Cambridge, England is a charming and historic city located in the eastern region of England. Known for its prestigious university and beautiful architecture, Cambridge is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. The city is situated on the River Cam, which runs through the heart of the city and provides a stunning backdrop for its many landmarks.
Its rich and fascinating history dates back over 2,000 years. The area was first settled by the Celts, and later became an important Roman trading post. In the Middle Ages, Cambridge was a center for learning and scholarship, and in the 13th century, the University of Cambridge was founded, cementing the city’s reputation as a hub of intellectual and cultural activity.
Today, Cambridge is a thriving city with a vibrant cultural scene, world-class museums and galleries, and an array of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Visitors to Cambridge can explore its many historic buildings and landmarks, including the famous King’s College Chapel and the picturesque Bridge of Sighs. They can also take a punt on the River Cam, visit the Botanic Garden, or attend a concert or play at one of the city’s many theaters.
Overall, Cambridge is a city that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture vulture, or simply looking for a charming and picturesque destination, Cambridge is definitely worth a visit.
How To Get There
First things first, let’s talk about getting there. Cambridge is easily accessible from London, with direct trains leaving from King’s Cross Station. The journey takes around 45 minutes and you’ll be treated to some beautiful countryside views along the way. Alternatively, you can hop on a bus or drive to the city, which offers its own unique sights.
Where to Stay
There are several options for accommodation in Cambridge, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. The best areas to stay in are the city center or the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Clayton Hotel Cambridge
The Clayton Hotel Cambridge boasts a modern and sleek interior design that gives off a chic and welcoming vibe from the moment you step inside. The lounge area is comfortable and stylish, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the city.
The hotel’s location was also a major plus. It’s just a short walk away from the city center and situated next to the train station. Being so close to the city makes it easy to visit popular landmarks such as King’s College, St. Mary’s Church, and more. And if you’re looking to grab a bite to eat or a drink, there are plenty of great options nearby.
The rooms themselves are also extremely comfortable. After a long day of site seeing, it was great to have a relaxing space to unwind. All the amenities were up to date and provided a peaceful oasis to relax and recharge. With the added bonus of a modern shower and bath.
One of the highlights of our stay was definitely the breakfast buffet. The spread was absolutely delicious, with a variety of hot and cold options to choose from. The pastries were fresh and flaky, and the coffee was strong and delicious. It was the perfect way to start the day and fuel up for a busy day of exploring the city.
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Things To Do:
Cambridge is a city with plenty of things to do and explore. Here are some of the must-visit places:
Punting on the River Cam with Scudamores
Punting on the River Cam with Scudamores is an essential experience for anyone that wants to visit Cambridge. It is a must-do activity that captures the essence of the city, with its historic buildings and peaceful waterways.
There are a lot of companies to choose from, but we chose to go with Scudamores as it’s a reliable and reputable company that provides expert guides and high-quality equipment. The punts themselves are comfortable and easy to operate, so even first-time punters can enjoy the experience. Plus, the guides are knowledgeable and friendly, providing insight and anecdotes that add depth to the tour.
The punting tour takes you past some of the most iconic landmarks in Cambridge, including the Bridge of Sighs, the Mathematical Bridge, and the stunning architecture of King’s College Chapel. As you glide along the river, you’ll get a unique perspective on the city’s history and culture. You can either rent a boat yourself or hire one of their tour guides to take you down the river. As we had a tour guide we can say that the tour guides are not just experts in the history and culture of Cambridge, but also skilled punting operators. Our guide Leo effortlessly navigated us through the water, allowing us to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. You’ll feel as though you’re floating through time, as you take in the city’s most famous landmarks from a unique perspective.
Whether you’re visiting Cambridge for the first time or you’re a seasoned traveler, punting on the River Cam with Scudamores is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.
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Visit St Mary’s Church
St Mary’s Church in Cambridge is not just a place of worship but also a popular tourist destination that offers a breathtaking view of the city from the top of its tower. Climb up the narrow spiral staircase and reach the top to witness a panoramic view of the stunning cityscape. The climb can be challenging, but the view is definitely worth it. Whether you are a history buff or just looking for a stunning photo opportunity, a visit to St Mary’s Church is a must-do activity in Cambridge.
