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Cambridge Travel Guide

About Cambridge

With its cobbled streets, twisting river and ancient colleges, Cambridge is without doubt one of the UK’s prettiest towns.

Dominated by the 31 colleges of one of Britain’s most prestigious universities, it is, at heart, a student town – even if those students are more likely to go on to discover a cure for cancer rather than raise hell on the cobbles.

Indeed, the city’s collection of memorials, plaques and benches are dominated by famous alumni, among them Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and no fewer than 15 British Prime Ministers. The architecture of the colleges is mostly grand, although a guided punting trip past the famous King’s College Chapel will give you a glimpse of the University’s more human side.

Further along the Cam, you’ll find the rickety-looking, wooden Mathematical Bridge, the Wren Library at Trinity College and pretty riverside gardens and parks known collectively as The Backs.

You could always make the experience extra authentic by trying punting yourself (it’s far more challenging than it appears), though if you really want to do it properly, take along a punnet of strawberries and a bottle of champagne.

Beyond the city's academic assets, Cambridge is a vibrant spot replete with pubs and restaurants and crammed with museums to boot. Drink at the RAF bar of The Eagle pub, which still has it ceiling decorated with messages left by the airmen who drank there 70 years ago, or plunge into quaint passages set around the historic market place and colleges, where a unique blend of independent shops can be found along familiar high street brands. Catch a student theatrical production, or a show at the Arts Theatre; otherwise see live music or comedy at the Corn Exchange.

When you want to explore beyond Cambridge, there’s plenty to choose from: head for the market town of Ely or Wisbech, explore the wonderfully unique Fens, or enjoy a sport of horse racing at Newmarket.

Key facts

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Featured Hotels


Cambridge Belfry

This modern hotel is 11km (7 miles) west of Cambridge and is a reasonably priced out-of-city option, with 120 spacious bedrooms, plus tennis courts, an indoor pool and award-winning dining. Following a £150,000 refurb, it now has a new-look restaurant, bar and health club.

The Varsity

Famous for its spectacular roof terrace and the views from its light-flooded rooms, this unapologetically modern hotel occupies a riverside location in the heart of the city. Its partnership with the Elemis Spa ensures a luxurious experience for all guests.

Tudor Cottage

This cute little guesthouse has racked up the awards over the years, thanks to its warm service, luxurious rooms and scrumptious breakfasts. All rooms have Wi-Fi, TVs, deliciously comfortable beds and tea making facilities, but it's the welcoming owners that set this place apart.

Lensfield Hotel

A family-run hotel that offers personal service and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, the classically decorated Lensfield is housed in a building dating back to around 1850, located in the heart of Cambridge. It offers a dining room and conservatory for breakfasts, a new boutique wellness spa and a small, intimate bar.

Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge

This luxury modern hotel enjoys a perfect location on the banks of the River Cam. It has air-conditioned rooms, a heated indoor pool and a fitness centre/health club including sauna, steam room and solarium. The excellent Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill overlooks the gardens and the river.

Regency House

This smart and sophisticated B&B is centrally located in a Victorian townhouse. There are 10 rooms split over four levels, all offering a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi access and tea and coffee making facilities. The rooms have been decorated in light neutral colours and have beautiful oak furniture with most rooms having a park view.