With a fantastic range of fare types on our coaches, affordable travel to Cambridge has never been more tempting. If you’re able to be flexible with journey times and take advantage of Coachcards, you could enjoy extra discounts, even if you’re only booking up to three days in advance.
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There’s so much more to Cambridge than chino-clad students scurrying around in caps and gowns, so check out our recommendations below and start planning how to make the most of your time away.
Tuck into a hearty steak and ale pie at Cambridge’s most well-known inn. With its wood-panelled walls and unique old world charm, The Eagle offers the perfect winter retreat with simple pub grub that won’t break the bank. However, its real claim to fame lies neither in its food nor its furnishings, but in a legacy of an altogether more scientific kind, for it was here that Watson and Crick announced their discovery of DNA in 1953.
For something a little bit special, Daniel Clifford’s double Michelin-starred restaurant certainly won’t disappoint. Although a bit on the pricey side, the imaginative taster menus serve up genius blends of taste and texture, all stunningly presented to the highest standard. And to top off a delicious meal, you can also admire the tranquil River Cam from the dining room… if you can tear your eyes away from the culinary masterpiece in front of you.
No trip to Cambridge would be complete without a taste of Fitzbillies’ world-famous Chelsea buns. Baked on the premises since the 1920s, the top secret recipe has attracted foodies from far and wide for nearly a century. Since then, a second café has opened up on Bridge Street offering breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. Both sites are open daily until 6pm.
Cosy up in a traditional tavern
Cambridge’s cobbled streets are overflowing with welcoming pubs so, wherever you are in the city, you won’t be far from a pint of beer. Watch local brewer, Mark Burton, work away at his tiny brew kit as you sink a pint of Misty River at The Cambridge Brew House or, for a comforting evening of board games and real ale, settle down at The Mill, proud winner of CAMRA’s Cambridge Pub of the Year Award 2015.
Sip on a classy cocktail (shaken not stirred)
Cambridge is certainly not lacking when it comes to cocktails. For an affordable range of drinks in a quirky, relaxed setting, duck into Baroosh on Market Passage or, for innovative blends of top quality spirits, take a trip to 90 Cocktail Bar on Regent Street. Alternatively, head underground to the Hidden Rooms for a Cosmopolitan or two – and why not learn from the best in one of their mixology masterclasses to become a cocktail pro yourself?
Discover Cambridge’s clubbing scene
Being one of the oldest student cities in the world means that Cambridge certainly knows how to club. Hosting popular names from Annie Mac to Hot Chip, Fez Club is a Moroccan playground for underground music fans. Alternatively, if it’s Hawaaiin-themed revelry you’re after, head to Lola Lo’s which, spread across two floors, is sure to guarantee a night of tropical fun. If you’re looking for something a little more VIP, strut your stuff at Kuda – if their plush cocktail lounge isn’t tempting enough, their DJ line up will have you dancing through the doors in no time.
Home to more than 60 premium and high street brands, Cambridge’s award-winning Grand Arcade is the region’s leading shopping destination. From Starbucks to Swarovski, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you browse the stylish sky-lit centre. And for when you can shop no more, why not indulge in a traditional afternoon tea in John Lewis’s brasserie or relax with a refreshing glass of wine at Carluccio’s?
With a quirky mix of independent retailers and well-known high street names, Trinity Street has everything from clothing and jewellery to homeware and books. The ornately decorated shop fronts give the street a unique charm – added to by the twinkling Christmas lights that pop up every winter.
All Saints Garden Art and Craft Market
Open every Saturday, Cambridge’s art and craft market has been celebrating local creativity for almost 40 years. Chat to the craftsmen and women themselves as you peruse their fantastic range of stalls to find that perfect homemade candle or hand-painted pot to take home.
Cambridge University Colleges
Made up of over 30 colleges, Cambridge University is one of the most famous educational institutions in to world. Visit Sir Isaac Newton’s former stomping ground at Trinity College, or head to Queens’ College to see where Stephen Fry spent his student years. Each college has its own unique atmosphere and architectural style as well as its own visiting policies, so don’t forget to check admissions and opening times in advance.
