Top five things to see and do in Cambridge on an autumnal city break
The historic city of Cambridge is waiting to be explored this autumn for those travellers seeking a relaxing break, allowing the chance to delve deeper into this magnificent destination. Visitors will be enchanted by Cambridge’s history and heritage, cultural offerings, events, cosy restaurants and leafy walks, perfect for a long weekend or midweek break as the days get shorter.
Explore Cambridge’s history and heritage
Cambridge is renowned for its historical charms. The city is built around its world-famous university which was established in 1209, with the jewel in Cambridge’s crown being the stunning 15th Century King’s College Chapel, the college’s oldest surviving building, which was constructed soon after it was founded by King Henry VI. This Cambridge landmark is famed for the fan vaulting which decorates its stone ceiling and the world-class King’s College Choir who perform there. Visitors to Cambridge can take in the city’s history by exploring its many other university colleges, either on foot or by punting down the River Cam. Autumn is a particularly good time to visit as the students return for the start of Michaelmas term. As a city, Cambridge lives and breathes its past in its present. Wandering through its winding streets, visitors will feel as though they are following in the footsteps of the city’s most famous luminaries including Charles Darwin, Alfred Tennyson and Sylvia Plath. Poets, philosophers, scientists, medics, engineers, prime ministers and Nobel Peace Prize winners have all left their mark here. The sense that it is a place where world-changing discoveries have been made is very much alive in the Cambridge spirit. The city’s architecture is a wonder all of its own, and a slow meander through the city’s cobbled streets is one of the best ways to soak up the sights of its beautiful spires.
The perfect city break for culture vultures
One of the best ways to discover Cambridge’s culture is by visiting one of its eight magnificent museums. There is too much to see inside to visit them all in one day, so culture vultures should plan a longer stay for a full exploration. The museums offer the chance to explore Cambridge in a cosy, carefully curated atmosphere, and make the perfect place for refuge on a rainy autumn day. The museums are located close to each other, meaning it is only a short hop from one to the next. The free-to-enter University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum houses world-class collections of art and antiquities spanning centuries and civilisations. After gazing upon old masters by artists such as Canaletto, Titian and Cezanne, art lovers can head to Kettle’s Yard to observe a wide range of contemporary artworks, sculpture trail walks and galleries. Alternatively, visitors can take a trip to the Museum of Zoology and marvel at the original specimens that university alumnus Charles Darwin collected on his famous trip on The Beagle, or learn about the exploration of the Antarctic and Arctic at the Polar Museum.
Take part in Cambridge’s many festivals and events
Cambridge is jam-packed with cultural, arts and active festivals for all the family to enjoy this autumn. Literary lovers can attend book readings and talks at the Cambridge Literary Festival, featuring renowned writers, historians, politicians and poets who enthral, entertain and educate their audiences on a huge variety of topics. Running from 29 September-3 November, the brilliant line up of scholarly greats will be held in some of the most beautiful venues Cambridge has to offer. Alternatively, the Cambridge Film Festival returns to the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse on 18-25 November for its 40th year, featuring a diverse programme of over 40 films that promise to attract audiences of all ages and tastes. Those looking to experience Cambridge at a faster pace can take part in The Cambridge Festival of Running, featuring the Muscular Dystrophy UK Town and Gown 10k run on 16 October and the Cambridge Half Marathon on 17 October. Celebrating its 10thanniversary, the routes take runners on an unforgettable journey through the beautiful city, passing countless historic landmarks along the way.
