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- 1 Travel & Tourism Tips
- 2 Main Attractions
- 3 Backs & Bridges
- 4 Tours Around Cambridge
- 5 Selected Hotels & Hostels
- 6 Where to Eat in Cambridge
- 7 Recommended Pubs
- 8 Useful Links & Resources
- 9 Transport Services
Travel & Tourism Tips
Cambridge is a university town rich with history, its colleges having been added to over the century by patrons from circles of Royalty and the aristocracy, resulting in an environment that visually reflects the past seven hundred years of European architecture.
The banks of the River Cam, or the “Backs”, are blanketed with flowers during the months of summer and spring, making these the ideal seasons for visits. Travellers can treat themselves to first-class accommodation and a wealth of shopping and entertainment choices, in one of England’s most favourite tourist spots.
University of Cambridge
Founded in 1209, this is one of the oldest universities in the world today. It is comprised of 31 Colleges, each functioning as an independent institution with its own income and property. Peterhouse is the oldest College, established by the Bishops of Ely. Christ’s College (founded by the mother of Henry VII) was attended by Charles Darwin and John Milton.
The famous Trinity College was founded by Henry VIII and is the largest college on campus. It houses Christopher Wren’s world-renowned library, were luminaries such as Lord Byron, Sir Isaac Newton, Tennyson and William Thackeray used to study. Amidst the University’s many museums, travellers make it a point to visit here during their stay, to walk around the buildings, marvel at the architecture, and experience the deep sense of history that the surroundings convey.
Transport: All Colleges are within walking distance of the city centre
Opening time: The colleges and museums have different opening times
Museum of Technology
The Old Pumping Station, Cheddars Lane, off Riverside
The museum contains a preserved Victorian Pumping Station, as well as an exhibit of various engines, pumps and boilers. Local artefacts are also displayed, plus a complete working print room.
The museum is open (with the engines turned off) every Sunday from Easter to November, and only the first Sunday in every month from November to Easter, 2pm-5pm.
The pumping engines are switched on during Bank Holidays and a few other weekends between 11am – 5pm. Admission is charged. Refreshments and souvenirs available.
Two main galleries are featured:
The Upper Galleries contain paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, furniture and majolica. The British collection includes works by Blake, Hogarth and Constable.
The Lower Galleries showcases artefacts from the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Rome, Greece and Asia. On display are preserved manuscripts, ceramics, textiles and glasswork.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 2.15pm-5pm. Galleries may have to be closed in exceptional circumstances.
Closed Mondays except Easter Monday, and the Spring and Summer Bank Holidays. Closed Good Friday and December 24 to January 1 inclusive.
Churches of Special Interest
Great St. Mary’s, Market Hill.
The University Church. The tower is accessible for a small fee, offering a breathtaking view of the city.
Little St. Mary’s, Trumpington Street.
Known as St. Peter’s prior to its renovation, it was the Peterhouse College Chapel until 1632, and to this day a covered gallery connects it to the College.
The Round Church (Holy Sepulchre), Bridge Street
This unusual church dates back to 1130 and was based on Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
St. Benet’s Church, Benet Street .
This is Saxon-built tower, dating back to 1050 and is the oldest structure in Cambridge.
Backs & Bridges
Known to the locals as the “Backs”, this refers to a charming stretch along the River Cam that goes North past a number of colleges; Magdalene, St. John’s, Trinity, Trinity Hall, Clare, King’s, Queen’s and Darwin.
The bridges that cross over the river are also famous, such as the original Mathematical Bridge built by James Essex in 1749 to join both the old and new sections of Queens College. Using an ingenious Chinese design, the structure was held together by the application of geometric principles, rather than nails. The bridge has seen two renovations since then, this time with nails, and the most recent rebuilding was in 1904.
Built in 1638, Clare Bridge is the oldest. Another famous bridge is the Bridge of Sighs which was built in 1831, based upon its Venetian namesake.
