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Welcome to Cambridge


With a University heritage dating back as far as 1209, the city of Cambridge is steeped in tradition and, as its colleges have been added piecemeal by royal and aristocratic patrons over the century, it opens for the visitor like a catalogue of the past 700 years of European architecture. The prestigious University of Cambridge, which dates back to the 13th century, gives the town a historic gravitas while simultaneously providing it with a youthful and exuberant population.

Cambridge offers a number of historic buildings and sites worth exploring, including Kings College Chapel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Great St Mary's Church. There are also a plethora of top-notch museums in Cambridge, dedicated to zoology, classical archaeology, earth sciences, anthropology, art, and local history.

With daffodils and summer flowers carpeting the 'Backs', or banks of the River Cam, summer and spring are ideal seasons for punting in Cambridge. The city has a number of parks and gardens that provide quiet retreats from the urban city centre.

Cambridge offers first class accommodation, as well as a feast of shops, culture and entertainment that make it one of England's most popular holiday destinations. It hosts several festivals, including the Cambridge Summer Music Festival and the Cambridge Shakespeare festival.

Information & Facts


The climate in Cambridge is on a par with the rest of the United Kingdom. Because it is situated in the sheltered region of Eastern England, Cambridge enjoys significantly less rainfall than the rest of the country. Winters tend to be quite cold and they're often wet but the whole area experiences less snowfall than the rest of England. Summers are dry and temperatures range between 65 and 73F (18 to 23C).

Getting Around

Transport in Cambridge is simple and easy, provided you don't drive a car. The best way to get around Cambridge is by bicycle. Bicycles can be hired at any number of the cycle hire shops in central Cambridge. The town is cycle friendly with over 80 miles (130km) of dedicated cycle routes, lanes and roads. Maps of the cycle routes can be acquired at the Cambridge visitor's information centre or on the Cambridge City Council's Website. Park and ride options are available along most major routes into Cambridge. There are also a number of local buses ready to transport visitors around the city.

Bus routes go in and around town as well as from central Cambridge to the outlying towns and village. The city sightseeing hop-on-hop-off bus is a great way to take in all the attractions on your way around town. Free transportation is available during business hours from Monday to Saturday on the city centre shuttle bus. The free shuttle can be used from Market Square, Corpus Christi College, Fair Street, Jesus Lane and Trinity Street. Buses tend to leave each station at 15 minute intervals.

Further transport options for visitors to Cambridge include taxis and cars, however these are not recommended. There are a number of taxi companies in Cambridge and rates per kilometre are dictated by the city council. Taxi ranks are located on St Andrew's Street and on Drummer Street during the day while night-time taxi can be found on Sidney Street and at Market Square. Travelling around Cambridge by taxi or car is made cumbersome, and expensive, by the multitude of one-way streets, no car roads and cycle-only areas in the city.

In an effort to provide a relaxing, car-free atmosphere around the city, the Cambridge City Council has declared a number of pedestrian zones. Visitors to Cambridge can explore the city without having to worry about traffic, parking or the noise and air pollution created by cars. The pedestrian zones effectively limit car and cycle access to the centre of Cambridge during business hours.

Two novel and exciting ways to get around Cambridge are punting and 'shopmobility'. Shopmobility is an initiative instituted by a number of shopping centres giving shoppers access to wheelchairs, scooters and Segways. The shopmobility programme is in effect at the Bus Station on Drummer Street, the Grand Arcade and the Grafton Centre. Punting is an age-old tradition in Cambridge and offers visitors the perfect way to view the historical and scenic colleges around the city. Visitors can hire a punt and chauffer from the Quayside, Silver Street or the back of Trinity College.

Kids Attractions

Cambridge is not a typical destination for people travelling with kids. There are a few things to do with kids in Cambridge, but many of them are more suitable for older children. Cambridge has a number of swimming pools including Jesus Green Pool and Cottenham Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool. Kids may also enjoy the slides, air cannons and climbing surfaces at the Funky Fun House or the indoor softplay centre at Whale of a Time. Other options include bowling at Tenpin Plymouth or taking part in a treasure hunt with Huntfun Cambridge Treasure Hunts. Museums in Cambridge that kids might enjoy include the Imperial War Museum or the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. At the War Museum kids can learn about aircrafts and military vehicles or if you're lucky you might even be able to catch one of the seasonal air shows held by the museum. The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences has a range of interactive displays specifically aimed at kids and it has a great number of dinosaur related themes and activities for kids visiting the museum.

