Cambridge is a city in eastern England, home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, dating back to 1209. The city boasts some of the UK's most beautiful architecture and scenery as well as a host of fantastic shops, restaurants and attractions. With so much to do in Cambridge it can be hard to choose! UniversityRooms has compiled this list with insider knowledge of things to do, places to eat and of course where to stay; we've handpicked picked the coolest and quirkiest places that locals love - perfect if you're looking for inspiration for your next romantic weekend away, family holiday or city break with friends.
What to do:
Visit the The Fitzwilliam Museum
If you're looking to explore art galleries or museums, The Fitzwilliam Museum in central cambridge is worth a visit. It houses fantastic collections of works of art and antiquities spanning centuries and civilisations. The museum hosts everything from amour to sculptures and a world-class collection of paintings. They regularly hold events for children, such as storytelling sessions where kids can experience history come to life. The museum also has a wonderful gift shop and cafe all in the centre of Cambridge.
Where to stay: If you're looking to stay locally, UniversityRooms has rooms in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. A modern, classic college set in spacious and attractive grounds, only a mile from the city centre, with beautiful gardens. Staying in the college is a quirky and affordable alternative to a hotel, with free wifi and a choice of a continental breakfast or cooked breakfast included. Find out more here.
Explore the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens
Parallel to the train station and just down the road from the cities best shops and restaurants lies the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, 40 acres of beautiful gardens with plants from all over the world. The Garden is an inspiration for gardeners, scientists and students alike, an exciting introduction to the natural world for families and is a perfect picnic spot. Prices start at £5.50, find out more here.
Where to stay: Nearby to the gardens is Hommerton College, Cambridge offering B&B accommodation and single ensuite bedrooms in a tranquil location, WiFi, breakfast and parking are all included. Vistitors have full access to the colleges facilities such as the gym and gardens. Find out more here.
Take a Punting Tour on the River Cam
If you want to see the sights of the city from the best seats possible, why not try a punting tour, boats depart every 15 minutes and tours tend to last just under and hour. You can either have a guided tour by a knowlegdable chaffuer and sit back and relax while you gently glide past magnificent buildings and ornate bridges, steeped in history and heritage... or for a fun alternative grab a group of friends and do it yourself- provided you’ve got the arm strength! Boats can be a little pricey and there are lots of different companies offering the service so shop around a bit to find the best deal.
Where to stay: Situated next to the River Cam and home to the iconic Mathematical Bridge, Queens' College offers a selection of accommodation, perfect as a base to explore Cambridge and beyond. Queens’ is one of Cambridge’s most historic colleges and today offers a wonderful mix of history and modern design, creating a truly unique experience to visitors who are looking for a unique atmoshperic Cambridge experience. Find out more here.
Enjoy an Evening at one of Cambridge's Music Venues
If you are curious about Cambridge’s music scene then Cambridge Junction is the place to go, an arts venue with an eclectic programme of live music, club events, comedy, theatre, dance and live art all year round, there is something for everyone. In the city centre The Cambridge Corn Exchange is one of the UK's popular music and arts venue, hosting some of the worlds best known artists, with everytyhing from folk, indie and rock, to eighties bands, there is a variety of performances most nights of the week. This year comedians such as Stewart Lee and Russell Brand are perfroming at the venue. For tickets and more info find out more here.
Where to Stay: Just a short walk away from The Corn Exchange is St Catharine's College, in the heart of Cambridge it offers ensuit accomodation with free WiFi and breakfast. Originally a small college, it gradually acquired buildings around and was largely rebuilt in the 17th century, with work starting on the Main Court in 1673 and the Chapel being completed in 1704. For more information visit UniversityRooms.com
Take an Educational stroll on a College Walking Tour
Cambridge has something to interest everyone, and its beautiful colleges are something to be taken advantage of, Walking Tours of Cambridge and the colleges offer a fantastic insight into the history and daily running of the university. Those interested in Architecture will be able to explore 1000 years of some the finest buildings in the UK, whilst science lovers can learn about Cambridge alumni such as Newton, Darwin and Stephen hawking. The colourful characters and student pranks can also be brought to life along with the famous poets and writers such as Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge and AA Milne. Private tours are available in 1 hour, 1.5 hour and 2 hour sessions depending on the time you have available and cover a fantastic breadth of history and fascinating stories. Find out more here.
Where to Stay: There is also the chance to stay in some of Cambridge’s most beautiful colleges. King's College is one of Cambridges most iconic buildings, with UniversityRooms.com you can stay in accommodation in the very heart of Cambridge adjacent to this famous 15th Century College, with its world renowned chapel and choir. Find out more here.
