be contacted directly for information on accommodation in college, or they can be booked through UniversityRooms.
- 1 Cambridge Youth Hostel, 97 Tenison Road (near the railway station), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM (luggage storage available), check-out: 10AM. 99 beds in this YHA hostel in a Victorian town house. Basic but functional. 15 minute walk from centre. Meals available. from £22.10 (under 18), from £24.40 (adult) for bed on shared room. Private room for one person from £25.50.
There are a number of guesthouses on Tenison Road, about 10 minute walk from the train station towards town.
- 2 A&B Guesthouse, 124 Tenison Rd, ☏ . Nice clean, small rooms. Ensuite available. £70 double.
- 3 Chequer Cottage B&B, 43 Streetly End, Cambridgeshire (14 mi (23 km) from Cambridge), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Luxury B&B, 4 Star Silver Award, King size en-suite room set in a beautiful country garden on the edge of the Roman Road. Price includes full English or continental breakfast and wifi.
- 4 Duke House, 1 Victoria St CB1 1JP, ☏ . Five rooms in elegant little B&B. HRH Richard Duke of Gloucester stayed here 1967-69 when he studied architecture at Magdalen. No children 1-10 or dogs. B&B double £140.
- 5 Holiday Inn Express Cambridge, 15-17 Norman Way (Coldhams Business Park), ☏ . On outskirts of the town, standard rooms, reasonably good free breakfast.
- 6 Holiday Inn Cambridge, Lakeview, Bridge Rd, Impington (northern fringe of Cambridge, about three miles from the city centre), ☏ . As well its accommodation, the hotel also has a restaurant and leisure facilities on-site.
- 7 Home from Home Guest House, 78-80 Milton Rd, ☏ . Good value, but quite a distance from the city centre.
- 8 Royal Cambridge Hotel, Trumpington Street, CB2 1PY (edge of the city centre), ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. One of the oldest hotels in Cambridge and was once part of the world famous Addenbrooke's Hospital. Not to be confused with the Royal Cambridge Hotel in London, for which at one point a fairly full entry appeared on this page. £45-80 pppn.
- 9 Gonville Hotel, Gonville Place CB1 1LY, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Friendly hotel with spa and fine dining, overlooking Parker's Piece. B&B double £190.
- 10 University Arms Hotel, Regent St CB2 1AD, ☏ . Grand old hotel overlooking Parker's Piece, part of Marriott franchise and made-over in Edwardian style. Great comfort and service. Assistance dogs only. B&B double £150.
- 11 South Farm (10 mi (16 km) southwest of Cambridge), ☏ , fax: , Info@south-farm.co.uk. Fantastic B&B.
- 12 Hilton Cambridge City Centre (formerly the Crowne Plaza), 20 Downing Street, ☏ . Within walking distance from King's College.
- 13 The Varsity, Thompson's Lane, CB5 8AQ, ☏ . Luxury riverside spa hotel in the centre. It is famous for its rooftop bar and terrace. No dogs. B&B double £200.
- 14 Cambridge Belfry (Formerly Hilton brand), Back Lane, Cambourne, CB23 6BW (near the A428 road), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Set next to a lake, the hotel is equipped with for functions and business meetings, pool, fitness and spa amenities. £90-180.
- 15 Quy Mill Hotel (Best Western), Church Rd, Stow-cum-Quy CB25 9AF (A14 junction 35, 5 mi (8.0 km) east of city), ☏ . Swish hotel and spa in a 19th C mill, good dining. No dogs. B&B double from £100.
Although Cambridge is one of the safer cities in the UK, you should use your common sense at night and be careful in badly-lit areas outside the city centre. As of 2019, pick-pockets are taking advantage of the throngs of tourists on King's Parade and the nearby shops; keep an eye on valuables. It is wise to be on your guard around Regent Street & St Andrew's Street after midnight with anti-social behaviour due to people leaving pubs and nightclubs.
Bicycle theft is an ongoing problem. If you have a bike, keep it locked up to a solid object with a strong lock (preferably a D-lock), as cycle theft is big business. There are cycle parking places with cycle stands to lock you bike to, in several places around the city centre and at the railway station. "Secure" covered cycle parking with CCTV surveillance and cycle stands is available in the lower section of the Park Street car park and at the Grand Arcade cycle park.
The city's police station is on Parkside which is next door to the city's fire station. The opening times of the enquiry office is every day 8AM-10PM and bank holidays 9AM-5PM. There are a couple of smaller stations in the nearby villages of Histon and Sawston. The opening time of the enquiry office is for Histon, Mondays; 4PM-8PM, Wednesdays to Fridays; 8AM - midday, with Tuesdays, weekends and bank holidays closed. For Sawston, it is Wednesdays to Friday; 1PM-5PM, Mondays, weekends and bank holidays closed. The non-emergency contact number is 101, calls are fixed rate of £0.15 on landlines and mobiles.