Explore the Saturday Market
The Cambridge Saturday Market is a vibrant and bustling market that takes place every Saturday in the city center. The market is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike and offers a variety of goods ranging from fresh produce, artisanal bread and pastries, and unique handcrafted items. The market also offers a lively atmosphere with street performers, live music, and a range of food stalls serving up delicious street food from around the world. Whether you are looking for a unique souvenir or just want to soak up the local culture, the Cambridge Saturday Market is definitely worth a visit.
Visit the Historic King’s College and its Chapel
One must-visit attraction is the historic King’s College and its breathtaking chapel. The chapel is a true masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, with intricate stone carvings and magnificent stained glass windows. As you step inside, you’re immediately struck by the sense of history and tradition that permeates the space.
But the college itself is equally impressive, with its stately buildings and lush green courtyards. We highly recommend taking a guided tour to learn more about the college’s rich history and traditions. And don’t forget to take a stroll through the college gardens, which offer a peaceful respite from the bustling city streets. It’s the perfect place to unwind and take in the beauty of your surroundings.
Admission to the chapel and college varies depending on the time of year and type of visit, but expect to pay around £10-£12 for an adult ticket. Trust me, it’s worth every penny to experience the grandeur and beauty of this iconic Cambridge landmark.
Take a Walking Tour of the City and Explore its Quaint Neighbourhoods
If you’re looking for an authentic way to experience Cambridge, taking a walking tour of the city and exploring its quaint neighbourhoods is a must-do. Not only will you get to see some of the city’s most picturesque streets and architecture, but you’ll also get to see the fascinating history and culture of Cambridge.
One of the best things about a walking tour is the opportunity to discover hidden gems that you might otherwise miss. From cozy bookshops and quaint cafes to beautiful gardens and historic buildings, there’s always something new to discover in Cambridge.
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Visit The Fitzwilliam Museum, One of the Oldest and Largest Museums in the Country
If you’re a lover of art and history, then a visit to The Fitzwilliam Museum is a must-do activity while in Cambridge. Located in the heart of the city, this museum is one of the oldest and largest in the country, showcasing a collection of over half a million works of art and artifacts from different cultures and periods.
Aside from the permanent collections, The Fitzwilliam Museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, making it a dynamic and constantly evolving destination. The museum’s knowledgeable staff are always on hand to answer questions and provide insights on the displays and a bonus is that entry is free of charge!
Cambridge Botanical Gardens
The Cambridge Botanical Gardens is a green oasis that’s definitely worth checking out. As soon as you step through the gates, you’re surrounded by a stunning collection of plants and flowers from all around the world. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and just relax in a peaceful setting.
One of our favorite parts of the gardens is the glasshouse range, which is home to a variety of exotic plants and a couple of friendly tortoises. It’s so cool to see plants from all different climates and regions growing right before your eyes. Plus, the temperature inside the glasshouse is always perfect, so it’s a great place to escape to if the weather outside is a bit iffy.
The gardens are also home to several stunning collections, such as the Rock Garden, which is filled with plants that thrive in dry and rocky conditions, and the Lake Garden, which offers lovely views of the lake and the surrounding foliage. There’s even a section dedicated to medicinal plants, where you can learn all about the various herbs and their uses in medicine.
Where to Eat
Cambridge has a thriving food scene with plenty of options to choose from. Some of the must-try locations include:
Fin Boys for Seasonal Tasting Menus and Fresh Seafood
One of the highlights of our trip was enjoying a tasting menu at Fin Boys. This restaurant has only been open for a few years, but every Friday and Saturday they run a multi-course tasting menu featuring only the freshest British seafood and produce. The meal we had was nothing short of spectacular and in our opinion completely worth the price. The menu changes weekly but we absolutely loved the fresh oysters, prawn toast, and homemade crab pasta. If you are a seafood lover definitely consider making a dinner reservation here or enjoying a al la carte lunch.
Steak and Honour for Mouth-Watering Burgers
If you’re in Cambridge and craving a delicious burger, look no further than Steak and Honour. This local burger joint is a must-visit spot for any foodie or traveler looking for a quick and satisfying bite to eat.
