A guide to visiting Cambridge


August 23rd, 2020

Scholars Punting proposal tour Monday July 27 2020.
Photo credit Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media

Whether your visiting for a long weekend or just the day, Cambridge offers the perfect blend of rivers, historic buildings, restaurants and shopping opportunity.

I have put together a list of recommendations of things which you should consider doing:

Where to Park

You can park with on-street pay and display, or in a multi-storey car park such as Grand Arcade. As a cheaper alternative, why not use the park and ride. There are five car parks all around the city, together they cover all major routes into the city.

Click the following link for more information; http://cambridgeparkandride.info/

Where to stay if staying overnight

Cambridge has a broad spectrum of accommodation. I have selected my choice of three very different hotels.

Affordable accommodation

The Cambridge guest house is situated on Milton road. It’s a £7 taxi from the city centre or roughly 10-minute walk.

Accommodation is clean and cosy and spacious. Below is a link to their website;

https://www.thecambridgeguesthouse.co.uk/cambridge.php

Unique accommodation

Varsity hotel and spar is located in the heart of the city centre. It has a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city.

Prices vary from expensive to very expensive.

The Spar includes a Gym and Jacuzzi with River views.

Here is a link; https://www.thevarsityhotel.co.uk/

Natural accommodation

The old hall is based nearby in Ely. This spacious countryside location makes for wonderful natural views, especially at sunset.

The building dates back to 1830 so the accommodation has an old fashioned feel

Here is a link; http://theoldhallely.co.uk/

Where to have Breakfast

Fancy breakfast

Located outside the city centre, you will find rowers eating after a morning outing. Or wealthy stay at home mums from the surrounding areas.

If you like vegan on your vegan, then Stir is the café for you.

Here is the link.; https://stircambridge.co.uk/

Traditional to Cambridge

No trip to Cambridge is complete without tasting a Fitzbillies current bun.

They offer a broad range of breakfast options but be warned you will pay restaurant prices.

Here is a link; https://www.fitzbillies.com/

Full English

As an expert in fried breakfast’s, you will be surprised to hear me recommend the restaurant chain Cote. All the ingredients are of high quality and the cooking, including the scrambled eggs, are spot on.

Unlike your local greasy spoon, there is nobody across the table eating with their mouth open. It’s possible that they are scared off by the price, however surprisingly a full English with a coffee and glass of fruit juice is actually around a tenner.

Here is a link; https://www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/cambridge/

Walking Tour

There are many walking tours available in Cambridge. We recommend using a company who employ qualified Blue or Green badge guides. The qualification is both difficult and expensive to attain. It is a sign of quality.

Here is a link to a company who provide officially badged tour guides, however, there are many companies or individuals who can provide this service;

www.cambridgetourguide.co.uk

Where to Shop

Check out the Grand Arcade which is Cambridges most up to date shopping centre. Its located right in the centre amongst the colleges

Here is a link; http://www.grandarcade.co.uk/

Where to have Lunch

Cambridge is packed with cafes and restaurants. I recommend Aromi for food on the move. It sells a small range of traditional Italian treats. Watch out though, it’s so tasty that there are often large ques around lunchtime

Here is a link; https://www.aromi.co.uk/

Where to get Coffee

I recommend Bould Brothers for coffee. The shop is close to the Round Church. Coffee cognisors will appreciate their attention to detail

Here is a link; https://bouldbrotherscoffee.co.uk/

Where to go Punting

Of course, I can only recommend Scholars Punting Cambridge.

Here is the link to the booking page; www.scholarspuntingcambridge.co.uk/booking/

Where to get a Drink for the Tour

If you fancy having a tipple whilst out on the river, then I suggest a trip to Cambridge Wine merchants. It’s conveniently located close to the punting on Bridge Street. They have disposable glasses especially for punting.

Here is a link; https://www.cambridgewine.com/

If you are in a hurry and don’t want to miss the boat, then you can buy drinks from the Pimm’s punt located at different places on the river. Unfortunately, they don’t have a website at present.

Where to Eat Dinner

I have come up with two different options for dinner.

Dinner with a view

Why not migrate to the village of Grantchester for your dinner?. You can enjoy a pint and some pub-grub whilst watching the sunset over the famous Grantchester meadows.

Here is a link; https://www.redliongrantchester.co.uk/

Atmospheric dinner

Stolen Cambridge, formally Dary’s is based in a Victorian building with a shady, shabby chick atmosphere. I would recommend the rooftop balcony which overlooks the courtyard.

Here is a link;  https://www.stolencambridge.co.uk/