Cambridge is one hour from London and is one of the best institutions in the United Kingdom in various fields. It has a long history that dates back to 1100 AD. Cambridge is a popular day trip destination from London.
Cambridge is a historically diverse city. Many people remember the university buildings, historical persons going through and investigating the street, and the attractions they visit as a landmark.
This article serves as a guide to the finest things to do in Cambridge. Cambridge is famed for its international university, which dates back to 1350. Cambridge’s graduates are well-known for their scientific achievements, including Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and Sir Isaac Newton.
Things To Do In Cambridge
Discover these 16 things to do in Cambridge and enjoy your stay.
1. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
The Museum of Archaeological and Anthropological Studies collection covers more than two million ages in human history and originates on every single inhabited world continent. It dates from 1884, was built in 1913 in specially constructed buildings, was commissioned for the centenary in 2013 and is now fully refurbished.
The best thing to look at is the ethnographic pieces collected by the explorer Capt James Cook during the 18th century. Roman and Anglic Saxon artefacts have been discovered at archaeological sites around Cambridge and East Anglia. At the same time, a stone tool was found by Tanzania at Olduvai Gorge and dates back over 1.5 million years.
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) actively invites all visitors, including those on the autism spectrum, to visit the Museum. One of the best things to do in Cambridge is to visit the MAA.
The Museum is also affiliated with the University of Cambridge, where it collaborates closely with other university museums and is extensively engaged in university teaching and research. It is a revelation of people’s tales, locally and worldwide, via astonishing things they have produced in the past and now.
2. Go Punting
Punting is an English term in Cambridge. The trip provides an excellent view of the back of the university college. Punting has become an extremely popular romantic date hen party. Punt excursions can be scheduled during the daytime and evening – another reason to take something fun to your boat.
The meadow of Grantchester River is a fantastic spot to which wild swimmers are attracted and is considered one of the finest in England. The River Cam crosses over the heart of Cambridge, passing numerous landmarks along its way making it easy to visit the most important sights on the River Cam.
It is fortunately easy to take a variety of walking tours which cover many important landmarks like the Bridge of Sighs, the University of Cambridge, and Trinity College. Punting gives you a unique perspective on what it’s like to be a student at Cambridge University. One of the most fantastic things to do in Cambridge is this.
3. Visit The University Building
Cambridge University was home to many great thinkers, including Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Rosalind Fosse. The university buildings are accessible by walking through the city or, as previously stated, through punting.
It’s an excellent place to visit while visiting the city. Details of Cambridge University building facilities can be found easily. You can go on a guided walking tour and see historic buildings as you walk along. Keen runners can also visit the sights by completing the Cambridge Half Marathon, which traverses Cambridge Street or beyond.
The several colleges of this world-renowned school, dating back to the 12th century and including instances of the first patterned brickwork in England, are spread across the city and should be high on your must-do list for magnificent Cambridge. It is unquestionably among the top things to do in Cambridge.
4. St John’s College
The university has since 1511 been founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort, the daughter of King Henry VII. The coat hangs at the entrance of the St John Street Tudor gate. The pair were surrounded by mythical monsters called Yeates. Certainly, it is one of the amazing things to do in Cambridge.
The College is divided into various court structures, and you will travel through the First Court (1511) to Second Court (in the 18th century) and Third Court (1524) in Tudor and Jacobean style. This makes it one of the top things to do in Cambridge.
You should watch for several interesting features, like carved doors and sculptures. With nearly 500 years of history, St John’s College is a must-see in Cambridge. Except for admittance inside the Chapel, the main visiting path is open to anyone. This Cambridge institution has a gatehouse with a nicely carved and painted facade.
You may go over the Bridge of Sighs and explore the structures. The most striking feature is the Main Gate on St John’s Street, which is adorned with the arms of the college’s founder, Tudor matriarch Lady Margaret Beaufort, it is one of the best things to do in Cambridge.
5. Walk the Gogs
The Gog Magog is a low-lying chalk hill located northeast of Cambridgeshire. The property has about 160 acres and is an ideal walk destination that seeks beautiful open space. Consult the site to find directions to the site and parking info etc. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Cambridge.
The Gogs can be accessed from different start locations, such as Stapleford or Great Shelford. This provides an excellent meal option as you visit village pubs while travelling. Stop by The Gog Farm Shop, an Award-winning speciality food store including grocers, deli, and butchers.
A regular event schedule includes cheese/wine tastings, cooking, and butchery lessons, which offer excellent butchery and delis. It is one of the most thrilling things to do in Cambridge.
6. Kettles Yard Gallery
Cambridge has some wonderful cultural attractions for tourists. A favourite is a gallery in the small but beautifully shaped Kettles Yard. The gallery is home to an extensive collection of contemporary art. Among the many tourist attractions is the WWII American Cemetery.
It contains the remains of 3,811 US military veterans who were killed during World War II on the campus and 5,127 missing US soldier names. Kettle’s Yard was founded in 1957 by Harold Stanley ‘Jim’ Ede as a house for him and his wife Helen, but also as a venue where the general public might experience art in a domestic context.