English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.

The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks. Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid additional charges.


Visitors to Cambridge will soon discover that the city is a shoppers dream destination. With a fantastic selection of boutiques and small shops as well as all the usual high street stores shopping in Cambridge has something on offer for all types. The trick with shopping in Cambridge is knowing where to start. Visitors to the city can choose to spend the day on a High Street shopping spree or visit shopping centres, department stores and markets throughout the city. The high street has a range of bookshops, boutiques, chain stores and independent shops to choose from. While many of the shopping centres, such as Grand Arcade, Beehive Centre, Christs Lane Centre, Grafton Shopping Centre and Lion Yard Shopping Centre offer multiple floors of fashion, food, home and beauty as well as technology and gadget shops. Shoppers wishing to find all they need under one roof should try one of the many department stores in Cambridge. Four of the most popular department stores in the city include BHS, Debenhams, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer, which has two branches in Cambridge. The craft markets in Cambridge offer a more rustic shopping experience. Visitors can peruse the arts and crafts on sale at the All Saints Garden Art and Craft Market every Saturday on Trinity Street, or for jewellery, ceramics and textile art head to the Cambridge Arts and Crafts Market, also held on Saturdays at Fisher Hall. For a market with more spice and cuisine items, as well as flowers, music and arts and crafts visitors to Cambridge should try the Cambridge Market on Market Square, which is open from Monday to Saturday.

Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

The Great St Mary's Church, as it is locally known, is central to Cambridge and Cambridge university life. It is the University church and according to university rules all Cambridge undergraduates must live within a 3 miles (5km) radius of the church, while university officers are required to live within 20 miles (32km). St Mary's was completed in 1205 before being destroyed by fire and rebuilt again in 1290. Cambridge university sermons are conducted here, and visitors should pay particular attention to the bells and the two organs housed by the church.

Visitors to Cambridge would be hard pressed to skip this important attraction. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Cambridge is one of four round medieval churches in Western Europe and dates back to the year 1130AD. Most churches in Europe are designed in a cross shape; round churches such as this are thought to be influenced by the round shape of the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Cambridge's Round Church doesn't have an active congregation but it is open to visitors and contains a library and an exhibition about the impact of Christianity on England. Visitors to the church can also admire the gothic tower, which was added in the 15th century; or attend a concert, lecture, recital or play hosted in the church.

Kettle's Yard is an art lover's dream. Originally the private home of Jim Ede (former curator of the Tate), Kettle's Yard houses his impressive art collection, which Ede donated to the University of Cambridge in 1966. The gallery's permanent collection is mainly 20th and 21st century artists, including Henry Moore and Joan Miro. The informal art gallery space is a popular attraction in Cambridge for tourists and locals alike.

Perhaps the most popular attraction in Cambridge is the university itself. Steeped in tradition, Cambridge University is the second oldest university in England, second only to Oxford University. The university's colleges are the main attraction on this beautiful campus. Viewing the colleges gives visitors the opportunity to stroll through Britain's architectural history. Peterhouse is the oldest college, founded in 1284; while Homerton College was approved in 2010, making it the newest addition to the Cambridge family. Strolling around the campus gives visitors the opportunity to stroll through history, surveying the changes in architecture and style from the 13th century until the present. Kings College and the gothic-style Kings College Chapel are not to be missed on this prestigious campus. The college was founded under the patronage of King Henry VI. The intricate chapel was built over a period of nearly a hundred years, 1446 to 1531, and is home to the famous Chapel choir made up of many of the college's students as well as younger choristers from Kings College School.

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has been described as 'one of the greatest art collections in the UK' and was named 'best small museum in Europe' by the Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Setting aside a few hours to explore the museum should be first on everyone's list of things to do in Cambridge. The Fitzwilliam Museum houses an extensive art collection from a number of countries across Europe and the Near East. Visitors can marvel at the inspiring sculpture, drawings, prints, armour, pottery, paintings and antiquities dating from the 14th century to the present day.

A popular Cambridge attraction for visitors wishing to learn more about the geology of the area around Cambridge is the University's Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. The museum was opened in 1904 and houses an extensive collection of fossils, minerals and crystals. Visitors can view the fossil collection of Dr John Woodward, a well-known 17th and 18th century British geologist, as well as rocks collected by Charles Darwin.

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