Plan Your Day Out In Cambridge
Cambridge has an amazing amount of attractions packed into its compact city centre, including a myriad choice of shops and eateries and a lively entertainment scene. There's also plenty of green space where you can take a break and watch the world go by.
Known as the Arts Quarter because of its bohemian atmosphere, Bene’t Street has shops for fashion, ceramics, jewellery, second-hand books and more.
Bridge Street and Magdalene Street
The heart of the elegant Quayside area has everything from designer jewellery stores to fashion boutiques and patisseries.
Head here for a more traditional shopping experience. The quaint cobbled street is lined with charming independent shops selling everything from clothes to cameras.
King's Parade is Cambridge's classic shopping street. Close to the colleges, it's home to designer dress shops, stylish menswear stores, fine art galleries and Cambridge Wine Merchants, one of the UK's best independent specialist drinks retailers.
Cambridge's famous open-air market is right at the heart of the city. Drop in any day of the week and browse for bargains amongst the diverse mix of stalls. From Monday to Saturday it's a general market selling all kinds of goods from fruit and flowers to bags and books, while on Sundays you will find a tempting array of local artisan foods and handicrafts.
Cambridge has four superb shopping centres. The Grafton is home to over 60 retailers, including family favourites like Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre. The glittering Grand Arcade in the city centre also has over 60 stores, including a five-story John Lewis and many other leading clothes and homeware outlets. Next door is Lion Yard, which has a range of fashion, accessories and electronics shops, including New Look and Superdry. Christ's Lane is one of the city's newest retail developments, featuring a host of homeware and fashion brands, including H&M, Zara, Triumph and Two Seasons.
Home to historic Sidney Sussex college, Sidney Street also has a mix of retailers, including branches of Joules, Jack Wills and Monsoon, as well the legendary Hobbs sports shop.
With its ornately decorated store fronts, this is one of the city's most classy shopping streets. It's also home to the All Saints Garden Art & Craft Market where painters, potters, photographers, jewellery makers and other artisans sell their wares direct to the public.
Opened in 1848, this superb museum has been described as 'one of the greatest art collections of the nation and a monument of the first importance'. It's packed with amazing paintings, sculptures, antiquities and artefacts.
King's College Chapel
Cambridge's most majestic and beautiful building is one of the world’s finest examples of late Gothic architecture.
Museum of Cambridge
Explore the history of the city in this captivating little museum, which has nine themed rooms housed in a 17th century former inn. It's on the corner of Castle Street and Northampton Street, around five minutes' walk from the city centre.
Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute
Discover the amazing stories of intrepid explorers who have pushed themselves to the limits at the far ends of the globe. This fascinating little museum is in Lensfield Road, just around the corner from the Fitzwilliam.
The Round Church
Known as the Round Church because of its unique architectural design, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is Cambridge's second oldest building.
Whipple Museum of the History of Science
The Whipple houses an awe-inspiring collection of scientific instruments, apparatus, models, pictures, prints, photographs, books and more. The entrance is located on Free School Lane, between Bene't Street and Pembroke Street.
The ADC is the oldest university theatre in the country and the home of the famous Cambridge Footlights. It has helped launch the careers of many household names, including Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
Located right in the city centre opposite King's College Chapel, this independent contemporary art gallery presents an innovative exhibition programme of solo and mixed shows, featuring both two and three-dimensional work.
Cambridge Arts Theatre
The Cambridge Arts Theatre is one of the region's top entertainment venues, presenting a year-round programme of drama, dance, music, comedy and pantomime.
Cambridge Corn Exchange
A must-visit venue for many touring bands, this is the region's biggest multi-purpose entertainment space and presents up to 300 performances every year.
A launching pad for new creative talent, the Junction is an adventurous contemporary performance venue that features theatre, dance, comedy, live music, club DJs and events for young people.
The Light Cinema
Aiming to provide a unique entertainment experience, The Light Cinema is a nine-screen multiplex on the Cambridge Leisure Park retail and leisure complex, featuring 2D and 3D visuals with state-of-the-art digital pictures and sound.
New Hall Art Collection
Housed in the iconic, Brutalist Dome building at Murray Edwards College, this is a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art by women artists, including paintings, prints and sculptures.
With vaulted ceilings and plenty of natural light, the Ruskin Gallery is a brilliant exhibition space surrounded by artists' studios. It's located on the Anglia Ruskin University campus less than a mile from the railway station.
An eight-screen multiplex powered by Sony Digital 4K technology, Vue is located in the Grafton Centre on East Road.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and head for the beautiful Backs to enjoy an al fresco meal as the punts on the Cam slip silently by. Several famous bridges cross the river, including the Mathematical Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
This heritage-listed garden is a real treat for horticulture enthusiasts. Over 8000 species are displayed in borders and glasshouses across the 40-acre site, offering both year-round and seasonal interest.
This riverside green space has facilities for tennis and table tennis, as well as a children's play area and barbecue area. In the summer, you can also take a refreshing dip in one of Europe's largest outdoor swimming pools.
Home to the annual Midsummer Fair, Strawberry Fair and Bonfire Night celebrations, this delightful common is naturally grazed by a herd of bulls in summer. Houseboats are moored on the river here and it's also the location of many college boathouses, so you can often see competitive rowers sculling along the water.
Named after Edward Parker, a cook who leased it from Trinity College, this lovely stretch of common is one of Cambridge's most popular places for picnics and games. It's famous as the birthplace of the rules of association football in 1848.
Cafés, Tea Rooms and Coffee Houses
Whether your preference is Earl Grey and a scone or a frothy latté and a Danish pastry, you'll find an establishment in Cambridge that suits. You can visit the local branch of your favourite chain or try one of the many excellent independently run establishments, including the famous Fitzbillies, Benet's on King's Parade and the delightful Garden Café at the University Botanical Garden.
Restaurants and Pubs
The range of food on offer in Cambridge is mind-boggling. Temples to haute cuisine such as Alimentum and the Midsummer House rub shoulders with cosy pizzerias, steak houses and ethnic eateries, including Hakka for authentic Chinese seafood and Thanh Binh, the city's only Vietnamese restaurant, situated just opposite Magdalen College. In summer, you can dine al fresco at one of the lovely riverside venues and there are also plenty of traditional pubs that serve great food. You'll find the kids are also well looked after with many establishments being family friendly and If you're a veggie you'll be in absolute heaven at the award-winning Rainbow Café, Cambridge’s only restaurant specialising exclusively in vegan and gluten free fare.
Food to Go
If you don't want your meal to eat into your sightseeing time too much, just pop in to one of the city's many fast food outlets for a take-away. There's plenty to choose from, including British favourites like fish and chips and pasties, as well as more exotic street food.
Where To stay
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