Kettle’s Yard has vast archive collections, including huge quantities of communication with contemporary artists, which are an essential resource for academics researching contemporary art. A major amount of the collection was also given to Ede directly by the artists and is one of the best things to do in Cambridge.
The two massive new gallery rooms are utilised to show extremely big artwork, which the previous Kettle’s Yard could not accommodate. This is among the best things to do in Cambridge.
7. Stroll Past the Corpus Clock
Corpus Clock has existed since 2008 and has been added to the city centre. It is situated on Benet Street between Trumpington St and the King’s Parade. The clock was invented by Dr John C Taylor, OBE FREng (old professor). It is intricate and beautiful, but others have found its design disturbing.
The story will remind you that life continues on the path to death. The magnificent clock features a Chrysophagus meaning ‘time eater.’ The clock is often called the grasshopper’s clock because of its grasshopper and locust resemble.
It is, without a question, the most ornate and one-of-a-kind clock. The clock face includes holes that are lighted by blue light to display the time. It contains three rings, one for seconds, one for minutes, and one for hours. The clock face is 24-carat gold plated, which explains the high price.
The clock is manually regulated, but the motor is powered by electricity. The clock face is 24-carat gold plated, which explains the high price. The clock is manually regulated, but the motor is powered by electricity. This is among the best things to do in Cambridge.
8. Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Moments west of Cambridge Railway station, this botanic garden offers beauty and scientific importance. It is surrounded by over 8500 species on 16 acres and includes 8,000 species. In 1831 John Stevens Henslow was commissioned out of Cambridge to plant the site. It is one of the nicest things to do in Cambridge.
Almost half of the species are housed within several glasshouses, mimicking the environment on the seashore and the ocean. Besides carnivorous plants, it’s possible to view the florid climates of South Africa and South Australia once on the same continent.
It was established as a research and educational facility for medical students to learn about the therapeutic qualities of plants. It has expanded in size throughout the years and relocated to its present location to broaden the diversity of species planted. The garden is 40 acres in size and has so many diverse regions that there is something for everyone.
Here located, is an Apple Tree that descended from the tree in Sir Isaac Newton’s Garden that inspired his theory of gravity in 1666. A luxuriant hallway runs around the rear of the glasshouse, covered with a canopy of plants and green foliage from floor to ceiling, with doors connecting to each room of the house.
For a modest cost, the garden is accessible to the public, with refreshments provided. It is a 15-minute walk from the city centre or a short walk from the railway station. Certainly, one of the amazing things to do in Cambridge.
9. The Polar Museum
The US government established the Scott polar research institute (SPRI) to commemorate Captain Scott in his 1912 death in Antarctica. The Museum is located on the institute’s site recording the achievement of the “Heroic Ages of Antarctic Exploration“.
The gallery contains photographs from archives, drawings, and paintings. You will find crafts from indigenous people in Arctic countries, including equipment derived from Polar Expeditions and Scott’s correspondence on his ill-fated voyages.
There are audio tours available at the information desk, with one tour geared toward adults and one geared toward younger people. The Scott Polar Research Museum was built in 1920 as a tribute to Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his crew.
Since opening the building’s main entrance to the public in 2010, the museum has seen increased exposure and traffic. Discover fascinating tales from heroes to contemporary climate research about Earth’s coldest, driest, windiest, highest, and deadliest regions.
The Institute also holds the world’s finest Polar Library, as well as vast archival and photographic collections on the history of polar exploration of worldwide relevance. One of the best things to do in Cambridge
10. King’s College
In 1441 Kings College and its chapel as well as its frontcourt was founded. The spacious frontcourt walled north through the chapel and south through the classic 18th-century Gibbs buildings have a true sense of grandeur, especially in the evening, when the sun catches William Wilkins NeoGothic architecture.
Cambridge’s greatest achievement was the Kings College Chapel, built from 1446 onward and considered arguably one of the great works of late Perpendicular Gothic architecture. Hence, it is among the best things to do in Cambridge.
Tours of King’s College are available as part of our Private Guided Tours service and may be arranged as a solo tour of the college and chapel or in conjunction with a visit to other Cambridge city-centre attractions. Guides are permitted to guide groups of up to 20 individuals inside the campus.
One of the most well-known landmarks in Cambridge is King’s College, one of the 31 constituent Colleges that comprise the University of Cambridge. It boasts the best specimen of Renaissance stained glass in the world and the world’s biggest fan-vaulted ceiling.
It’s worth mentioning that many guided walking excursions include admission to the church. Evensong Choir Services are held at King’s College chapel and are free to attend. Respecting the College while enabling guests to partake in a historic and lovely tradition is critical.
11. Cycle the city
There are many cyclists in Cambridge as this is a great opportunity to explore the town. Enjoy the magnificent architecture and enjoy a fresh ambience. An interactive map of Cambridge Cycling routes is available everywhere.
There are many bicycle rentals available in Cambridge. It’s no surprise that cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Cambridge, with attentive drivers, designated bicycle parking, and bike-friendly municipal planning. Some call Cambridge the “city of cycling.” Cambridge’s love affair with bicycles dates back to the Victorian era.
