Gorgeous places to visit in Cambridge

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You will probably recognize bits of Cambridge even if you have never been there before. Cambridge is almost certainly best known globally for its prestigious Cambridge University’s 31 colleges, which are rich in tradition. Also, it is famous for gorgeous architecture, punting, numerous green spaces, and bicycles. What’s more, the city claims to have one of the highest concentrations of preserved buildings anywhere in England. Yes, that is right, there is no shortage of things to do in Cambridge. The city has something for everyone – from beautiful colleges to fantastic museums. Here are our top picks of the best places to visit in Cambridge. Hopefully, you will find plenty of ideas for your trip to the city.

things to do in Cambridge: There is no shortage of things to do in Cambridge. Cambridge is best known for its prestigious Cambridge University’s 31 colleges. Also, it is famous for gorgeous architecture, punting, numerous green spaces, and bicycles. What’s more, the city claims to have one of the highest concentrations of preserved buildings anywhere in England. Here are our top picks of the best places to visit in Cambridge.

17 Best places to visit in Cambridge

 

1. King’s College Chapel

places to visit in Cambridge: It is easy to see why King's College Chapel is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge. This over 500 years old gothic chapel is the most famous example of late medieval English architecture in the UK. Exploring King's College Chapel is also one of the best things to do in Cambridge because it is the oldest surviving building within the college.

If you only have a few hours, King’s College Chapel is a great place to start. King’s College Chapel has been a Cambridge landmark for over 500 years.

This gothic chapel is the most famous example of late medieval English architecture in the UK. Yes, that is right, King’s College Chapel is an impressive structure that dominates the centre of Cambridge. It is also the oldest surviving building within the college site – Henry VI laid the first stone. Therefore, King’s College Chapel is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge.

places to visit in Cambridge: King's College Chapel is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because this chapel has the largest fan vault in the world. It also has spectacular stained-glass windows and an impressive Rood Screen. Moreover, King's College Chapel has been a top attraction in Cambridge for over 500 years.

King’s College Chapel is an unmissable symbol of Cambridge. Make sure you see it from the inside.

 

King’s College Chapel may be familiar to your eyes if you’ve ever watched the BBC’s Christmas programming. The Christmas Eve carol service is broadcast from here every December – it is an unforgettable experience. But that isn’t all, though.

Why is King’s College Chapel unique?

You need to go inside the chapel to understand that. The chapel of King’s College is famous because it has the largest fan vault in the world. It also has spectacular stained-glass windows and an impressive Rood Screen. It was a wedding gift from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. The eye-catching Rood Screen certainly is one of the best Italian wooden carvings that still survive in the UK. Also, do not miss the stone flowers on the walls.

best things to do in Cambridge: Visiting the King’s College Chapel is one of the best things to do in Cambridge if you like churches. King’s College Chapel is an unmissable symbol of Cambridge which dominated the centre of the city. What's more, King's College Chapel is also the oldest surviving building within the college site - Henry VI laid the first stone.

Visiting the King’s College Chapel is one of the best things to do in Cambridge if you like churches.

Moreover, the chapel is still in active use. It is home to the King’s College Chapel choir. Plus, if you visit King’s College Chapel, you can enjoy stunning views of the Backs (college grounds).

GOOD TO KNOW:

Those who would like to visit King’s College Chapel should know that the chapel has an entrance fee. You can pre-book your ticket online or pick them up from the King’s College visitor centre. The visitor centre is opposite the chapel.

 

2. Explore the Backs of Cambridge

places to visit in Cambridge: The Backs are one of the most popular places to visit in Cambridge. It's because these green spaces with riverside pathways offer perfect views of the colleges and pedestrian bridges. This area runs along the River Cam and is ideal for a stroll. Therefore, exploring the Backs is one of the best things to do in Cambridge.

A visit to this University city would not be complete without exploring the Backs of Cambridge. The Backs are tranquil landscaped areas owned by colleges. This area with beautiful gardens and parks runs along the River Cam and is ideal for a stroll.

The Backs are, without a doubt, one of the most popular places to visit in Cambridge. It’s because these green spaces with riverside pathways offer perfect views of the colleges and pedestrian bridges.

 

3. Punting down the River Cam

best things to do in Cambridge: One of the best things to do in Cambridge is punting down the river. It's because the River Cam goes through the heart of Cambridge, where you can see plenty of famous attractions. From the boat, you can see the Backs of the University colleges, which you would not be able to see unless paying an entry fee to each college.

