Cambridge is most famous for its University and the amazingly stunning college buildings associated with it. Located only a 45 minute train ride from London and easily reachable by road there is no excuse not to visit this city if you are in the UK. Cambridge is a fantastic place to visit all year round and if you love your food and drink then this is the place for you. So here is a quick guide to what you can do in 24 hours in Cambridge.
There are plenty of Brunch spots in Cambridge, if you want something on the go I recommend stopping at Maison Clement, located on the main walk from the station to the centre of town it’s the perfect little French inspired bakery, imagine fresh breads, fresh pastries and fresh fruit tarts. It is incredibly difficult to decide what to get – so I recommend buying something to take home with you too!
If you have a bit more time to spare then head to the Old Bicycle Shop,where you can enjoy the rustic décor with a mix of smaller and longer communal tables. Choose from a traditional brunch menu of coffees, teas, fresh juices matched with poached eggs, salmon, avocado and French toast. I always love to have a poached egg and salmon combination with a fresh orange juice and theirs did not disappoint. The price is pretty good too, at around £10.
Relax in the Botanical Gardens
Only a short walk from the centre is Cambridge Botanical Gardens, which costs £6 for entry. There is so much to see here and its perfect for people of all ages. You can spend hours walking through the rose gardens, exploring the ponds and rock gardens and getting lost in the giant greenhouses. The best part of the Botanical Gardens is that it is ever changing based on the seasons, I last visited in spring and I can not wait to go back and visit in Autumn. One of my favourite parts of the gardens was the greenhouse with all the Cacti! This is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Walk around the City Centre
Cambridge is one of those cities which is incredibly easy to walk around and get lost exploring. If shopping is your thing then head to the Lions Yard, the main indoor shopping centre which houses shops such as John Lewis and Ted Baker before heading outside and strolling around the market. Here you can find a lot of local products, including food and crafts.
From here you can take a short 2 minute walk to see Kings College, impressive from the outside (and you can also pay to visit inside I you have time). If its independent shops you prefer there are plenty in Cambridge, follow some of the cobbled streets and explore shops selling clothing, art and food and drink. My top recommendations are the The Cambridge Cheese Company (for all you cheese lovers out there) and The Cambridge Gin Lab , where you can also book yourself onto an informative and delicious Gin Tasting.
Take a Late Lunch
It is hard for me to choose just one place to head for lunch but if I really had to choose I would head to the Pint Shop every time, located fairly central and surrounded by loads of other amazing restaurants this place is primarily a tap house that serves great beers but also great food to match. Downstairs you can find a bar area, for drinks and bar snacks, or you can book a table in the restaurant upstairs.
If you like beer then at least make sure you have a drink at the Pint Shop, the menu is ever changing and there are plenty of local beers to try, but no fear if you don’t like beer (I don’t) they serve plenty of other drinks and their Gin menu is pretty impressive too.
The food ranges in price from £10 to £20, I opted for the amazing Kebab last time I visited, a mound of shredded meat on top of an amazing flat bread but the burgers are also pretty amazing. Obviously if you are still full from brunch you can opt for a quick bar snack, freshly made sausage rolls, scotch eggs or pork scratchings – perfect with a beer.
Punting down the River Cam
You can not really come to Cambridge without punting! If you are feeling brave you can hire boats to try punting for yourself but most the people who do this get stuck or crash into other boats. I recommend paying for a punting tour, costing between £10-£15 per person to be taken down the River and given a tour of the college buildings and told about their history. Its such a good way to relax and see some of the older parts of the city.
Plenty of Drinks
There are a lot of amazing places to go for a drink in Cambridge around the centre and a little bit further afield, whether its quiet drinks in a nice pub or cocktails in a bar there is plenty to do. If it is cocktails you are after I recommend 2648, not far from the centre and easily missed you will see just a door out on the cobbled street. Head downstairs to the bar, there is comfy seating and bar seating, board games to play and a happy hour. The cocktail menu is fairly classic and all the ones I have tried taste really good and cost only around £8.
If a pub is more your thing then head slightly off the beaten track, only a 10 minute walk from the station and located behind the busy and popular Mill Road you will find the Cambridge Blue. You would struggle to stumble across this place and you won’t be disappointed. There is a large selection of beers and ciders, you can choose to sit inside or if the weather is good I recommend sitting out in the beer garden, which is deceptively big.
Well that’s it, 24 hours in Cambridge, there is plenty more to see and do including visiting the colleges, the museums and so many places to eat and drink but not everyone has the luxury of living close by like I do. Hopefully you can make the most of your time with this handy guide.
Have you visited Cambridge? I would love to hear your food and drink recommendations.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Cambridge a few times over the last few years and I am delighted to share an inspirational and helpful guide to how to spend 24 hours in Cambridge written by the super talented Kat from Addicted to Travel I can’t wait to try these places out on my next visit. For more incredible travel tips and inspiration head over to her blog and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for some stunning travel images.