Map of Cambridge

Cambridge is famed for its academic buildings, with Cambridge University named as one of the top 10 in the world. But there is far more to this charming city than libraries and students. The historic streets and quiet winding passages are the perfect place to escape for a long weekend and it is particularly beautiful to visit in the spring and summer months.

Home to several notable museums and art galleries, as well as the beautiful architecture of the college buildings themselves, Cambridge is a great destination for culture. Stop by the one of the many free museums or galleries for a quiet afternoon, or book to see a stand-up comedian from the city’s thriving comedy scene. The night-life also promises variety, from traditional pubs and bustling nightclubs to trendy wine and cocktail bars,  there is something to please most tastes.

Stay at…

Any one of the well-presented and affordable hotels and B&Bs that are close to the city centre, or for a unique taste of academic life walk in the footsteps of Newton, Darwin and Wordsworth with a stay at a college room in Cambridge University itself. The rooms are vacated by students during term holidays and are then made available to members of the public. Ideally located for the city centre, these comfortable rooms come with very reasonable nightly rates, and many include breakfast.

Eat at…

Midsummer House, which is located on the historical grounds of Midsummer Common. It is the only restaurant in the whole of East Anglia to have received 2 Michelin stars and the menu speaks for itself; Roast Cornish cod, Wagyu beef with braised oxtail and sautéed scallops deliver a culinary sensation. Lunchtime taster menus are available Monday to Saturday and are a great way to try the wide choice of dishes. Those on more of a budget can head to Zhonghua Traditional Snacks on Norfolk Street for a brilliant range of Chinese delicacies bursting with flavour for around £5 a dish. The wonton dumplings are always a hit with students and tourists alike.

Explore…

The River Cam with a punting trip
Cambridge is well known for its punting and there are plenty of tours available to take you along the River Cam in the flat-bottomed canoe-like boats. Fixed tours will take you along the Backs of the colleges and under the Bridge of Sighs by St. John’s College, whilst providing lots of interesting stories on the city’s most recognisable landmarks. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous you can also hire a punt for yourself and spend the afternoon floating serenely by (or desperately trying not to fall in the water, as is more often the case!).

Kings College Chapel during Evensong
The chapel is part of Cambridge’s most famed University College, and is a glorious example of late Gothic architecture. Whilst visitors are able to visit at various times each day for a small fee, it is best seen during the magical Evensong choral service, when the chapel choir performs a selection of hymns. Members of the public are welcome to attend free of charge and services usually take place at 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, although it is best to check the service timetable beforehand in case of cancellations.

The art gems in Fitzwilliam Museum
The striking architecture of the Fitzwilliam Museum is almost as impressive as the collections it holds. Hailed as one of the greatest art collections of our nation, the museum and library houses priceless ancient artefacts, painting collections from Italian Renaissance artists, rare coin collections, manuscripts and autograph music from composers including Handel and some of the finest Ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world.

The University Botanic Garden
Opened in 1846, the University Botanic Garden covers over 40 acres of land with a diverse array of plants and shrubs. The Glasshouse Range is worth a visit, comprising of a range of greenhouses used to recreate various climates and environments from around the world, from glacial mountains to tropical rainforests. There’s also plenty of wildlife to spot on the garden trails that take you around the site, and it is especially lovely when the sun is out.

Don’t miss…

The Cambridge Folk Festival on 31st July – 3rd August
One of the longest running folk festivals in Europe, this year the Cambridge Folk Festival is celebrating its 50th year in operation! A marvellous union of all that can widely be defined as folk, the event gathers the best traditional UK and Irish folk singers with a wider range of contemporary performers, the finest American country musicians and blues, roots and jazz artists. The truly unique atmosphere of this event helps to keep the revellers coming back again and again, and this Golden Anniversary year sees headline slots from Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor & Newton Faulkner.

For a historical weekend away in a city with true British heritage you can’t really beat Cambridge.

Planning your own short break to the city this year? Let us know what made it onto your trip itinerary!

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