One of the first things to do in Cambridge has to be punting down the river. It is because the River Cam goes through the heart of Cambridge, where you can see plenty of famous sites. The river passes by some of the prettiest areas of the city. You will have plenty of time to snap photos of the riverside landmarks.

For those who don’t know, a punt is a type of flatboat and punting involves a large pole to push the boat down the river. A romantic, slow-pace punting is one of the best ways to see the city. From the boat, you can admire the Backs of the University colleges, which you would not be able to see unless paying an entry fee to each college.

fun things to do in Cambridge: A romantic, slow-pace punting is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge because it is one of the best ways to see the city. When you go on a punting tour, you can see the colleges from the river itself, and you don't need to pay an entry fee to each college. Plus you will see other attractions in the city, too.

Go on a punting tour and see the colleges from the river itself.

There are plenty of companies running punting tours up and down the river. You can hire a punt yourself or a trained guide who will punt for you. Plus, you will learn more about the city’s history and its universities. Tours usually take between 45 minutes to an hour, and they are very informative. Not only you will learn more about the city, but also it will help you to decide where you want to go next.

 

4. Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge

places to visit in Cambridge: One of the best places to visit in Cambridge is the Mathematical Bridge because this wooden bridge is one of the top attractions in the city. The Mathematical Bridge has a clever engineering design and quite a story behind it. A local legend has it that Sir Isaac Newton built the bridge without using any screws or nails. Therefore, seeing the Mathematical Bridge is one of the best things to do in Cambridge.

 The Mathematical Bridge outside Queens’ College

We would also recommend that you check out the Mathematical Bridge on your trip to Cambridge. The wooden Mathematical Bridge is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city. This grade II listed bridge, connecting two parts of Queens’ College, is one of the 25 bridges over the River Cam in Cambridge.

What is unique about the Mathematical Bridge? This footbridge has not only a clever engineering design, but it also has quite a story behind it. A local legend has it that Sir Isaac Newton built the bridge without using any screws or nails.

The tale goes that this wooden bridge relies solely on specific equations to ensure its strength. Various stories say that in the past, university students deconstructed the bridge. However, they could not put it back together and had no option but add nails and bolts. But they are common myths that have spread far and wide.

fun things to do in Cambridge: Seeing the Mathematical bridge is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge because this bridge has plenty of myths around it. Also, the Mathematical Bridge is a grade II listed bridge and is one of the top attractions in the city.

Mathematical Bridge – possibly the most famous bridge in the city

Some elements about the bridge are, in fact, correct. The Mathematical Bridge was deconstructed twice by engineers, not students. Also, Sir Isaac Newton was not the one who built this lovely bridge – he died more than 20 years before somebody designed the bridge.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Seeing the Mathematical Bridge is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge because there are plenty of myths around it. The best view of the Mathematical Bridge certainly is from a punting tour. Also, you can visit the college during its public hours and pay the visitors fee. Alternatively, you can see the famous Mathematical Bridge from Silver Street.

 

5. St. John’s College Cambridge

places to visit in Cambridge: St. John’s College is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because it is one of the largest and oldest colleges in the city. What's more, St. John’s College in Cambridge has beautiful architecture, extensive gardens and one of the most photographed bridges – the Bridge of Sighs.

St. John’s College is located on the River Cam at the heart of the city centre.

Whatever you do, don’t leave without visiting the University of Cambridge. Cambridge University is the second oldest university in the English speaking world (after Oxford). It consists of 31 colleges, which have gorgeous architecture.

St. John’s College is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because it is one of the largest and oldest colleges in the city. It is also one of the wealthiest colleges with impressive buildings.

Over 500 years old St. John’s College has produced 10 Nobel Prize winners, seven UK prime ministers and twelve archbishops. But there are more reasons to visit this famous college. St. John’s College in Cambridge has beautiful architecture, extensive gardens and one of the most photographed bridges – the Bridge of Sighs. This college is also famous for its stunning chapel and spectacular May Ball, which is one of the best parties in the country.

 

6. Great St Mary’s Church

best things to do in Cambridge: Visiting St Mary's Church is one of the best things to do in Cambridge because it is the largest church in the city. What's more, St Mary's Church has a rich history and the views from the top are among the best in Cambridge. Therefore, visiting St Mary's Church is one of the best gorgeous places to visit in Cambridge.

