Cambridge might be a small city, but there is plenty to see, and experience here. This quaint town is best known for being home to an array of prestigious universities that educated notable alumni like Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
Beautifully intertwined with notable universities, you’ll find dreamy bridges, historic sites, beautiful gardens, and masterfully designed artfully designed churches.
Plus, Cambridge is located less than 2 hours from London, making it one of the best day trips for those visiting the English capital.
Ready to enjoy this picturesque and history-filled English town? Then, here’s the ultimate guide to the top 10 things to do in Cambridge. Have a look!
The 10 Things To Do In Cambridge, England
Tour The Cambridge University’s Buildings
With a rich history spanning more than 800 years, Cambridge University is the world’s third-oldest surviving university and one of its most prestigious. Several noted alumni, including Stephen Hawking, Francis Bacon, Lord Byron, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Charles III, the King of the United Kingdom, studied here.
This notable institution is, unarguably, one of the most famous attractions in the city. A walking tour with a real-life Cambridge student is a great way of learning everything about the university and its secrets.
Cambridge does not have a main campus, and its colleges are scattered throughout the city. Must-visits include Trinity College, founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, and home to the magnificent Wren’s Library. Designed by famed architect Sir Christopher Wren, this spectacular building is home to about 1250 western medieval manuscripts, including a notebook owned by Isaac Newton.
Also, check our Trinity’s Great Court, which is claimed to be Europe’s largest enclosed courtyard.
The Chapel of St John’s College is one of the most recognizable buildings in Cambridge
Founded in 1511 by the Tudor matriarch Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, St John’s College Cambridge is one of the largest and oldest colleges in Cambridge. Aside from having produced ten Nobel Prize winners, the college is famous for its beautiful chapel, where religious music is sung every day since the 1670s.
One of the oldest colleges of the University of Cambridge, Queen’s College boasts one of the most recognizable buildings in the city thanks to its medieval and modern architecture and sprawling gardens.
Don’t end your tour without seeing Corpus Christi College, where you’ll see the legendary Corpus Clock, a large sculptural golden clock at street level on the outside of the Taylor Library (at Benet Street with Trumpington Street).
See The Plant Collection Of The Cambridge University Botanic Garden
The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a lush pocket of greenery in the middle of Cambridge. Located just a 15-minute walk from Cambridge city center, this alluring botanical garden is associated with the university Department of Plant Sciences and spans 16 acres.
Here, you’ll come across a spectacular plant collection of over 8,000 species spread over several ornate gardens. While meandering through the garden’s artfully manicured lawns, expect to see several species of tulips, fritillaries, picturesque shrubs, geraniums, and more!
Address: 1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE
Go Punting On The River Cam
Punting is one of the most traditional activities in Cambridge. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, punting means boating in a punt, which is a long boat with a flat bottom.
So, when the weather is nice, do as the locals and go for a punting tour on the River Cam. The boats are pushed along by someone called a ‘punter’, and there are several tours available — that way, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
While floating through the waterways in Cambridge, you’ll have a privileged view of several of the city’s landmarks (including the beautiful College Backs ), dreamy private gardens, and the local wildlife – mostly ducks and swans.
You’ll also get the chance to see Cambridge’s famous 20 bridges that cross the River Cam. Two of the most famous, which are worth seeing, are the 18th-century Mathematical Bridge and the 19th Century Bridge of Sighs.
Visit The King’s College Chapel
Founded by Henry VI in 1441, King’s College is one of the 31 constituent Colleges that make up the University of Cambridge. The college is best known for harboring a gorgeous chapel, often regarded as one of the finest examples of late English Gothic architecture.
The King’s College Chapel is a stunning building (the most instantly recognizable in Cambridge) that features 12 large stained glass windows, a rood screen that was a gift from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, and the largest fan vault in the world.
Another gem found within the King’s College Chapel is the majestic organ, which features a beautiful gilded pipework and an unmistakable sound. In fact, the chapel frequently hosts mesmerizing organ recitals by renowned musicians from all over the world.
Address: King’s Parade, Cambridge
Discover The Round Church
The Round Church is one of the most significant religious sites in Cambridge. Designated a Grade I listed building due to its historic importance, the church was built 900 years ago by the crusaders and modeled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Highlights of the Round Church include its 15th-century carved wooden angels, thick pillars, rounded arches, beautiful Victorian tiles, and stunning stained glass windows.
Address: Round Church Vestry, Bridge St, Cambridge
Marvel At Contemporary Art At Kettle’s Yard
Kettle’s Yard is the modern and contemporary art gallery of the University of Cambridge. Set within the house where Jim Ede, the first modern art curator of the Tate Gallery, lived, the gallery harbors a precious collection of 20th-century and contemporary art.
Collection highlights include works by Alfred Wallis, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, and Ben Nicholson.
Address: Castle St, Cambridge
Go Antique Hunting On Market Square
Operating in central Cambridge since the Middle Ages, the Market Square is a vibrant outdoor marketplace dotted with gourmet food stalls, and vendors selling clothing and souvenirs. This is the perfect pit stop for when you need to grab a bite or go antique hunting!
Visit The Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum is the main museum of the University of Cambridge. Its stellar collection comprises precious art and antiquities, and all kinds of human discoveries, from 16th-century German armor to a collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.
Address: Trumpington St, Cambridge
Take The Kids To The Polar Museum
Are you visiting Cambridge with your family? Then the Polar Museum is a great place to go. In this kid-friendly museum, you’ll get the chance to see a treasure trove of relics, like 140 million old fossil ferns, a compass used on the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13, and snow goggles used by Ernest Shackleton on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-16.
Address: Lensfield Rd, Cambridge
Check Out The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
Another world-class museum to visit with the children in Cambridge is the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Science. Cambridge’s oldest museum, Sedwick is home to over 1 million fossils, collected from all over the world, including one of the best-preserved fossil bird skulls on Earth!
Address: University Of, Downing Pl, Cambridge
What are the top attractions in Cambridge, England?
The top 10 attractions in London are:
- Cambridge University’s Buildings;
- The Cambridge University Botanic Garden;
- Punting On The River Cam;
- King’s College Chapel;
- Round Church;
- Kettle’s Yard;
- Market Square;
- Fitzwilliam Museum;
- The Polar Museum;
- Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.
Is Cambridge worth visiting?
Yes. In fact, Cambridge is one of the top destinations in the UK. This lovely city is known for being home a to prestigious university (the legendary University of Cambridge), as well as world-class museums, historic gardens, century-old churches, and a glittering river crossed by dreamy bridges.
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