CAMBRIDGE TRAVEL GUIDE

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.

How to get to Cambridge

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.

University Arms Bikes
Bould Brothers Coffee in Cambridge

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.

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.

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.

Spring

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.

Summer

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.

Autumn

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.

Winter

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

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.

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 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, the Cambridge Christmas market is a highlight of visiting the city in December. It features nearly 60 local artisans, crafters and makers, plus a programme of entertainment. In 2022, the Christmas markets are taking place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December. 

Luxury accommodation picks

Cambridge is home to a number of exceptional hotels. From boutique boltholes to lavish Cambridge spas, here is my pick of the best luxury hotels in Cambridge.

University Arms Bathroom
UNIVERSITY
ARMS

Quintessentially British, classic Edwardian interiors and iconic bathrooms.

Clayton Hotel
CLAYTON
HOTEL

A bright and modern hotel located close to the station and Botanic Garden.

Gonville Hotel
GONVILLE
HOTEL

Elegance, luxury and class with a decadent spa and an outdoor cinema.

Varsity Terrace Cambridge
VARSITY
HOTEL & SPA

Perfect location on the River Cam, complete with rooftop terrace and stylish spa.

Top Cambridge restaurants

Cambridge may be a city of culture and history, but it also has a cosmopolitan dining scene. From Michelin star fare to mouth-watering pub grub, here are some of the best restaurants in Cambridge.

Pint Shop in Cambridge

PINT
SHOP

Unbelievable food and beer in a laid-back setting.

Midsummer House

MIDSUMMER
HOUSE

An exceptional two Michelin-star restaurant set on the riverside.

Parkers Tavern in Cambridge

PARKER’S
TAVERN

British brasserie restaurant at the University Arms hotel.

Restaurant 22

RESTAURANT
TWENTY TWO

Elegant fine dining offering contemporary British dishes.

Cambridge cafés

Cambridge’s café culture has seen a surge in recent years, with various independent coffee shops popping up. For excellent coffee, delectable sweet treats and cosy interiors, here are the best cafés in Cambridge.

Best Cafes in Cambridge

BOULD BROTHERS

For exceptional coffee and freshly-baked goodies.

Urban Larder Toasties

URBAN LARDER

For the best toasties in Cambridge and great coffee.

Fitzbillies Cambridge

FITZBILLIES

For tasty sweet treats and the iconic Chelsea bun.

Foy Brunch

CAFÉ FOY

For a pretty riverside spot with coffee and cocktails.

Things to do in Cambridge

Whether you’re after culture and history, outdoor activities, or you’re all about the food and drink, there is something for everyone in Cambridge. Here is my pick of the best things to do in Cambridge.

Punting Down The River in Cambridge

GO PUNTING

See all the stunning sights of Cambridge from the river on a punt.

Cambridge Wine Merchants

WINE TASTING

Indulge in wine & cheese tasting at Cambridge Wine Merchants.

Trinity College Cambridge

GHOST TOUR

Discover the hidden history of the city and its spooky happenings.

Botanic Gardens in Cambridge

BOTANIC GARDEN

Escape city life and surround yourself with nature, plants & wildlife.

Cambridge travel inspiration

Planning a trip to Cambridge? Have a read of these Cambridge travel articles to help you plan your visit.

Cambridge Country Club Spa

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King's College Chapel

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Best Cafes in Cambridge

18 best cafés and coffee shops in Cambridge 

Cambridge cafés can be one of the highlights of a visit to this historic university city. In this city of quaint alleys, ancient buildings and riverside spots, you’ll find all kinds of independent cafés to

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