Once you have explored the heart of Cambridge, consider visiting St Mary’s Church. It is the largest church in the city and Grade I listed building. But there are more reasons to visit this beautiful landmark. Great St Mary’s Church serves as the parish church and the university church. It has a rich heritage and has played a notable role in the city’s history. The most iconic attractions are within a stone’s throw away. Hence, the views from the top are among the best in Cambridge.

best places to visit in Cambridge: There are many places with spectacular views of Cambridge, but Great St Mary’s Church offers the best of them all. Therefore, Great St Mary’s Church is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge. Pay a small fee and climb 123 steps up to the tower for the best views of the city.

There are many places with spectacular views of Cambridge, but Great St Mary’s Church offers the best of them all.

After exploring the church inside, pay a small fee and climb 123 steps up to the tower. Once you are at the top, you will be rewarded with beautiful views. From here, you can see the historic old town with the marketplace, even famous colleges.

You are quite right if you think that Great St Mary’s Church offers spectacular views of colleges. Therefore, Great St Mary’s Church is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge.

 

7. Cambridge Market

places to visit in Cambridge: Cambridge Market is one of the popular places to visit in Cambridge because it sells organic produce from the locals. This outdoor market with stalls has been operating since the Middle Ages.

Just a short walk away from Great St Mary’s Church you will find a market. Cambridge Market is one of the popular places to visit in Cambridge because it sells organic produce from the locals. This outdoor market with stalls has been operating since the Middle Ages. The good news is that Cambridge Market at Market Square has many street food stalls. They are capable of catering for all tastes. You can find here many independent traders and craft stalls selling various products. Grab a tasty pastry in one of the street-food stalls and explore the nearby historic streets.

 

8. Corpus Clock in Cambridge

fun things to do in Cambridge: Seeing Corpus Clock is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge for everyone who wants to appreciate a marvel of clockmaking. Corpus Clock has a unique design - it has no hands or digital number to tell you time. Times Magazine named it one of the best inventions of 2008. Therefore, the Corpus Clock is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge.

Corpus Clock represents the passing of time, which ultimately leads to death.

If you prefer to soak up some art, catch a glimpse of the Corpus Clock. This unusual device for the measurement of time is not an ordinary clock.

A 1.5 metres wide provocative Corpus Clock has a unique design. It has no hands or digital numbers to tell you time. Instead, three rings of LED show hours, minutes and seconds. What’s more, the clock also gives a message about our relationship to time. Yes, that is right, a massive time-eating grasshopper reminds us that life is constantly passing by as we move towards death.

Seeing Corpus Clock is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge for everyone who wants to appreciate a marvel of clockmaking. Gold plated Corpus Clock cost over a million pounds. A student at Corpus Christi College invented this unusual installation, and Stephen Hawking officially unveiled it outside the college. Even though Corpus Clock is truly accurate once every five minutes, Time Magazine named it one of the best inventions of 2008. Therefore, the Corpus Clock is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge. And, it is also free to visit.

 

9. Newton’s Apple Tree at Trinity College

places to visit in Cambridge: Trinity Colleges is also one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because this world-famous college is one of the oldest and largest colleges in the city. Trinity College is also the best academic college in the country. It produced 33 Nobel prize winners to date – more than any other Cambridge or Oxford college.

Trinity College with a statue of its founder Henry VIII on the Great Gate

If you find yourself in Cambridge, you have to make time to see Trinity College. It’s one of the oldest and largest colleges in the city. Also, one of the wealthiest.

Trinity College is also the best academic college in the country. This world-famous college, in fact, produced 33 Nobel prize winners to date – more than any other Cambridge or Oxford college. Students at this college were also Sir Isaac Newton and Prince Charles, to name a few.

fun things to do in Cambridge: Finding Newton’s Apple Tree is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge. It's because this tree was grafted from the actual tree, which inspired his theory of gravity. Newton's Apple tree grows outside the entrance to Trinity College.

Newton’s Apple Tree

Once here, don’t miss the famous Newton’s Apple Tree, which grows outside the entrance to Trinity College. Many people think that Newton was struck on the head by an apple from this tree. They also believe that this tree inspired his theory of gravity. But it is not true.