The city's Accident and Emergency department (Casualty department) is located at Addenbrooke's Hospital on Hills Road, south of the city centre.
As of July 2022, Cambridge has 4G from all UK carriers, and you might get 5G with EE, O2 or Three. Wifi is widely available in public places.
Gyms and swimming pools
- 3 Kelsey Kerridge is the public sports centre on the south side of Parker's Piece. Entry is possible without membership. Next door is the large 4 Parkside public swimming pools.
- In summer it's worth visiting the 5 Jesus Green Lido, Britain's longest outdoor pool, on Jesus Green, Chesterton Rd CB4 3BD - +44 1223 302579. As of 2021, the Lido is open all year round.
All other gyms are private members only, including:
- 6 The Glassworks Gym & Spa (Halfmoon Yard/Quayside), ☏ .
- 7 Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing, 213 Cromwell Rd, CB1 3BA, ☏ .
- 8 David Lloyd Gym, Coldham's Lane, CB1 3LH (Coldham's Business Park), ☏ .
- 9 Chesterton Sports Centre, Gilbert Road CB4 3NY, ☏ .
- 10 Revolution Health & Fitness Club, 24 Science Park, CB4 OFN, ☏ .
- 11 Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre, Purbeck Road, CB2 2PF, ☏ .
Places of worship
- Many Anglican churches, including college chapels and Great St Mary'snext to the market square.
- 12 Resurrection Lutheran Church, 25 Westfield Ln, CB4 3QS.
- 13 Eden Baptist Church, 1 Fitzroy Street, CB1 1ER, ☏ .
- Roman Catholic: 14 Our Lady & The English Martyrs, Hills Rd, ☏ .
- Muslim: 15 Abu Bakr Mosque, Mawson Road CB1 2DZ (off Mill Road), ☏ .
- 16 Jewish Synagogue, Thompson's Lane, ☏ .
- 17 Cambridge Buddhist Centre, 38 Newmarket Road, CB5 8DT, ☏ .
- Sikh: 18 Cambridge Gurdwara, Arbury Road, CB4 2JQ, ☏ .
- The local 19 Hindu community is active but, as of 2020, without a temple - +44 7909 528 091
- Grantchester: Take a day trip to enjoy the countryside and have scones and tea at The Orchard. With a long history of famous patrons such as Rupert Brooke, Virginia Woolf, EM Forster and Bertrand Russell, taking tea in The Orchard is a well established tradition. This large garden planted with apple trees is perfect for lounging on a deck chair in the sun with a cup of tea and a scone for sustenance. Or head out by punt with a picnic hamper.
- Great and Little Gransden Glimpse the real England! Take a bus (30 mins or so, bus no. 18, or 18A) from Drummer Street to the tiny ancient villages of Little and Great Gransden, which appear in the Magna Carta. Brimming with thatched cottage charm, horses and peaceful country walks, these villages offer escape into English village life. Pub food is available in both villages. Explore the ancient churchyards, the doll path in the meadow between them, and enjoy a leisurely hike around this tranquil village area. The Duncombe Arms in neighbouring Waresly serves excellent food, and offers BnB accommodation. Waresly is one- or two-hour walk from the riding stables at the bottom of Great Gransden. You could even join a horse trek. The undulating road offers wonderful views across farm land, and the ancient Waresly Wood, some of which is National Trust property. The 17th century open trestle post mill Windmill between The Gransden villages is unusually intact. It was last operational in 1912.
- Ely: Market town, with impressive Cathedral towering above the Fens (Ely used to be an island): regular trains and buses (9, X9, 12), or about two hours by cycle via NCN 51 to NCN 11.
- King's Lynn is well worth visiting for its wealth of architectural gems especially Nelson Street and Tuesday Market place. The explorer Vancouver came from here. Museums and churches and the largest brass in the country in St Mary's Church.
- Newmarket: Market town (in Suffolk), with a famous horse-racing venue, and everything horsey related including the National Horseracing Museum. Tu-Su 11AM-4:30PM (22 March - 30 October). Hourly trains and regular buses (10, 11, 12), or about two hours by cycle on NCN 51.
- Bury St Edmunds: Market town, with a brewery, cathedral and gardens. Hourly trains and regular buses (11)
|Routes through Cambridge|
|Peterborough ← merges with then ←||N S||→ Duxford → London|
|King's Lynn ← Ely ←||NE SW||→ Royston → Hertford|
|Birmingham ← Huntingdon ←||W E||→ Newmarket → Felixstowe|