Things to do in CambridgeQuy Mill Hotel & Spa, Cambridge is the ideal base to explore the East of England, with its wealth of attractions. Close by is the historic City of Cambridge, famous for its University and the ‘Backs’, the grass-covered banks that line the River Cam offering views of the riverside college buildings including The Bridge of Sighs, King’s College Chapel and the Mathematical Bridge. Don’t miss Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, Ely Cathedral and Newmarket, and the flat and fertile land of the Fens with its breathtaking ‘big skies’!
We have compiled a top 10 list of the best things to see and do while you are visiting the Cambridge area.
1 – Punting
This is quintessentially Cambridge. Of course punting is also done in Oxford, but from the wrong end of the boat! This is a great way to see The Backs of seven of the colleges and their bridges. You can punt yourself or hire a chauffeur.
2 – Anglesey Abbey
A Jacobean-style house with gardens and a working watermill. Anglesey Abbey is set in 46 hectares offering vibrant colour, delicious scents and the simple pleasures of nature. As well the outside, the inside has fine furnishings, books, paintings, silver and rare clocks giving a feeling of opulence and something for everyone to appreciate.
3 – Visit King’s College Chapel
This is open most days with access from the north door. The entry fee is currently £6.50 for adults, however a top tip is to go to Evensong at 5pm Monday to Saturday 10:30am and 3.30pm on Sunday, which is a sung service by the choristers and is free of charge. (Closed August and September.) www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/index.html
4 – Visit Trinity Great Court
Famous for the Great Court Run at Trinity College in under 43 seconds on the strike of noon on the day of the Matriculation Dinner as performed by Harold Abraham in the film Chariots of Fire (actually filmed at Eton College). Our recommendation is that you do this as part of a walking or bike tour. Our favourite walking tour operator is www.oxbridgetours.com as they use current students as guides.
5 – Have a pint of real ale in The Eagle pub
Located on Bene’t Street in the heart of Cambridge, you can enjoy a drink and also read the comments on the ceiling in the back room left by World War Two pilots.
6 – Headquarters of Horseracing in Newmarket
- The Rowley Mile
- The July Course
- Newmarket Nights
National Horseracing Museum
A trip to Newmarket would not be complete without a visit to this fascinating museum. It was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in April 1983. www.nhrm.co.uk
7 – Cambridge Botanic Garden
Opened to the public in 1846, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden develops and displays over 8,000 different plant species in 40 acres of beautiful landscapes.
8 – Oliver Cromwell’s House, Ely
This is the only remaining house used by Cromwell with the exception of Hampton Court Palace in London. Cromwell lived with his family in Ely for just over ten years and the house provides an evocative insight into 17th century life. Audio tours bring the story of this fascinating building to life.
9 – Ely Cathedral
A magnificent building with its unique Octagon Tower which dominates the landscape for miles around. The Cathedral had its origins in the 11th century and the City of Ely developed around this awesome structure. You can wander around the magnificent building at your own pace or enjoy a more informative experience by taking a guided tour. Tours also include optional visits to the Octagon and the West Towers where the spectacular views make it well worth the climb!
10 – Winnie the Pooh
Read AA Milne’s manuscript of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ in The Wren Library at Trinity College. Entry is free of charge. 12 noon to 2.00pm during the week.