Let’s explore Cambridge

Cambridge travel guide

As far as English city breaks go, Cambridge has to be one of my all-time favourites. I don’t think you can beat a punt down the river or an afternoon with a good book in one of the cosy cafés.

I have wonderful memories of cycling around this city, soaking up its heritage and seeking out the magical corners which excite the Harry Potter fan in me. I love how it effortlessly merges charm and history, and I’ll be sharing all my personal recommendations in my Cambridge travel guide.

About the author

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

Famed for its prestigious university, quaint Cambridge is a city of immense history and heritage. But Cambridge offers so much more than ancient colleges and magnificent architecture. It’s a city where charm and tradition meets cosmopolitan energy and romance.

Experience the exciting dining scene, immerse yourself in the cosy café culture, or seek out the best bars for late night cocktails. Independent shops and cafés beckon you in, while boutique hotels welcome you with open arms.

Cambridge is abound with beautiful outdoor spaces, making it easy to forget that you’re in a thriving city. It’s a haven for outdoor activities, from exploring by bike or on foot to taking to the river by punt or paddleboard. As a dog-friendly city, your furry companion needn’t miss out either.


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How to get to Cambridge

I love that Cambridge is wonderfully easy to reach from London, especially by train. It’s also well connected to other parts of the UK, whether travelling by car or train.

By train: Cambridge is only a 47 minute train from London Kings Cross, making it the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend break from London.

For those travelling from abroad, there is a train connecting Cambridge to London Stansted airport. Note that the train station isn’t actually in the centre of the city, so you’ll probably need to pick up a taxi from the station.

By car: It takes around two hours to drive from London to Cambridge, depending where in London you’re travelling from. Bear in mind that Cambridge is not particularly car-friendly and parking is difficult.

If you do travel by car, make use of the Park & Ride buses at Babraham Road, Trumpington, Newmarket Road or Madingley Road.

How to get around Cambridge

There are two main ways to get around Cambridge: on foot and by bike. The city is pretty flat and has been consciously designed to minimise the need to drive anywhere.

By foot: Cambridge is a compact city that caters very well for pedestrians. In my opinion, it’s by far the best way to explore the city, as you can amble around at your own pace to take in the sights. Just bear in mind that many of the streets are cobbled, so pack your comfy shoes!

By bike: Cambridge is one of the best cities for cycling in the UK. The majority of locals get around by bike, and the city is very cyclist-friendly as a result. There are various bike hire shops, or some hotels provide bikes for their guests.

The Haunted Bookshop in Cambridge

By taxi: Other than getting from the train station to the centre of the city, you’re not likely to need taxis when visiting Cambridge. If you do, there are usually plenty which are readily available at the station.

By car: It is not recommended to drive around Cambridge, as parts of the historic centre are prohibited to private cars and parking is extremely difficult. If you are arriving by car, you can make use of one of the Park & Ride options.

Top tip: You can hire bikes from City Cycle Hire or Grounds Cycle Centre at Milton Country Park. If you’re staying at the University Arms hotel, then you can use their bikes for free.


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Best time to visit Cambridge

Every season of the year offers a different but wonderful experience of the university city.

From the balmy alfresco evenings of the summer months to the cosy Christmassy days of the winter months. The best time of year to visit Cambridge depends on the experience you’re after.


I think there’s something special about visiting Cambridge in the spring. The days are getting longer, the flowers are starting to bloom, and the colleges are looking their very best.

The beautiful Botanic Garden is a particular highlight in spring. Plus, look out for various Easter events, spring festivals and activities.


The warmer weather of the summer months provides the perfect setting for wandering around the city. Although more visitors flock to Cambridge in the summer, the students are away for their summer holidays. 

You cannot miss picnicking on the green spaces or going for a punt down the river in summer.


The autumn is one of my favourite times to visit Cambridge, as the city takes on a romantic atmosphere. The leaves turn red and gold, the air is crisp, and the various pubs and restaurants beckon.

Wander the cobbled streets with a hot chocolate in hand, punt down the river wrapped up in a blanket or simply cosy up in a Cambridge café.


Cambridge is utterly magical in the winter months, as the city is adorned with Christmas lights and festivities start to ramp up. The Christmas markets are a highlight, selling everything from handmade gifts to festive food and drink.

If you’re lucky enough to experience snowfall, the iconic university buildings look stunning when blanketed in snow.


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Frequently asked questions

How long to spend in  Cambridge?

Cambridge is doable as a day trip – but to really experience all that this city has to offer, I recommend spending two nights here. It’ll give you a chance to tick off all the best things to do in Cambridge, plus you can explore the city at a more leisurely pace.

Is Cambridge a good day trip from London?

Cambridge is a fantastic day trip from London. There is a direct train from London Kings Cross to Cambridge which takes only 47 minutes! It’s the perfect way to escape the chaos of London and experience a more quaint and charming city.

Is Cambridge expensive?

Cambridge is one of the most expensive cities in the UK outside of London. But it is of course possible to visit the city on a budget if you plan carefully. 

How many Michelin star restaurants in Cambridge?

Cambridge has one Michelin star restaurant in Cambridge. Midsummer House holds two Michelin stars and is sure to impress if you’re after a truly memorable meal.

There are also four Michelin recommended restaurants in Cambridge: Fancett’s, Vanderlyle, Mercado Central and Restaurant Twenty Two.

Are there Christmas markets in Cambridge?

Yes, I consider the Cambridge Christmas market to be a highlight of visiting the city in December. It features nearly 60 local artisans, crafters and makers, plus a programme of entertainment. 

Want to save up to 25% on hotels?

Subscribe to the Pocket Wanderings newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.

Want up to 25% off hotels?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.