Top attractions in Cambridge
Long hailed as one of the most prestigious university towns any student could dream to live in, Cambridge is a mainstay in the history of education in the United Kingdom. Visiting Cambridge might make you feel scholarly purely by association. While you're in town, take a tour of some of the top spots.
No visit to Cambridge would be complete without stopping by the university itself. The school is the second oldest English speaking university and was founded in 1209. The grounds are as impressive as the history they contain.
Art historians will find some treasures from many time periods at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Those who know the Turner prize will be pleased to find many of Turner's works here. Plus, admission is free.
Horticulturalists will be enthusiastic to see the variety of flora and fauna found at the Cambridge University Botanical Garden. As the seasons change, so do the offerings of the garden.
The former priory is now open to the public. You can take a strolls in the garden, admire the 98 acre grounds and estate, and of course, visit the Abbey itself.
A perfect spot for a picnic, the Backs is the name given to the riverbanks east of Queen's Road. The Backs are a scenic spot to stop and contemplate your application to Cambridge University, or life in general.
The Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences specializes in geology. Courtesy of doctor John Woodward, visitors can see over 10,000 specimens that he collected over 35 years.
If you're interested in the illustrious history of Cambridge, make sure to visit the Museum of Cambridge. The exhibitions are set in a well preserved 17th century house that frames the collection well.
The Kettle's Yard is an art gallery located inside the former home of the Ede family. The works in the space are from the permanent collection amassed by John and Helen Ede while they lived in Cambridge.
The Ely Cathedral is hard to miss due to its prominent placement on an otherwise flat landscape. Make sure to take in the Purbeck marble that decorates the structure.
Dating back to the 13th century, the Church of St Mary the Great is part of the Church of England and is affiliated with Cambridge University and acts as the official university church. As always when visiting churches, be respectful of ongoing services.
As a student town, there are large areas of Cambridge that are easily walkable. You can also bike around or take local buses. Taxis and trains are available at your convenience too.
Unsurprisingly, the warmest summer month is August. You'll find the most rain in December and the coldest temperatures in January. Generally, the whole summer is pleasant even though winters can be quite cold.
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- Best time to visit
- The best time to visit Cambridge depends on your itinerary. If you want to see the university in full swing, the fall and spring semesters are best. If you're more interested in sightseeing and enjoying a sunny stroll or two, you're better off visiting in summer.
Things to Do in Cambridge
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What people are saying about Cambridge
Leah captivated us from the moment she began. With her clear tones, projecting beautifully above the surrounding noise, and a real sense of presence and authority and what she was saying, she introduced us to the University from the perspective of a student, but with the expertise of a Don! She has a way of putting things which makes them come to life, so that not one moment in her well-timed talks did my attention flag. It was also a very well shaped tour, with just the right amount of walking in between a well judged number of stops, in which people could also perch on benches or other places to sit if they were tired or elderly. Could not recommend this more.
We really enjoyed the walking tour. The places we visited were beautiful and our guide was really engaging and friendly. Unfortunately we had to leave the walking tour a little early to make it to a punting time that would fit in with our train home. The boat then left 15 minutes late because we were waiting on other guests - even though there were numerous boats free. That meant we had to run the whole way back to the train station to make sure we caught out train.... which was a little frustrating. Other than that - a good day out in Cambridge.
The time we had in Cambridge was not long but was filled with interesting things to do. The meeting point was close to all the interesting stuff which allowed for a great time without the fear of being late or losing way. In Oxford, it felt like we were in the city center and missed out on the better parts of the city. We had more time, but not many ideas for things to do. But the guide was amazing and the drive was smooth and nice.
Highly recommend this tour of the colleges. Melissa is so easy to listen to. She was knowledgeable and added a few extras on the history as well as the entry requirements and some useful tips which was great as my son (16) was reluctant to visit and has now been inspired to aim for Cambridge and study Medicine. Yes, that's how good it was :)
The boat trip was lovely, great views and the guide was very informative and knowledgeable. However, made the mistake of having the tour at the height of the tourist season so at times difficult to hear the guide talking and views a little compromised by other boats in view. Will repeat it at a better time in the future.