There’s plenty to do in Cambridge if you want to extend your stay in the city. Cambridge offers galleries, museums, walking tours, theatres, pubs and restaurants and, of course, punting on the River Cam, which was one of Lonely Planet’s Top 20 Experiences in the UK. Please note that some attractions may have restricted opening times or only accept advance bookings, so check before visiting.
Visitors can get more information from the Visit Cambridge and Beyond website which has information about attractions, tours, shopping, places to eat and accommodation. Lonely Planet also has pages dedicated to making the most of your time in Cambridge, including a suggested self-guided walking tour.
Some of the most popular places to visit in the city are the historic colleges, including King’s, Trinity, Gonville and Caius, St John’s, Jesus, Magdalene, and Christ’s. Many are free to enter to soak up the atmosphere, architecture and gardens. One of the most famous views in Cambridge, including King’s College Chapel, can be enjoyed by wandering up ‘The Backs’ adjacent to Queen’s Road.
Punting is a very popular way to see the city. You can join a chauffeured boat, or hire a punt and have a go yourself! If you prefer to stay on land, there is an open-top bus tour of the city.
The University of Cambridge Museums are home to outstanding and varied collections. The most famous is the Fitzwilliam Museum which is home to a large collection of fine paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and applied arts, along with historical artefacts from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Admission is free.
The Cambridge University Botanical Gardens houses over 8000 species of plant from all over the world in gardens and glasshouses (admission charge). Other museums in the collection include:
- Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (free)
- Museum of Classical Archaeology (free)
- Museum of Zoology which is home to a fin whale (free)
- The Whipple Museum of the History of Science (free)
- The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences where you can see fossils as well as minerals and rocks (free)
- Discover your sense of adventure at the Scott Polar Research Institute Museum (free)
- Kettle’s Yard gallery holds exhibitions of contemporary art (free)
Please check the websites for opening times and current exhibitions.
The nearby city of Ely is a short train ride away, and is best known for its beautiful Cathedral, known as the ‘Ship of the Fens’ for the way it rises up above the low lying fields of Fenland.
For those looking for the quintessential English country estate, Wimpole Hall and its farm, Anglesey Abbey and its working watermill, and Audley End House with its landscape gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown are all nearby. There is a miniature railway next to Audley End, too.
Those interested in military or aviation history will love the Imperial War Museum Duxford, which charts the history of military aircraft, and also houses a Concorde prototype.
You can find out more about these and many other places on the Visit Cambridge and Beyond website.