With thriving arts and culture, and magnificent architecture set amidst picture-postcard streets and sweeping parkland, Cambridge has long captivated those who set foot there.
Seek out the top 10 things to do in Cambridge to truly embrace your time in this world-famous University town.
Step inside King’s College
Founded in 1441 by Henry VI, King’s College has a fascinating history. And as one of the University of Cambridge’s 31 colleges, it’s also a world-renowned hub of academia. Soaring Gothic architecture encircles immaculate lawns, which back onto the idyllic River Cam.
Visits to the college include stepping inside the chapel, where the college’s famous choir perform regularly. Their singing is also broadcast to millions worldwide each Christmas.
Wander along Kings Parade
Situated in the centre of town, King’s College lies alongside the atmospheric King’s Parade, with the opposite side lined with boutiques. Pick up a book at Cambridge University Press bookstore, try fudge that’s been made in front of you at Cambridge Fudge Kitchen, and select some souvenirs from the various trinket shops.
Peruse Cambridge Market
Just footsteps from King’s Parade is the Cathedral City’s Market Square, where local producers and merchants set up wares for passers-by each day of the week. Handmade crafts and fine art photography are sold alongside teas and coffees sourced from across the world, homemade baked goods and fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Discover the Café Scene
Cambridge has a thriving café culture, with many coffee shops situated in the streets running off Market Square. Fitzbillies is known far and wide for the cakes – Chelsea buns in particular – that they’ve been making since 1921.
Climb a Church Tower
Opposite Aunties Tea Shop lies the Cambridge University church, Great St Mary’s. Here, visitors can climb the stone steps to the top of the church’s tower for spectacular views across Cambridge. Look out over King’s College Chapel, the colourful Market Square, and all of the rooftops beyond, with the River Cam flowing by.
Navigate the River Cam
One of the city’s greatest attractions is the river that flows through it, where both locals and visitors to the city punt past the colleges and verdant greenery. Founded back in 1910, Scudamore’s Punting Company is the original provider of boating on the river, hiring out punts for an hour or the whole day, with or without a chauffeur.
Pass Over – or Under – the Bridge of Sighs
Built in 1831, this Neo-Gothic stone bridge at St John’s College is one of the city’s great landmarks. The Bridge of Sighs is named after the covered limestone bridge prisoners once passed under in Venice. Linking the old and new courts of St John’s College, the bridge can be crossed on a tour of the college or seen from below on a punt.
Explore by Bicycle
With the city centre dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians, many people choose to get around on two wheels. City Cycle Hire makes getting between the city’s sites easier by renting out bicycles for four hours or the whole day. Cycle along historic streets and through the city’s captivating parks for a true local perspective.
Escape to the City’s Green Spaces
Great expanses of parkland surround the centre of Cambridge. All year round, but especially in summer, they are full of activity with music festivals, markets and family events. Jesus Green is one of the most idyllic, situated within walking distance of the city’s historic sites, with the River Cam flowing by and ancient trees under which to recline.
Visit the Museums and Galleries
Either on foot or by bicycle, Cambridge’s museums and galleries are all within easy reach, making it possible to see one or two in addition to the major sites. The Fitzwilliam Museum is well worth a visit, displaying the antiquities and arts of Cambridge University, with paintings by artists such as Constable.
Visit Cambridge to see both King’s College and the Bridge of Sighs on our exciting Oxford & Cambridge tour.