From the moment you walk in, the atmosphere is electric. The smells of freshly-grilled burgers and sizzling fries waft through the air. The menu is simple but oh-so-effective, with a range of burgers and sides to choose from. We opted for the classic cheeseburger and were blown away by the flavor and juiciness of the meat. Definitely worth it if you’re in the mood for a burger.
Bread and Meat for Delicious Sandwiches
If you’re looking for a quick and delicious meal in Cambridge, head over to Bread and Meat for their mouth-watering sandwiches. This trendy spot is a must-visit for any foodie and is known for its exceptional quality ingredients and fresh, made-to-order sandwiches.
The menu at Bread and Meat is simple yet delicious, offering a range of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and sides. The highlight of the menu is undoubtedly the selection of juicy and flavourful meats, which are slow-cooked and seasoned to perfection. The sandwich options range from classic roast beef with horseradish mayo to the more unique porchetta with crackling and salsa verde. Check them out here.
Jack’s Gelato for Handmade Ice Cream
If you are looking for a place to satisfy your sweet tooth in Cambridge, then Jack’s Gelato is a must-visit. This charming little gelateria is located in the heart of the historic city center and offers a mouth-watering selection of handmade gelato.
As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the delightful aroma of freshly-made waffle cones and the friendly staff who are happy to offer you samples of the flavors. With options ranging from classic vanilla and chocolate to more unusual combinations such as rhubarb and custard or lavender and honey, there’s something for every taste bud.
Each scoop is made using locally-sourced ingredients, and the quality is evident in every bite. The ice cream is smooth, creamy, and bursting with flavor. It’s easy to see why Jack’s Gelato has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Fitzbillies in Cambridge is a must-visit spot for brunch enthusiasts and pastry lovers alike. Since the 1920s, they’ve been serving up delectable brunch dishes and baked goods. But what really draws people in are their famous Chelsea buns – a heavenly mix of buttery dough, cinnamon, and a sticky glaze that’s simply irresistible.
Beyond their Chelsea buns, Fitzbillies offers a variety of mouth-watering brunch options such as the classic full English breakfast, avocado toast, and fluffy pancakes. Their savoury muffins and daily quiche specials are also worth a try. Check them out here.
The Pint Shop for Craft Beers
If you’re looking for a great place to enjoy a cold beer and some delicious pub fare in Cambridge, then The Pint Shop is the perfect spot. This trendy gastropub located in the heart of the city offers a great selection of craft beers from around the world, including local brews that you won’t find anywhere else.
But the real star of the show here is the beer. With a rotating selection of over 20 beers on tap and a wide variety of bottled options, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to recommend a beer to pair with your meal or to simply enjoy on its own.
If you’re in Cambridge and craving some hearty and authentic American BBQ, then Smokeworks is the place to be. Located in the city centre, Smokeworks offers a unique and laid-back dining experience where you can indulge in some delicious BBQ dishes and have fun at the same time.
But Smokeworks is not just about the BBQ. They also offer a fully stocked bar with an impressive selection of craft beers, cocktails, and spirits. And for those who want to have a little fun, Smokeworks has a dartboard where you can challenge your friends while sipping on your favorite drink.
Bould Brothers Coffee
Tucked away on picturesque King Street, this family-run coffee shop has a wide range of delicious drinks to choose from, including their famous flat whites, cappuccinos, and pour-over coffees. They also offer a variety of tasty snacks and pastries, all made with high-quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers.
What really sets Bound Brothers Coffee apart is their commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing. They use beans from small-scale farmers and cooperatives that focus on quality and sustainability, ensuring that every cup of coffee you drink supports fair and ethical practices. So if you’re a coffee aficionado looking for a great spot in Cambridge to enjoy a delicious drink and a cozy atmosphere, head to Bound Brothers Coffee.
Although it was closed when we were in town, we have heard phenomenal things about the food at Fancett’s. They offer tasting menus as well with seasonal ingredients. If you are looking for an intimate and tasty meal, add this place to your list. We plan to try it next time!
Cambridge is a beautiful city that offers something for everyone. With its rich history and culture, beautiful architecture, and delicious food scene, it is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway. So, pack your bags, book your stay, and explore the wonders of Cambridge!
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