Cambridge is undoubtedly a prestigious and historic city, but what is there to do for students living in Cambridge in terms of getting out and enjoying yourself?
In addition to the educational opportunities offered by the city, we’re pleased to say that there are also a range of fun and informative activities to enjoy at sites across the region.
We’ve put our heads together and decided on a list of eight of the best things to do in Cambridge, as well as where you should do them. Take a look below for some ideas on what to do in Cambridge.
Whether you have a day off with course mates between lectures, or have family visiting and want to show them the best of what Cambridge has to offer, we’re confident that you can’t go wrong with these suggestions.
Feast at a FoodPark event
Cambridge has had an emerging scene for a few years now, with the FoodPark events that happen regularly around the city playing a big role in spearheading that emergence.
Complete with DJs and a variety of the best food vendors from all across the region, these events make for a great night out with friends or family, as well as giving you a chance to taste offerings from restaurants that you can visit later on for a full meal experience.
Soak in the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens
It is fair to call the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens one of the most impressive sites of natural beauty anywhere in the UK, with over 8,000 different plant species spread across close to 40 acres of garden space reserved within the city centre.
Visitors can enjoy a stroll, or even stop for a picnic, in surroundings that include a lake, rock gardens, glasshouses and a wonderful selection of trees and plants. Located a short walk from the train station, it is a fantastic place to take your family when they visit, or relax and take a break from the pressures of studying.
Marvel at the Cambridge University Colleges
When it comes to enjoying the magnificent architecture and rich history of the Cambridge University Colleges, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. There are actually more than 30 different colleges in and around Cambridge, each of them with their own style and list of accomplishments.
It is worth noting that each of the colleges will have their own visitation policies, but you can take a look at this list compiled by Cambridge News to find the specific arrangements at each college.
Take a Punt Down the River
Cambridge is famous for many things around the world, but for the locals, there are few things more celebrated than taking a punt down the river. If you’re not sure exactly what punting is, think a slightly more British version of the gondolas of Venice!
A punt is a flat-bottomed boat that is used on certain British rivers, often piloted down the river by a guide so that you can sit back and soak in the surroundings, but there are options for you to self-punt your way down the river.
Be warned, supply is limited, so on days where the weather is particularly good, the queues can be lengthy, but if you get there early enough, or are prepared to wait, it can make for the perfect summer activity.
Explore the History at Kings College Chapel
Built across several decades in the 1400s, the stunning Gothic design style of the King’s College Chapel makes it one of the most notable buildings in Cambridge, if not the country.
You may recognise the building even before visiting, as it has made various film and TV appearances, with good reason when you see the beauty and character of its setting. There is an entry fee, but it’s well worth the price of admission.
Enjoy the Design of the Mathematical Bridge
An arched bridge that consists entirely of straight timbers?
If you think that sounds like the sort of structure that must have been made by some sort of mathematical genius, you’d be right. Sort of.
The famous tale is that the bridge was designed by Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest mathematicians of all-time, a scientist famous for ‘discovering’ the concept of gravity and with it the laws of motion which have been the basis of so many areas of modern life. The legend of its construction is that its integrity relies entirely on the power of its design and does not require any nails, screws or bolts to remain in place.
The reality is that it was built around 20 years after Newton died, constructed by William Etheridge with influence from Newton’s writings. The ‘no screws’ effect came from metal spikes encased within the wood that gives the appearance that the bridge is constructed entirely from wood.
Beyond the history to the actual experience, the bridge is built over the river in a lovely area of Cambridge and amidst beautifully classic architecture, making it an equally impressive sight whether it is enjoyed from the riverbank or during a punt on the water itself.
Bask in a Summer’s Evening at the Enchanted Cinema
Happening for a decent stretch of time during each summer, the Enchanted Cinema happens in the beautiful wooded location in Gonville Place, the perfect surroundings to recline in a fancy deck chair and take in a film on the giant screen.
With the area adorned with bunting, a backdrop of the beautiful Gonville Hotel and a range of food and drink on offer from local vendors, they really have thought of everything needed to provide a stylish and comfortable viewing experience.
Whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic evening, or a family looking for the perfect trip to see the film you’ve all been wanting to see, the Enchanted Cinema really does cater to all-comers. As long as you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the film, you’re a welcome presence in Cambridge’s best cinema experience.