Cycling has historically been a popular mode of transportation in Cambridge, therefore investment in cycling has persisted throughout the years. And a sizable fraction of the city’s 43,000 students boards the bus to travel to their lectures and tutorials.
CyclePoint, the major train station’s bike park, provides space for approximately 3,000 bikes and earned the highest prize in the National Cycle-Rail Awards shortly after it opened in 2016. This is perhaps one of the best things to do in Cambridge at your leisure.
12. Visit Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum was created in 1816 via the donation of Richard, the seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion, and the Museum has thrived as a haven of knowledge, inspiration, and beauty ever since. The Fitzwilliam Museum is a site where you may spend hours wandering around the many rooms and galleries without realising it.
Anyone interested in history and the arts should visit the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. There are around 500,000 artworks and artefacts from many eras and movements. The Fitzwilliam Museum’s collections are among the most significant in their fields in the United Kingdom and across the globe.
It has an impressive collection of artefacts. Exhibitions change regularly so even those previously visited enjoy returning. Truly, one of the greatest things to do in Cambridge.
13. Hop On and Off The Bus
If you’re searching for a different approach to seeing and experiencing Cambridge, sightseeing is the ideal way to see a city that is as inviting as it is wonderful. The Cambridge sightseeing tour has 19 stops across the city, taking you on a tour of the city’s biggest tourist sites.
The hop-on-hop-off bus tours historic locations and their histories and is a wonderful way to see the attractions of Cambridge.
Explore the picturesque city of Cambridge in an open-top hop-on, hop-off bus, which is notable for its village tree-lined roads, magnificent architecture, lush public spaces, and landmark buildings. Certainly, it is one of the greatest things to do in Cambridge.
You’ll also get a free pamphlet full of information and discounts to use at museums, restaurants, and other establishments. Simply board one of the lovely red open-top double-decker buses and let them show you around Cambridge, from the ancient city centre to the world-famous Backs and the River Cam.
14. See the Historic Mathematical Bridge
It has a mathematical bridge – built in 1748 – a design of James Edward Essex. It is located on the Cam River in Central Cambridge and has been refurbished twice since its original construction. This highly advanced geometric engineer gave this title.
The bridge crosses a 50-foot river using many shorter pieces of timber: the horizontal part that looks to cover the whole river, for example, is constructed of six shorter timbers joined end-to-end. It is technically known as the Wooden Bridge, although it is more generally known as the Mathematical Bridge.
Although it seems to be an arched bridge, it is built of straight timbers. The original 1749 bridge was completely constructed of wood. It has been reconstructed twice since then, most recently in 1905. Some people believe that the bridge was built without bolts, relying only on smart angles and a favourable interaction with gravity.
The Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge is an excellent example of tangent and radial trussing. Despite its sophisticated name, this sort of bridge design isn’t as difficult as it looks at first sight.
15. Go shopping at the Grand Arcade
If you have time for shopping after visiting the historical sites, you should go shopping at the Grand Arcades. There are many famous shops in this mall and several excellent restaurants nearby that can also give you some delicious snacks.
The Grand Arcade is the region’s most important shopping attraction. The award-winning shopping mall in the heart of Cambridge offers an unrivalled mix of 60 luxury and high street businesses. The Grand Arcade in Cambridge opened in 2008 and has become the region’s go-to destination for luxury shopping.
The complex spans three sky-lit levels and has over 60 businesses and restaurants offering the best in fashion, beauty, home, technology, jewellery, and gastronomy.
Grand Arcade won the Advertising Effectiveness award at the renowned International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) Best-of-the-Best Awards in 2010, beating out some of the world’s best shopping complexes. Truly, this place is among the best things to do in Cambridge.
16. Corpus Christi College
This is one of Cambridge University’s oldest and more important Colleges, founded in 1352 by the citizens of ancient Cambridge. The beautiful structures conceal the fact that it is the only institution established by Cambridge residents.
The most remarkable features are New Court’s pristine gardens and quadrangle. Corpus has two major campuses: Old House in the historic city centre, adjacent to lecture halls, libraries, and student amenities, and Leckhampton, a large campus with tennis courts, sports grounds, a gym, and wide gardens.
Corpus Christi College is situated in the centre of Cambridge, on the corner of King’s Parade, and is home to the Corpus Clock, also known as the Chronophage. Corpus Christi is one of the city’s oldest and smallest colleges.
Corpus, known for its culinary brilliance and friendly hospitality, welcomes guests and tourists to Old Court, Cambridge’s oldest enclosed court dating back to the 14th century, as well as the spectacular 19th-century Dining Hall. Undoubtedly, it is among the best things to do in Cambridge.
That concludes the catalogue of the Top 16 best things to do in Cambridge. Cambridge is a historically diverse city. Many people remember the university buildings, historical persons going through and investigating the street, and the attractions they visit as a landmark.
There are retail malls, marketplaces, museums, parks, open areas, and many more attractions. And you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink, as well as places to stay.