Hometown Holiday: Cambridge

Photo of Cambridge lake, punting boats, trees and bridge
Ella Beadman

Cambridge is one of the more famous towns in England, and in my opinion, for good reason. Best known for the university and cultural sites that fill the city – all of which are fascinating to see – there is still so much more to explore. This is a list of some of the top things I think you should do on a trip to Cambridge, but this only scratches the surface of what Cambridge has to offer.

During the Day…

There is nothing more iconically ‘Cambridge’ than going punting along the River Cam and taking in the views of the college Backs, the Bridge of Sighs, the Mathematical Bridge and much more. The best way to experience this is by booking a tour with one of the many punting companies in Cambridge. I would recommend Scudamore’s. Alternatively, to save a bit of money, you can brave it out and take on the challenge of punting yourself by simply renting a company’s punt. However, I will say, there have been many occasions in which I have seen people fall in, so maybe consider bringing a spare set of clothes if you want to give it a go! Don’t be put off by the cold weather either, as Scudamore’s provides blankets to keep you warm on the colder days.

To warm up a bit after being in the fresh air, take a trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum. The museum offers free admission to various exhibitions, although some do require pre-booking. They currently have a few displays that may be worth a visit. Both ‘Real Families; Stories of change’ and “Black Atlantic: Power, people, resistance’ are available until the 7th of January 2024.


Fitzwilliam Museum

Catch a peek of the famous Isaac Newton apple tree

If you are interested in a closer look at what Cambridge is most famous for, take a tour around one of the colleges. One of my favourites is Trinity college which is located very aptly on Trinity Street. Book a guided tour, available seven days a week between 10am and 2pm, to see inside the chapel, Wren library, and also catch a peek of the famous Isaac Newton apple tree – grafted from the original apple tree which led to the discovery of gravity.

If you still haven’t had your fill of the beautiful architecture that makes up the city, take a stroll over to Great St Mary’s Church and climb the 123 steps in the tower for an incredible view of Cambridge. Tickets are £6 and no booking is required. It’s definitely worth the climb!

Cambridge has much to offer in the way of independent stores

To finish off the day, if you feel like taking a break from all the grand buildings and educational tours, treat yourself to a bit of shopping around the gorgeous side streets filled with independent stores. My favourites are Rose Crescent, Bridge Street and Green Street. However, I might suggest that a wander around the Market Square would be better suited to a student budget.


After a long day of exploring, it is only right to treat yourself to some good food. One of my favourite places is The Bedouin, one of Cambridge’s best restaurants offering delicious North African food. On top of the incredible food, the interior is covered in wall rugs and beautiful lighting, creating an amazing atmosphere true to the North African experience. Alternatively, if you are looking for a great vegan restaurant with a variety of choices, head over to Stem and Glory. The relaxed atmosphere and brilliant service make this place a lovely option for a healthy and delicious meal.

The Best of Cambridge at Night

Eat in the place where Francis Crick and James Watson announced their discovery of the structure of DNA

Although Cambridge isn’t known for its vibrant night life, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend going clubbing in Cambridge, it is filled with an abundance of cosy pubs and fun bars that are definitely worth a visit. The Eagle has a great atmosphere, a good selection of beers, wines, and spirits, and is also one of the most historic pubs in the city. The interior is cosy as well as fascinating, as the ceiling is covered with messages from WW2 RAF pilots in the hope that they would never be forgotten. It is also the place that Francis Crick and James Watson announced they had discovered the structure of DNA, giving this pub a rich history to be immersed in while you enjoy a drink or two.

If you are looking for something a little bit livelier, head over to The Tivoli to play a few games of mini golf, shuffleboard, or simply to enjoy a drink on the rooftop terrace. Alternatively, for an evening of cocktails and music, head down to 2648 on Trinity Street for a speakeasy vibe in this basement bar. They have different music playing each night so check the website to see what they have on.  

While Cambridge is only a small city, it has so much to offer beyond the university. It may not be on the top of your bucket list of must-see places but it is truly perfect for a weekend get-away.

Ella Beadman

Featured image courtesy of Ella Beadman. Permission to use granted to Impact.

In article image 1 courtesy of Lewis Westwood via Unsplash. No changes were made to this image. 

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