Sir Isaac Newton saw a green apple fall from a tree on a visit to his mothers’ garden at his childhood home in Lincolnshire. Then he considered the theory of gravity. This Newton’s apple tree is an offshoot of the original tree where Newton first saw the apple fall from its branches.

Finding Newton’s Apple Tree is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge. It’s because this tree was grafted from the actual tree, which inspired his theory of gravity.

GOOD TO KNOW:

For a small fee, you can visit the Great Court and the Trinity College chapel, but not the Wren Library.

 

10. Wren Library

places to visit in Cambridge: Wren library is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because this Trinity College library is one of the most famous libraries in the world. Wren Library has not only valuable books but also houses a lock of Isaac Newton's hair and his walking stick. Therefore, visiting Wren Library is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge for those looking for something a little different.

Wren Library

Libraries are also big in Cambridge, each of them is unique and has its own rules. Did you know that there are more than 100 libraries in Cambridge? They hold together millions of books. Yes, that is right, it is not a mistake. And Wren Library is the most famous of them all.

It is easy to see why Wren Library is so famous. Sir Christopher Wren, who designed London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, also designed this two-storey building. Hence, its name – Wren Library. But that is not the only reason why Wren Library is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge.

The library of Trinity College is not only impressive, but also it is one of the most famous libraries in the world. The library has no books on the ground floor to resist flooding from the nearby river. Wren Library has valuable books, such as Isaac Newton’s first edition of the Principia Mathematica, or two of the oldest folios of Shakespeare’s plays. Wren Library also houses a lock of Isaac Newton’s hair and his walking stick. It even has Newton’s brain preserved in a glass jar. Therefore, visiting Wren Library is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge for those looking for something a little different.

 

11. Round Church in Cambridge

places to visit in Cambridge: Round Church is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because it is one of only four medieval round churches still in use in England. Seeing Round Church is also one of the best things to do in Cambridge because this church was built as a copy of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which stands atop the burial site of Jesus.

Round Church, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

After exploring the universities, it is time to wander off the beaten path for some spiritual experience. Just a short walk away from Trinity College, you will find the unusual Round Church. This almost 900 years old Anglican church is a grade I listed building and is worth popping into.

Why is Round Church one of the best places to visit in Cambridge? Well, it’s because the Round Church is one of only four medieval round churches still in use in England. It is also because it was built as a copy of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which stands atop the burial site of Jesus.

GOOD TO KNOW:

You can visit this lovely little church if you pay an admission fee. The Round Church is open every day except Sunday. If you decide to explore it, you can see a film about the city’s history. Also, it has an exhibition about the history and influence of Christianity on education and science.

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12. Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge

 fun things to do in Cambridge: Seeing more than 200 years old Bridge of Sighs is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge. It's because this covered bridge across the River Cam is one of the main tourist attractions for tourists punting along the river.

Another iconic bridge that you cannot miss is the Bridge of Sighs. The first thing you will notice about this bridge is its name. Yes, that is right, this bridge was named after the famed Ponte Dei Sospiri bridge in Venice. This famous Venetian bridge connects the ducal palace to the prison.

Even though bridges do not share the same history, they are both covered and have beautiful ornate stonework. However, a common myth states that students named this bridge “the bridge of sighs”. This belief probably has something to do with the fact that pre-exam students sigh on proceeding from their quarters on the Backs to the tutor’s offices.

Today, seeing more than 200 years old Bridge of Sighs is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge. It’s because this covered bridge across the River Cam is one of the main tourist attractions for tourists punting along the river.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Apparently, many years ago, Queen Victoria said it was her favourite spot in the city. The best way to see the Bridge of Sighs which connects campus buildings of St John’s College is whilst on punting tour.

 

13. Fitzwilliam Museum

places to visit in Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because it is the most famous museum in the city. The Fitzwilliam Museum is home to one of the best collections of ancient and modern art in western Europe. Therefore, visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum is one the best things to do in Cambridge for any lover of art and history.

Did you know that Cambridge has more museums and galleries within a square mile than any other UK city outside of London?

If you are more interested in visiting the city’s museums, it’s worth popping into the Fitzwilliam Museum. The Fitzwilliam Museum is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge because it is the most famous museum in the city. Cambridge University owns this massive art and antiquities museum, which is on everyone’s list of tourist attractions.

fun things to do in Cambridge: Spending a couple of hours in the Fitzwilliam Museum is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge because this famous museum has one of the best collections of ancient and modern art in western Europe. It has over half a million objects, such as paintings, sculptures, artefacts from Egypt, Greece and other places.