Indulge in Cambridge’s cosy eateries
Visitors to Cambridge are spoilt for choice for cosy places to snuggle up and enjoy hearty English food in the city. The Cambridge Chop House offers traditional British fare in the heart of Cambridge. The building is packed with history and charm and specialises in interesting cuts of meat and 28-day aged British steaks, making it a meat lover’s haven. Alternatively, foodies can head to Fin Boys for a sustainable take on traditional British fish and chips. The Fish Butchery and Deli prides itself on championing lesser-known types of fish, which are all fresh and line-caught. You can’t get more ‘Cambridge’ than The Eagle Pub, which describes itself as a ‘drinking and thinking hub’, paying homage to its history as the site where Watson and Crick announced they had uncovered ‘the secret of life’ after discovering DNA. Dating back to the 14th Century, The Eagle is one the oldest inns in Cambridge and today it offers a traditional and cosy experience brimming with home cooked food and flowing cask ales, including its very own ‘Eagle’s DNA’. With all of these delightful culinary offerings, visitors will want to stick around for at least a couple of days to enjoy all of Cambridge’s best eateries.
Discover Cambridge at your own pace
There are many beautiful, leafy walks to explore around the city as part of a calming escape away from the crowds. From strolling along the River Cam, to enjoying the vibrant colours of Jesus Green, Cambridge offers the perfect place to take in the autumnal scenery. Cambridge University Botanic Gardens is a particularly great spot for taking in the seasonal flora, and children can enjoy its Autumn Animals educational events this September through to November. Further afield, walkers will find the picturesque village of Grantchester situated on the River Cam. After a walk through Grantchester Meadows, visitors can head to the dog-friendly Orchard Tea Garden for traditional tea and scones in the ancient orchard which dates back to 1868.
Cambridge – Flying the Purple Flag
The Purple Flag working group work on a number of initiatives across the nighttime economy, including the following which are designed to keep us all safe on a night out: Taxi Marshals – Providing professionally trained licensed Taxi Marshals on key dates throughout the year helps to ensure people get home swiftly and safely after… View Article
Be Our Guest
University Arms University Arms is a landmark hotel located in the historic heart of Cambridge, overlooking Parker’s Piece. Since opening in 1834, the University Arms hotel has played an important role in the history of the city. In 1848, in the shadows of the hotel the defining rules of football were invented by locals playing… View Article
Street Vendors Whether you arrive by bus, train, car, or bicycle there’s a strong chance you will see a street food vendor within the first few minutes of your arrival. There is so much choice from this fun, affordable food option. There are Tacos, falafel, burgers, hotdogs, crepes, ice cream, traditional Indian food and much… View Article
Bags of Style…
Cambridge is spoilt for choice when it comes to unique gifts which can be found in one of the many independent boutiques that you will find spread throughout the city. Head to the historic centre to find those special gifts for your loved ones. Stroll down Rose Crescent and Trinity Street, Magdalene Street, Bridge Street… View Article
48 Hours in Cambridge
Friday Afternoon Upon arrival, why not stop at one of the local cafes and treat yourself to a cuppa (or something stronger!) while you wait for your hotel to be ready. If you arrive by train, you can jump in a cab or hop on a bus if you don’t fancy the 10-minute stroll into… View Article
FIRST STOP, SHOPPING! From independent boutiques to big-name brands, you’ll find something for everyone here in Cambridge. Not only are you spoilt for choice with the Grafton, Lion Yard and Grand Arcade, but this city is also home to hundreds of high street stores. And for those with temporary or permanent mobility issues, Shop Mobility is a free-of-charge service that… View Article
Family friendly activities for £10 or less in Cambridge this summer
The Cambridge Book Bench Trail Explore every nook and cranny of our wonderful city as you follow the trail to discover 12 completely unique book benches across Cambridge from the historic core to shopping centres and parks. This summer Cambridge BID in partnership with Wild in Art has installed 12 individually designed Book Benches across… View Article
Dog Friendly Cambridge
Park and Ride Accessing the city with your pooch has never been easier with the network of Park & Ride buses allowing you to travel with your dog for free (however, they will need to sit on the floor). Buses run from five sites across the city, and tickets cost as little as £3 return… View Article
Top five things to see and do in Cambridge this summer
This summer, the historic city of Cambridge invites holidaymakers to venture along its quaint streets to discover brand new boutique accommodations, exciting attractions and unrivalled al fresco dining throughout the charming city centreand its lush green spaces beyond.