Tours Around Cambridge
A wonderful introduction to the city is an Official Guided Walking Tour. Conducted daily, the 2-hour tours leave from the Tourist Information Centre in Wheeler Street. Book at least half an hour ahead since each tour only has a limited number of places. On summer nights there are “Drama Tours” where costumed actors play the part of historical figures such as Isaac Newton and Henry VIII. Blue Badge Guides oversee each tour; any group visiting one of the colleges must be accompanied by a qualified Guide.
For more details, prices and to book tickets contact the Tourist Information Centre
Open Bus Tours:
The Cambridge Tour takes you through many of the main colleges, offering idyllic views of the “Backs” of the River Cam, and a visit to the American Military Cemetery at Madingley.
Many trips leave during the day, starting at Cambridge Railway Station, with a number of stops along the way.
Details and tickets are available from The Guide Friday Tourism Centre and the Tourist Information Centre.
Selected Hotels & Hostels
Goose Hall Farm
Sleep Inn Cambridge
University Arms Hotel
The Gate Lodge
2 Hinton Road
Arundel House Hotel
58 Denmark Road
213 Histon Road
Where to Eat in Cambridge
62 Mill Rd
5 High St
12 Market Hill
4 Fitzroy St
30 Bridge St
23 Trumpington St
52 Mill Rd
15 Trinity St
10-15 Market Passage
31 High St
22-24 Gwydir St
4 Hinton Rd
176 East Rd
7 High St
2 West Wickham Rd
205 Victoria Rd
Useful Links & Resources
To add your site to the list of Cambridge Useful Links click here
Roads and Transport – Cambridgeshire Bus Timetables & A-Z village names http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/
Cambridge Community Radio www.209radio.co.uk
Cambridge Online city: www.colc.co.uk/
Cambridge Tourist Information Centre, Wheeler Street
Provides information on Cambridge and the local events, as well as general information about the surrounding areas. Guide books, postcards, maps and souvenirs can be purchased here. If you are looking for accommodation in Cambridge, the Centre can make arrangements for you. Tickets for the Guided Walking Tours of Cambridge are also sold here.
Open Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturdays 10am-5pm. From November to March; Monday to Friday 10am-5.30pm; Saturdays 10am-5pm.
Also open on Sundays and Bank Holidays 11am-4pm from Easter to September.
Guide Friday Tourism Centre, Cambridge Railway Station
The place to go for general tourist information. Maps, guides, leaflets and souvenirs are also available, as well as “Book-A-Bed-Ahead” arrangements for the next city in your itinerary. Guide Friday Open Top Bus Tour tickets are also sold here.
In an emergency dial 999.
Addenbrookes Hospital, Hills Road
Samaritans, 4 Emmanuel Road
Cambridge Central Library:
Visit the Reference Library for information on events and travel services. Many reference books, as well as maps and souvenirs, are sold at the Library shop. Open Monday and Thursday 9.30am-7pm , Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 9.30am-5pm , Wednesday 12noon-7pm.
St. Andrew’s Street, King Street, St. John’s Street, Mill Road .
Thomas Cook, 32 Market Hill
American Express, 25 Sidney Street
Banks (with 24hour cash machines):
Barclays, 15 Benet Street
HSBC, 32 Market Hill
Lloyds TSB, 6 St Andrew’s Street and 3 Sidney Street
NatWest, 56 St Andrew’s Street
Royal Bank of Scotland , 82 Hills Road and 28 Trinity Street
National Rail Enquiries http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
Buses and Coaches:
Enquire at Drummer Street Bus Station.
Cambus (local services)
Cambridge Coach Services
Ranks at Kings Parade, Market Square, Fitzroy Street, St. Andrew’s Street, the Railway Station and Drummer Street.
Geoff’s Bikes, 65 Devonshire Road
Open 7 days a week, all year round. Also offers afternoon guided cycle tours around Cambridge and all day tours further afield.
University Cycles, 9 Victoria Avenue
Park & Ride:
North: Cowley Road – follow Milton Road.
South: Clifton Road (off Cherry Hinton Road) – follow Hills Road.