What makes this museum unique? Well, the Fitzwilliam Museum is home to one of the best collections of ancient and modern art in western Europe. It has over half a million objects, such as paintings, sculptures, artefacts from Egypt, Greece and other places. Therefore, visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum is one the best things to do in Cambridge for any lover of art and history.

Fitzwilliam Museum: The Fitzwilliam Museum has a wide range of items from around the world on display. One of the highlights is also its beautiful entrance hall.

The museum has a wide range of items from around the world on display. One of the highlights is also its entrance hall.

GOOD TO KNOW:

There is free admission to the Fitzwilliam Museum, but you need to book it in advance. The museum is not open on Mondays, but it is open on Bank Holiday Mondays.

 

14. Cambridge Botanical Gardens

places to visit in Cambridge: It’s easy to see why Cambridge Botanical Gardens are one of the gorgeous places to visit in Cambridge. Charles Darwin’s mentor created these heritage-listed gardens, which contain more than 8,000 species of plants across the globe. The gardens are also one of the most beautiful gardens in England.

After exploring the city centre, stop at Cambridge Botanical Gardens, which you can find a 10-minute walk from the Fitzwilliam Museum. It’s easy to see why Cambridge Botanical Gardens are one of the gorgeous places to visit in Cambridge. Charles Darwin’s mentor created these heritage-listed gardens, which contain more than 8,000 species of plants across the globe. The gardens are also one of the most beautiful gardens in England.

The Cambridge University Botanical Gardens are a lovely place for a stroll – regardless of the season. It is because the gardens have several large glasshouses. Lose yourself in the gardens and see beautiful trees, flowers and rare plants. Visiting Cambridge Botanical Gardens is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge and a must-do for garden enthusiasts. The gardens are also popular with scientists and walkers alike.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Cambridge Botanical Gardens are open all year round. Although entry isn’t free for adults (only for Cambridge University students), kids go free.

 

15. Jack’s Gelato

After an extensive exploration of the city, visit Jack’s Gelato. Sampling delicious ice cream flavours at Jack’s Gelato is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge. It’s because this tiny dessert shop has unusual flavours of gelato and sorbets. Jack’s Gelato has become a big draw for locals and tourists alike, whatever the weather. And, for this reason, it is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge.

 

16. Other museums in Cambridge

 

After the universities, it is time to wander off-the-beaten-path and discover some museums. There are a few to choose from, and they have a wide range of collections.

 Museum of Zoology in Cambridge

After exploring the Fitzwilliam museum, stop at the Museum of Zoology – it is one of the major attractions in the city. The Museum of Zoology is one of the best places to visit in Cambridge if you are interested in the natural world. This museum has galleries that showcase the diversity of animal life.

 

 Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge

Another free museum to visit in Cambridge is Scott Polar Research Institute. As the name suggests, this small museum is a must-visit for everyone interested in our planet’s poles.

Exploring the Polar Museum is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge for those who want to know more about the north and south poles of our planet. The museum covers the history of polar expeditions, wildlife, history and science.

 

Centre for Computing History in Cambridge

You can also find the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge. This museum has thousands of items relating to computers and computing history. Visiting the Centre for Computing History is one of the fun things to do in Cambridge for everyone with an interest in computing.

 

Whipple Museum in Cambridge

Another worthwhile museum to visit in Cambridge is the Whipple Museum of History and Science. As the name suggests, this university museum focuses on the history of science. The museum has a fascinating collection of old scientistic artefacts.

 

17. Castle Mound in Cambridge

Last but not least is Castle Mound, which you can find just across from the Museum of Cambridge. This grassy mound is the highest point in the city. It is also a place where once Cambridge Castle sat. Yes, that is correct, many years ago, you would find here a Norman Castle. Even though today you can see only the castle mound remains here, it is still worth coming here.

Visiting Castle Mound is one of the best things to do in Cambridge because the site of Cambridge Castle offers beautiful views across the city. Besides, Castle Mound is a popular spot to come to watch the sunset.

 

Have you been to Cambridge in England? What was your favourite thing to do there? Let us know in the comments below 🙂

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