A visit to Cambridge – One of UK’s cutest towns

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When someone says ‘Cambridge’ you probably conjure up images of ‘Harry Potter-esque’ castles and gowned students roaming the halls. And yes, while this is definitely part of the Cambridge experience it’s also only the tip of the iceberg. A slightly longer stay than usual for us allowed us to enjoy some heart warming family moments (Tess’ brother and brother-in-law moved to Cambridge in 2020 to study) but also gave us the opportunity to slow down, venture beyond the main city, and get to the bottom of the question we’ve all been asking – ‘what even is a Yorkshire pudding?’ Of course, if you’re strapped for time Cambridge is less than an hour out of London by train making it the perfect spot for a quick day trip or overnight stay.

Highlights from our stay in Cambridge:

We loved these moments from our trip to Cambridge and there’s a strong chance you will too! Take a look and let us know below if you have tried any of these, or if there’s any we missed!

Punting on the River Cam

Think of punting as the English version of the gondola ride in Venice. A narrow boat pushed along by a wooden pole along the Cam River. This experience was so much fun, and one of our favourite moments in Cambridge. It was also a great way to see the impressive colleges of Cambridge. Grab a picnic, a few drinks, and hire a boat for a few hours of punting, you won’t regret it!

Tour of Kings College:

One of the highlights of our time in Cambridge was a visit to Kings College. This impressive old college can only be toured with a fellow, so this experience was a unique one (*you can pay for access to some parts of the college). The history, views and unique access was incredible, and something we are very grateful for. Take a look here or click below to see more photos.

Viewing and visiting a number of the other colleges, either with a tour, during our punting, or a quick ‘sneak peak’ was also a great experience.

Evensong in St John’s Chapel

A number of impressive chapels are present in Cambridge, associated with many of the colleges. These chapels will have regular religious services, which will be accompanied by a choir singing. We ventured down to St John’s Chapel to hear the ‘Evensong’, an evening service with St John’s Voices Choir. Sitting in a chapel that was 100s of years old listening to incredibly melodic singing was such an amazing experience. We both commented how this was something you don’t necessarily think of doing whilst in Cambridge but well worth it. Attendance at an Evensong is also free and gives you access to colleges that as a tourist you otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to see.

A day trip to Grantchester

A walk 45-60minutes along the river and through lush fields is one of the smallest towns we have ever visited, Grantchester. A family day trip took us to Grantchester to explore the countryside and to have a traditional English experience of scones and tea. We visited The Orchard Tea Garden, sitting in this cute little garden with home-made scones and tea. If you are looking for a little day trip out of Cambridge, and the weather is pleasant, consider a stroll down to Grantchester. You might even stumble across some grazing cows along the way!

The excellent FOOD & cafe scene

Having heard good reviews about pubs in England we were keen to check some out during our time in Cambridge. We managed to sample a good range of different pubs and they didn’t let us down! The food and cafΓ© scene wasn’t something we had expected, but definitely a highlight of our stay. Have a read below about some of our favourites.

Wander the market

Located in one of the main squares, the Cambridge Market was a great experience during our stay. With history dating back to the 1800s, this lively market runs daily apart from Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The market is a good place to go for a budget friendly meal in Cambridge, something we did on multiple days.

The old bookstore

In an experience that felt very ‘old English university town’, we visited G. David bookshop. Having a wander past books that are 100s of years old, and even being able to pick some up and read them was a unique experience. Some of Charles Darwin’s original sketchbooks are also hidden away on the lower level of the store. If you are a lover of literature, this would be right up your alley!

Explore the botanical Gardens

The Cambridge Botanical Gardens were a great place to wander. They cost only a small fee to enter, and boast wonderful gardens, walking trails, lakes, greenhouses and more. Tess particularly enjoyed the fact that Sir David Attenborough has visited them on numerous occasions for filming.

The Pubs of Cambridge:

The UK do pubs well, and Cambridge was no exception to this! We had some wonderful family meals and experiences in some quintessential English pubs. The ones below were our favourites, but we didn’t even get close to going to all of the pubs in Cambridge.

The Pint Shop

Having heard about The Pint Shop when watching TOPJAW’s Cambridge episode, we were keen to check it out. On our first night in the UK we ventured down and it didn’t disappoint. Excellent food, a modern feel, and an impressive beer list.

The Granted

Located on the banks of the river cam, The Granted delivered us one of the better roasts we have had. A very English experience and great pub food to match.

The Punter

The food from The Punter was our favourite from all of the pubs we visited during our stay at Cambridge. Why? The modern menu had a variety of excellent options, including vegetarian options and great seafood dishes. Definitely worth checking out.

The Cafe’s of Cambridge:

We both love to taste and experience the local coffee scene in a new city or country. Thankfully, Cambridge had an excellent cafΓ© and coffee culture, one that reminded us of back home in Melbourne. The cafe’s below are ones we particularly enjoyed.

The Bould Brothers

The coffee and the cafΓ© at Bould Brothers transported us back to Melbourne. Specialty coffee that is worth checking out! The walls feature unique pieces of artwork, and the venue has a great vibe for a catch up or a little work with a coffee.

The Locker

We wandered in here as the rain started to fall in Cambridge (yes, the UK rains a LOT) and were pleasantly surprised. With a cute upstairs room, and excellent coffee, it’s worth a place on our list.

Old Bicycle Shop

The Old Bicycle Shop was another name we had marked down after watching TOPJAW’s Cambridge episode, and it turned out to be our favourite coffee of our Cambridge stay. We would definitely recommend you check them out, however it can get busy so consider the time you arrive or try your luck.

Garden Kitchen

This tiny little coffee shop looks more like an indoor plant store than a cafΓ©. The multitude of plants provides a wonderful aesthetic, and the coffee was excellent. Another to add to the list of excellent cafe’s in Cambridge.

Hot Numbers Coffee

This cafe is just off Mills Road, and takes us back to ‘Melbourne Brunch’. Serving excellent coffee and breakfast, it gets busy on Sunday. Definitely worth checking out!


Situated right next to Cambridge train station, this cafe-come-bakery serves great coffee and even better baked goods. They also have a great range of take away meals, perfect to grab before you jump on the train.

Interested in staying in Cambridge?

We stayed in the Ibis Cambridge and were very satisfied with the location and services. Situated adjacent to the train station, it is ideal for a short stay in Cambridge. The rooms were great, and the breakfast was one of the best we have had so far. It’s definitely worth a look if planning a stay in Cambridge. TAKE A LOOK HERE!

Interested in other accommodation options in Cambridge?

Check out further highlights from our time in the UK! Check it out!

Read about our tour of Kings College in Cambridge by clicking here!

Travelling Europe and want to see a few recommendations? Take a look!

Keen to take a look at further travel memories and advice? Take a look here!

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