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Bucket list destination:

Last updated: 19 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Steeped in learning, with elegant college buildings overlooking the tranquil river Cam, Cambridge is a delightful city, with all of the history but considerably less of the crowds that flock to Oxford. It’s a thoroughly walkable place, with aged pubs seemingly on every corner and leafy green riverbanks that are perfect for picnics.

Pre-bookable tours give a chance to explore the city’s iconic University colleges – Churchill College has a wonderful sculpture garden, with works by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. The Fitzwilliam and Kettle’s Yard are two world-class museums, but a weekend in Cambridge doesn’t all have to be about culture – there’s great shopping potential and some seriously upscale restaurants too.

For a break from the bustle, stroll along the banks of the River Cam, or hire a punt for the quinessential Cambridge experience.

Orientation

Central Cambridge – flanked by the river Cam to the west and the green spaces of Parker’s Piece and Midsummer Common to the right – is easily walkable, with colleges dotted along St John’s Street and Sydney Street, and a pedestrianised shopping centre that has all the familiar names.

Most of the hotels are in the area, so there’s little need to stray further afield.

Tours, tickets & transfers

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

Historic Cambridge: A Guided Walking Tour

Cambridge

Historic Cambridge: A Guided Walking Tour
We have for many years been the top-ranked Cambridge walking tour on Trip Advisor. We aim to make our tours fun as well as informative. We will take you through the extraordinary history of Cambridge and it's university, including some of the 110 Nobel Prize winners that have lived and worked here. We are all professional Cambridge Green Badge guides, accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding. This is a private tour for you and your companions only. The maximum group size is 20.

Price: £205

Min age: 0

Rating 4.98 / 5 [353 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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A Guided Public Tour of Historic Cambridge

Cambridge

A Guided Public Tour of Historic Cambridge
Cambridge Tour Guides are ranked 1st out of 105 Cambridge tours on Trip Advisor. We make sure that our tours are entertaining as well as informative. Our guides are professional Cambridge Green Badge Guides. We are authorised to guide inside King's College Chapel and to take groups inside the famous colleges.

Price: £20

Min age: 1

Rating 4.90 / 5 [248 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Walking Tour of Cambridge

Cambridge

Walking Tour of Cambridge
Fun and friendly private walking tours of the city of Cambridge. We are qualified Cambridge guides, the only guides permitted to lead groups into the University colleges. Every tour can be personalised to suit you and your group starting and finishing at a convenient location. Each tour will feature highlights of the town, University and its colleges.

Price: £75

Min age: 0

Rating 4.97 / 5 [209 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Guided Historic Walking Tour of Cambridge with Guide and Peek

Cambridge

 Guided Historic Walking Tour of Cambridge with Guide and Peek
Our walking tour takes in some of the famous colleges and historic sights of the city as you meander down quaint alleyways and tread the cobbled streets. You will hear quirky facts and stories of the colleges and their colourful alumni, all set within the context of English and world history, plus many fascinating tales of city life through the ages not generally mentioned in the guide books. We will take you to a church 1000 years old and reveal it’s hidden secret, down side streets to places of interest visitors don't normally see. You will go back in time to medieval Cambridge to discover how the University all started, visiting colleges over 700 years old and hearing their history. We will show you what it is to experience life as a student in a Cambridge College. All our tours are unique as we specialise in small groups and encourage interaction and questions

Price: £20

Min age: 2

Rating 4.92 / 5 [175 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Cambridge Highlights Walking Tour by Cantab Tours

Cambridge

Cambridge Highlights Walking Tour by Cantab Tours
See the best of Cambridge on a 90-minute Cambridge Highlights Tour with Cantab Tours! Fully qualified guides will ensure that you have an entertaining and informative tour that covers all the city centre’s must-see sights. From the famous historic colleges to Senate House, the Corpus Clock and the Cavendish Laboratory - there is plenty to see! While you’re here, spot students heading to class, retrace the steps of your favourite alumni, and take in the enchanting atmosphere. Perfect for short visits or as an introduction to Cambridge. The Cambridge Highlights Tour is ideal for first-time visitors wanting to make the most of their time during their stay. All Cantab Tours' guides are professionally trained and hold either a Blue or Green Badge awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and are members of the Society of Cambridge Tourist Guides.

Price: £20

Min age: 0

Rating 4.89 / 5 [97 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Travel advice

When to go

During University term time (generally October to May), the city buzzes with a lively student-fuelled atmosphere. If you’re coming to walk around and punt the river Cam, spring is the best time to go – May is particularly lovely and there tend to be fewer tourists.

Winter is far quieter – better for visiting the art museums and discovering Cambridge’s beautiful architecture. July to August are best for weather, but the city gets horribly crowded with tourists.

Getting there and away

Cambridge is approximately 1.5 hours by car from London. Trains from King’s Cross station take just under an hour. Cambridge station is a 20-minute walk from the centre, but there are always plenty of taxis available..

London Stansted is about 30 minutes by car, Luton around 45 minutes. Cambridge Airport, for private planes, is a few minutes’ drive from the centre.

Getting around

Cambridge is an eminently walkable city, and strolling through the historic streets and lanes is the best way to get between the major sights.