things to do cambridge

Last Updated on: 19th June 2024, 04:59 am

If you’re wondering about things to do in Cambridge, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will be introducing you to the fun and exciting activities you can enjoy in Cambridge, England, UK. From visiting historic sites and exploring museums to punting on the River Cam and discovering botanical gardens, there are countless things to do and see in Cambridge.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there’s always something new to experience in this vibrant city. Cambridge is an ideal destination for those interested in culture, history, nature, and culinary delights. So, buckle up and get ready to explore this charming UK city!

Things to do in Cambridge

1. Explore Historic Sites

Cambridge, with its rich history, has numerous historic sites that are worth exploring. The iconic University of Cambridge colleges, founded in the 13th century, are some of the oldest and most prestigious in the world. The university buildings are scattered throughout the city, and each college has its own unique history and architecture. The University of Cambridge also boasts impressive libraries such as The Wren Library, which houses some of the world’s most unique and rare manuscripts.

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Cambridge is King’s College Chapel, a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture. The chapel’s magnificent stained glass windows, vaulted ceiling, and intricate stone carvings continue to astonish visitors to this day.

If you’re interested in science or astronomy, a visit to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden to see The Sainsbury Laboratory building is a must. The building was designed by architect Stanton Williams and won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize in 2012.

Explore historic sites in Cambridge

“One of the best parts of exploring historic sites in Cambridge is experiencing the sense of awe and wonder that accompanies walking in the footsteps of great scholars, writers, and scientists throughout history.”

2. Visit Museums and Galleries

Immerse yourself in Cambridge’s vibrant culture and explore its diverse range of museums and galleries. Take a closer look at various aspects of art, science, and history, and delve deeper into the city’s fascinating past and achievements.

The Fitzwilliam Museum showcases a collection of art and antiques, with works spanning several centuries, while the Museum of Cambridge offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s social history and everyday life. For a unique experience, don’t miss the Polar Museum, which presents an in-depth look into the history and science of polar exploration.

Whatever your interests, there’s a museum or gallery for you in Cambridge. From contemporary art to ancient artifacts, you’ll find the perfect match for your curiosity and passion.

Visit museums and galleries in Cambridge

Cambridge Museums and Galleries

Museum/Gallery Highlights
Fitzwilliam Museum Collection of art and antiques from several centuries
Museum of Cambridge A detailed look into the city’s social history and everyday life
The Polar Museum A fascinating exploration of polar history and science
Scott Polar Research Institute and Museum Archive of polar exploration materials including diaries, photographs, and equipment
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences A vast collection of geological specimens and artifacts

“Cambridge is a city full of wonders. With so many exceptional museums and galleries, visitors can experience a diverse range of art, science, and history in one place. A true gem!” -John

3. Experience Punting on the River Cam

One of the most quintessential activities in Cambridge is punting on the picturesque River Cam. Punting is a traditional flat-bottomed boat ride and provides an excellent opportunity to take in the stunning views of the iconic Cambridge colleges. I highly recommend this peaceful and quiet ride, where you can appreciate the architecture of the famous colleges like St John’s College, Trinity Hall, and King’s College, while taking in the beautiful scenery along the riverbanks.

Punting is available all year round, although it is most popular in the summer months. You can experience punting yourself, or alternatively, you can hire a chauffeur to do all the hard work while you relax and enjoy the ride. Most punting tours last around an hour, so it’s an ideal way to spend a lazy afternoon with family or friends. Don’t forget to bring a picnic or some drinks to enjoy along the way.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even have a go at punting yourself. It’s not as easy as it looks, but it’s definitely worth a try!

Cambridge punting on the River Cam

4. Discover Botanic Gardens

If you are a nature lover, an afternoon spent at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is an unforgettable experience. With over 8,000 plant species, the gardens offer a unique opportunity to learn about the wonders of biodiversity and conservation.

Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens and explore various collections, including the Rock Garden, the Winter Garden, and the famous Glasshouses. There, you’ll find everything from delicate orchids to exceptional tropical rainforest species, all thriving under carefully controlled conditions.

Don’t forget to visit the Garden Cafe, where you can enjoy freshly prepared seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Cambridge botanic gardens

The Garden at a Glance

Name Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Location Bateman Street, Cambridge, CB2 1JF
Opening Hours 10am-6pm daily (April – September), 10am-4pm (October – March)
Admission Fee £7.50 (adults), £5.50 (concessions), free (children under 16)

With its exceptional natural beauty and diverse plant collections, a visit to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a perfect way to spend your time in Cambridge. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore one of the city’s hidden gems!

5. Enjoy Culinary Delights

If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll love Cambridge’s vibrant food scene with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries to suit every taste and budget. From traditional British fare to international cuisines, you’ll find an array of culinary delights to satisfy your appetite. Some of my personal favorites include:

Restaurant Name Cuisine Type Price Range
The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie British, European £19
The Oak Bistro French, European £25
Cambridge Chop House British, Pub £20

These are just a few examples of the many fantastic dining options in Cambridge. For a taste of local produce, be sure to visit the Cambridge Market Square, which offers an array of fresh produce and local goods.

6. Stroll Through Quaint Streets and Markets

One of my favourite things to do in Cambridge is taking a leisurely stroll through its quaint streets, lined with charming shops, boutiques, and markets. The city has a variety of markets, each with its unique character and offerings. However, the bustling Cambridge Market Square is one not to be missed.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and discover fresh locally grown produce, baked goods, handicrafts, and more. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or a quick bite while taking in the surroundings.