Step Back in Time at The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has a wonderful collection of artefacts. With a Whole gallery devoted to British archaeology and the archaeology of Cambridge and the surrounding area. The only display of its kind in the city with 1,200 objects found in and around the city, dating from prehistoric, Roman and medieval times. the Museum’s principal Anthropology collection, displaying culturally significant art and material culture from around the world. Here you will find objects from the Pacific voyages of Captain Cook and great works of African, Asian, and native American sculpture. A fantastic and educational day out.
Where to Stay: If you’re looking to stay locally just down the road is Downing College, a spacious and peaceful college in the heart of Cambridge; an ideal location for leisure or business visits. Downing College, dating from the early 1800s, has a unique setting amidst 20 acres of lawns and trees, yet is within half a mile of the historic centre of Cambridge. While the college itself is quiet and peaceful, a short walk brings you to the very heart of the city, making Downing an ideal location for visitors to Cambridge. To find out more visit UniversityRooms.com
Shop 'till you Drop in the heart of Cambridge
Cambridge is one of the UK’s most stylish cities and is a must-visit for every budding fashion-blogger. If you are a self-confessed shopaholic then Cambridge has so much to offer, with two central shopping centres the Grafton centre, the grand arcade featuring all favourite high street stores. The Market square, in the heart of the city has been trading since the middle ages, From Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, stalls at the general market sell a wide range of goods including books, music, films, clothes, jewellery, fresh food, second-hand bikes, plants, mobile phones and accessories. Surrounding the market and tucked into quaint side-streets look out for a variety of unique, quirky and upmarket boutiques selling one-of-a-kind gifts, clothes and much more. Many of Cambridge’s most iconic colleges are in the heart of its shopping district
Where to stay: Christ's College, founded in 1505, is centrally located and offers accommodation in an historic setting. Christ’s College is an oasis of calm in the very heart of the city. One moment you are in the quiet and tranquil gardens, then pass through the 500 year old Great Gate into the busy shopping centre. Christ’s College is the perfect location for visitors who are on a leisure break or are in Cambridge on business. All rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities as well as a welcome pack of toiletries and towels. Visit UniversityRooms.com for more information.
Wine Tasting with the Cambridge Wine School
Are you a wine connoisseur? Or simply an enthusiast? Whether you prefer red or white the Cambridge Wine School offers courses where you can taste and learn in a relaxed setting and improve your confidence in buying the right wine for you. The fun interactive sessions are available in evenings or for a Saturday Courses with Lunch (11am to 4pm) held in the beautiful, exclusive surroundings of Gonville and Caius college. Find out more here.
Where to stay: The college where the tasting is based is also available to stay in, Harvey Court (Gonville and Caius college.) Just a short walk from the heart of the city making it a good location for a leisure break or business trip, the college offers Comfortable en-suite B&B accommodation with free Wi-Fi, hospitality tray and toiletries.There is an extensive area of beautifully landscaped gardens at the rear of the building, guests will also have ready access to the other college gardens which stretch from West Road to Sidgwick Avenue. Find out more about the College and how to book here.
Food and drink:
Discover the best places to eat and drink in Cambridge
If you’re looking for a unique spot to grab lunch, head to Yippee Noodle Bar on Kings st, its pan-Asian menu and relaxed seating is a favourite with hipsters and locals alike. For an upmarket meal try Cotto at The Gonville Hotel locals claim it’s the best restaurant in Cambridge.
Anyone with a sweet tooth has to head to the Cambridge Fudge Kitchen opposite Kings College, not only is the mouth-watering fudge made right before your eyes, the shop offers free samples which are literally out of this world.
If you're looking for incredible quality coffee and relaxed atmosphere, try Hot Numbers Coffee, a caasual, independent espresso bar with stripped floors, micro-roastery and coffee menu, the cafe also hosts gigs and events such as Jazz nights across its two central locations.
Have a pint at The Eagle, the drinking and thinking hub where Watson and Crick announced they had discovered 'the secret of life' (otherwise known as the formula for DNA), and home to the RAF bar, with graffiti of World War II airmen covering the ceiling and wall. Aside from its impressive history and famous alumni, it’s also a good spot for a drink and some good conversation.
If you are heading out on the town start your night by Grabbing a cocktail at Novi, a cocktail bar and kitchen set across three storeys of an airy 1930’s inter-war pub. Cambridge’s best kept secret, the bar offers a bespoke cocktail menu which changes seasonally and is guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds.
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