Punting on the River Cam
Hire a boat and have a go at Cambridge’s most traditional pastime. Nothing is more relaxing than an afternoon on the water – as long as you don’t fall in. Guided punt tours are also available daily to take you past the best of the city’s beautiful bridges and buildings.
The Fitzwilliam Museum
With over half a million items housed under its roof, the Fitzwilliam Museum has been hailed as the finest small museum in Europe. From Asian art to ancient armour, literary manuscripts to dainty lace, there is so much to see and learn that it’s easy to while away the day here. Open Tuesday to Sunday with guided tours every Saturday.
Delve into the city’s past at the Museum of Cambridge
Occupying a 17th century timber frame building, the Museum of Cambridge is divided into nine themed rooms that, spanning three centuries, fully immerse visitors in the traditional Cambridgeshire way of life. The historical toy chest in the old-fashioned playroom is always a hit with children, and the range of pre-bookable craft workshops is sure to keep them out of trouble for an afternoon.
Keep your eyes peeled on a self-guided treasure trail
Guiding you through the often missed area to the north of the city centre, Cambridge’s family treasure trail will lead you past Jesus Green and the River Cam as you hunt for clues on old buildings, monuments and plaques. Will you discover the location of the hidden treasure?
Step into your very own laboratory at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science
Home to Darwin’s microscope, the Whipple Museum opens up a whole world of wonder. Travel around the planet in the Globe Gallery, or look to the stars at the telescope collection. After that, it’ll be time to create your very own animations in the interactive Victorian Parlour. Providing a day of flat out family fun, the Whipple Museum is open Monday to Friday.
See the sights by bus
Save your legs with a hop-on-hop-off ticket for the sightseeing city bus. Audio tours will provide you with interesting facts about the cobbled streets and quirky buildings. When you want to explore some more, you’re free to jump off at one of the 19 different stops. Don’t forget to combine your ticket with an attraction entrance ticket for a 20% combo-discount.
Go back to school on a college tour
Alternatively, travel by foot on a two-hour guided tour of the University’s most scenic colleges. With an endless list of famous alumni, the history of ground-breaking discovery is simply staggering. Even if you’d rather explore independently, a guide book is definitely worth the investment. Guided tours leave the tourist office multiple times a day and pre-booking is recommended.
Laugh the evening away at the ADC Theatre
Run by the university, the ADC Theatre’s world-renowned comedy troupe, Cambridge Footlights, has been the starting point for many of the industry’s top names, including Emma Thompson, David Mitchell and Robert Webb. So why not round off your day by catching a show and scouting the talent of tomorrow for an evening of top quality entertainment?
Just two miles south of Cambridge, Grantchester is the ultimate chocolate box village. Marvel at the quaint thatched cottages before walking along the grassy bank of the River Cam. And if you forget to pack a picnic, don’t worry – The Orchard Tea Garden, an old favourite of Virginia Woolf, is on hand to serve up light lunches and afternoon tea for you to refuel after a long morning of fresh country air.
The Haunted Bookshop
Named after the mysterious White Lady that supposedly roams its dusty shelves, The Haunted Bookshop is an absolute gem for literature lovers. Discover rare leather-bound first editions and tattered second-hand anthologies in between old childhood classics, from Enid Blyton to C.S. Lewis. And when you’ve found that perfect book to add to your collection, head next door to the Indigo Coffee House to pour over its pages with a slice of the best carrot cake in Cambridge.
All Saints’ Church, Jesus Lane
A spectacular triumph of 19th century art and design, All Saints’ Church is an architectural must-see. Gaze up at the vibrant stained-glass windows and admire the opulently decorated walls in this Gothic Revival masterpiece. Highlights include work by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown.
Wrap up warm to explore the Winter Garden
Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden is a popular attraction and, even when the days begin to draw in and the leaves have fallen from the trees, you don’t have to miss out.
At its peak between December and April, the Winter Garden offers a sensory experience of colour and fragrance in the year’s coldest months. Smell the lemon meringue-scented honeysuckle and see the winter blossom – just don’t forget your hat and scarf.
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