Quaint Streets in Cambridge

Cambridge is filled with enchanting streets, each with its distinctive charm and character. Take a stroll down Mill Road, a vibrant and multicultural area that is home to unique shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Visit Bridge Street, which leads to the picturesque Bridge of Sighs, and enjoy the quaint storefronts and stunning views of the river. For a more historical experience, wander down Kings Parade, filled with iconic University of Cambridge buildings and impressive architecture.

Cambridge Markets

Market Location Open
Cambridge Market Square Market Square Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
Cambridge Farmers Market Market Street Sun 10am-2pm
The All Saints’ Garden Art and Craft Market St John’s Street Sat 10am-4pm

As you wander through the streets and markets of Cambridge, you’ll feel the vibrant energy and history of this beautiful city. Each corner offers a new adventure, waiting to be discovered.

7. Attend Cultural Events and Festivals

Cambridge is a city that celebrates its cultural diversity through a wide array of events. From music and dance festivals to art exhibitions and literary events, there is something for everyone! The city is known for its vibrant cultural scene, which is why it’s no surprise that Cambridge festivals attract people from all over the world.

If you’re visiting Cambridge, make sure to check out some of the popular cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year. Among the most celebrated events are the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Cambridge Literary Festival, and the famous Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. These events not only showcase the city’s diverse cultural offerings but also bring together people from all walks of life.

For those interested in the performing arts, the Cambridge Corn Exchange hosts a range of concerts, comedy shows, and theatre performances throughout the year. Another popular venue is The Junction, which is known for its inventive performances and being a platform for emerging artists.

If you’re a fan of arts and culture, a trip to Cambridge will undoubtedly inspire and delight you. So why not plan your next visit to coincide with one of the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year?

8. Explore Surrounding Nature

If you’re a nature lover, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities in Cambridge. From the serene Grantchester Meadows to the beautiful River Cam, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy.

Take a walk or bike ride along the River Cam and take in the spectacular scenery and fresh air. This is also a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Cambridge.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, visit nearby nature reserves such as Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve or Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill. These reserves offer a diverse range of plant and animal species to discover and explore.

Nearby Nature Reserves to Visit in Cambridge

Nature Reserve Location Description
Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve Ely The first nature reserve owned by the National Trust, Wicken Fen is one of Europe’s most important wetlands. Visitors can see a wide range of birds and animals, and explore the sedge and reed beds by boardwalk and boat.
Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill Lode A stunning Jacobean-style house set in extensive gardens and woodland, with beautiful herbaceous borders, a silver garden, a dahlia garden, and a large working water mill. Visitors can explore the gardens and countryside walks.

Exploring the natural beauty of Cambridge and its surrounding areas is a great way to relax and unwind, and a perfect complement to the city’s bustling activities.

Conclusion

As a Cambridge local, I can confidently say that this city has something for everyone. From exploring historic sites and museums to experiencing punting on the River Cam and discovering botanic gardens, there is never a dull moment in Cambridge.

The vibrant food scene with a variety of restaurants and cafes will satisfy your appetite, while strolling through the quaint streets and markets offers a unique and charming shopping experience.

Cultural events and festivals throughout the year provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the city’s vibrant cultural scene, and nature lovers can explore the surrounding beauty of Cambridge, including nature reserves such as Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve and Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill.

Plan your trip to Cambridge and discover all the fun things to do in this charming city. You won’t be disappointed!

FAQ

What are some fun things to do in Cambridge, England?

There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy in Cambridge, England. You can explore historic sites, visit museums and galleries, go punting on the River Cam, discover botanic gardens, savor culinary delights, stroll through quaint streets and markets, attend cultural events and festivals, and explore the surrounding nature.

What historic sites can I explore in Cambridge?

Cambridge is known for its historic sites, including the world-renowned University of Cambridge colleges, King’s College Chapel, and St. John’s College. These architectural wonders offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history.

Which museums and galleries should I visit in Cambridge?

Cambridge is home to a variety of museums and galleries. Some notable ones include the Fitzwilliam Museum, where you can admire artworks from various periods, the Museum of Cambridge, which showcases the city’s local history, and the Polar Museum, which focuses on the exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

What is punting, and where can I experience it in Cambridge?

Punting is a traditional activity where you navigate a flat-bottomed boat called a punt along the River Cam using a long pole. You can experience punting in Cambridge by renting a punt or joining a guided tour. It’s a lovely way to explore the city’s iconic colleges and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the riverbanks.

Are there any botanic gardens in Cambridge?

Yes, Cambridge is home to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. This beautiful garden features a wide range of plants and flowers, beautifully landscaped areas, and educational exhibits on biodiversity and conservation.

What culinary delights can I enjoy in Cambridge?

Cambridge offers a diverse food scene with numerous restaurants, cafes, and eateries. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional British cuisine or international flavors, you’ll find a wide range of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds.

What can I find when strolling through the streets and markets of Cambridge?

As you stroll through the charming streets of Cambridge, you’ll come across a variety of shops, boutiques, and markets. Don’t miss a visit to the bustling Cambridge Market Square, where you can find fresh produce, local goods, and unique crafts.

Are there any cultural events and festivals in Cambridge?

Yes, Cambridge hosts a range of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. From music festivals and art exhibitions to theatrical performances and literary festivals, there’s always something happening to keep you entertained and immersed in the city’s vibrant culture.

Can I explore nature and outdoor spaces near Cambridge?

Absolutely! Cambridge is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves and outdoor spaces. You can explore the tranquil Grantchester Meadows, go for a walk or bike ride along the River Cam, or visit nearby nature reserves such as Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve or Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill.