View of Cambridge's Colleges

Take a punt on Cambridge: 21 Reasons you have to visit

Steeped in history and impressive sights, it is no wonder Cambridge is one of the most popular cities to visit in the UK.  Stroll along the cobbled streets taking in the striking architecture or enjoy a relaxing punt along the River Cam, there are so many unique experiences for you to enjoy.  When visiting Cambridge you will discover how unique and special it is, so read on to find 21 reasons why you have to visit Cambridge (once the Coronavirus lockdown is over and it is safe to do so!). 

1. You can browse art from all over the world at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Housed in a grand building in central Cambridge the Fitzwilliam Museum is part of the University of Cambridge and specialises in art and antiques.  Here you will find impressive collections from Egypt, Ancient Greece, Rome and Japan, as well as stunning examples of English pottery and furniture.  Keep an eye out for the regal stone lions that have guarded the museum entrance for many years.

2. It has it’s very own Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge
The Bridge of Sighs crosses the River Cam linking parts of St John’s College

This stunning Grade I listed, the covered bridge is one of the most famous sights in Cambridge.  The Bridge of Sighs was built in 1831 to cross the River Cam and link the Third Court and New Court at St John’s College.  Named after the famous bridge in Venice, both are architecturally impressive in their own ways but the only real similarity is they are both covered bridges. 

3. You can be at one with nature at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Enjoy 40 acres of green space and picturesque flora and fauna.  Associated with Cambridge University Department of Plant Science, this scenic parkland is a gardener’s dream and home to over 8000 species of plants and botanicals from all over the world.  As well as being a pretty space for visitors to enjoy, the Botanic Garden also provides an important resource to students and the University.

4. You can take a Punt…

Punting on the pretty River Cam
Punting is a popular pastime in Cambridge

Punting in Cambridge is a great way to explore the city.  These iconic boats have been part of life in Cambridge for over a hundred years and the shallow waters of the River Cam make Cambridge one of the most popular cities in the UK for Punting.  There are a range of companies that offer guided tours or boat hires so you can explore the scenic waterways at your leisure.

5. Cambridge Junction is a great venue for entertainment and shows

For arts, shows and live music, Cambridge Junction is the place to go.  This distinctive independent venue has a range of performance spaces and holds a host of events from comedy shows, club nights, contemporary performances and art exhibitions.

6. The striking architecture and history of King’s College

Punting next to King's College in Cambridge
King’s College lies beside the River Cam

One of the most iconic sights in Cambridge, King’s College is a must-see.  This historic institution was founded by Henry VI in 1441 and it is one of the 31 colleges that make up the University of Cambridge.  The college is home to range of notable buildings including the famous Kings College Chapel. 

7. You can experiment with Gin at Cambridge Gin Laboratory

Any Gin fan must head to the Cambridge Gin Laboratory when visiting Cambridge.  This quirky and unique venue hosts a range of gin tasting, gin making and cocktail creating classes, as well as being a bar where you can relax and enjoy some of Cambridge’s finest tipples. 

8. It has a Mathematical Bridge

The unique Mathematical bridge in Cambridge
The Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge was designed by William Etheridge in 1948

The Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge is a unique wooden footbridge that bridges the River Cam.  Originally constructed in 1749 the bridge displays sophisticated engineering and design techniques, and has been built using only straight solid timbers.  When visiting Cambridge you just have to take a photo by the Mathematical Bridge.

9. It has beautiful surroundings like Grantchester Village

The quaint village of Grantchester is on the outskirts of Cambridge and is a picture postcard example of a traditional English village.  With thatched cottages, a medieval church, a tea room and some classic village pubs it’s well worth a trip. The River Cam runs from Cambridge to Grantchester making a great route for a riverside walk or punt, and you can take in the picturesque Grantchester meadows as you go.

10. There are lots of pubs and beer gardens to enjoy

Enjoying a beer in a pub beer garden
A pub beer garden is a perfect place to unwind on a summer’s day

Cambridge has some fine examples of traditional British pubs and charming beer gardens.  Many of which are situated along the River Cam, boasting pretty riverside settings. A few of our favourites are Fort St George on Midsummer common, The Mill at Mill Pond, and The Green Dragon on the north bank of the river.

11. Fitzbillies bakery

No visit to Cambridge would be complete without a trip to Fitzbillies to sample their famous Chelsea buns.  This renowned bakery has been providing Cambridge with delicious baked goods since 1920 and now has two cafes and a bakery in Cambridge. 

12. It has a very unique clock

Much more than just a clock, the Corpus Clock in Cambridge is a unique sculptural timepiece made out of gold.  Located at the front of the Taylor library it provides a ‘timely’ reminder that time is ticking away as the intricate insect at the top of the dial appears to eat time.

13. You can shop the wares at Market Square

Arial view of Cambridge Market Square
Market Square in the centre of Cambridge

Market Square in Cambridge has been a setting for traders selling their products since the middle ages.  The Square currently hosts an abundance of stalls selling everything from clothing and hardware to unique crafts and tasty street food.  Located in the centre of the city it is open every day from 10am – 4pm.

14. The stunning views from Great St Mary’s Church Tower

Not only is Great St Mary’s Church in Cambridge a historic and impressive grade I listed building but its tower also provides one of the best views of the city.  It is well worth the climb to enjoy the panoramic bird’s eye view of the picturesque University buildings below.

15. The unique Kettles Yard House and Gallery

The most homely art gallery you‘re likely to find; Kettles Yard House and Gallery was in fact once home to Jim and Helen Ede.  Jim was the curator of the Tate Gallery and their joint love of modern art led them to acquire quite a collection of their own.  The couple then donated their home and art collection to the University of Cambridge and it is now open for the public to enjoy.

16. It has an abundance of pretty parks and green outdoor spaces

Cows grazing on Midsummer Common in Cambridge
Cows grazing on Midsummer Common in Cambridge

Cambridge is a green city with lots of parks, commons and meadows.  Whether you prefer to explore the landscaped university grounds or cycle along the Riverside, Cambridge is a great city to enjoy the outdoors.  The Backs, Midsummer Common and Parkers Piece are just a few of our favourite outdoor spaces to visit in Cambridge.

17. It has a museum dedicated to Polar Exploration

Find out about the coldest, windiest and deadliest areas of the planet: the Polar Regions. The unique Polar Museum highlights the importance of research and polar explorations, and tells the tale of past explorers, whose pioneering spirit helped us discover more about the exceptional Polar Regions.

18. It is perfect for cycling

Bikes parked in Cambridge, UK
Cycling is a great way to get around Cambridge

The landscape of Cambridge and its surroundings is relatively flat making it a great place to get around on a bicycle.  There are lots of places to hire bikes and the city has invested in cycle paths and bike parks making it a perfect way to explore Cambridge.

19. It is home to Heffers Bookshop

Heffers bookshop has been trading in Cambridge for over 140 years and continues to have a loyal following.  This independent bookshop has shelves filled with literature covering everything from arts to zoology.  It also has a popular children’s section and hosts a variety of talks and events throughout the year.

20. You can follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest minds at Trinity Collage

Trinity College in Cambridge
Trinity College was established by Henry VIII in 1546

Trinity College is the largest college in Cambridge and is said to have more Nobel prize winners in its alumni than any other.  Sir Isaac Newton, Lord Bryon and The Prince of Wales all studied here.  The college buildings are opulent and inspiring – visitors can experience the striking Tudor entrance, the Grand Court and the elaborate statue of founder Henry VIII. The notable Wren library is also worth visiting and contains work by Sir Isaac Newton and A.A Milne.

21. Cambridge is a beautiful city

Over the years Cambridge has often been named as one of the most beautiful cities in the UK if not the world.  Combining striking University buildings, quaint cobbled streets and stunning green spaces Cambridge really is an attractive city.  But don’t take our word for it – go visit Cambridge and see for yourself!

This remarkable city has something for everyone and makes an excellent city break destination.  If you are now tempted to visit Cambridge Citybase Apartments have a wide range of serviced apartments in Cambridge, some of our favourite Cambridge apartments can be found here.

Lorraine Evans

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