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Celebrating Cambridge With Our Top 10 Things to Do

Cambridge is home to some of England’s most influential buildings and breathtaking green spaces. Before you get entranced by the city’s extensive history and charm, when it comes to entertainment and things to do in Cambridge, there is something for everyone. 

Graduate Cambridge’s proximity to the university and city centre has never felt more like a perfect retreat. Close to all the attractions and situated on the picturesque River Cam, you’re sure to explore Cambridge the way it is meant to be seen. 

With impressive museums, places to eat and drink, shop, and unwind, explore Cambridge with our top 10 favourite things to do. 

1

Cambridge Wine Merchants

If you love wine and spirits, there is no better place to sip peacefully on the perfect glass. All four locations throughout Cambridge are truly special in their own right offering the largest selections of wines, beers, and spirits.

When you visit the Bridge Street location, a scenic 15 minute walk from the hotel, take in the buzzing sights at Quayside where punters glide by under Magdalene Bridge. ​​Voted the UK’s #1 Independent Drinks Retailer, take advantage of tastings, the dining experience and expert advice on some of the best local and international wine selections. Not to mention, it’s been voted by the Sunday Times as one of the top 25 wine bars in the UK. 

Now that we’ve done all the talking, see why Cambridge Wine Merchants is a must visit and unearth the finest selections you won’t find anywhere else. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: There are several Cambridge Wine Merchant locations, but the Bridge St shop is our favourite. Located on the river, it’s perfect for people and punt watching in the outdoor seating area over a glass of rose!

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Wine Merchant
2

Fitzbillies

After visiting Cambridge Wine Merchants, cross to the other side of Bridge Street, and stop by Fitzbillies. The easy-going cafe located in the heart of the city is a can’t miss spot to explore one of Cambridge’s most iconic cafes.

For over a century, Fitzbillies has been the quintessential Cambridgeshire bakery offering breakfast, lunch, fresh baked cakes, and most importantly, afternoon tea. The Sunday Brunch makes it one of the hottest spots in town, so make sure to get there early. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: You can’t stop by Fitzbillies without ordering their infamous Chelsea Buns! 

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Fitzbillies
3

The Eagle

Once you step foot into The Eagle, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to be immersed in such rich history. When the bar first opened in 1667, it was a famous spot for scientists and philosophers due to its proximity to the university. In 1953, a regular at the bar famously known as Francis Crick, announced that he and his colleague, James Watson, discovered the “secret to life” by uncovering the double-helix structure of DNA. Aside from the extensive history, this thinking and drinking hub will have you well-fed.

Leave satisfied with delicious pub classics or the large portioned meat tray that will keep you full for both lunch and dinner.

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Don’t forget to look up! During World War II, when The Eagle was frequented by RAF and American airmen, guests began using candles and petrol lighters to burn their names, squadron numbers and other doodles onto the ceiling.

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4

The Cambridge Gin Laboratory

Experience gin like you have never had before. Capturing the taste of the English seasons using the freshest in-season botanicals, relax in the interactive space created by Cambridge Distillery dedicated to the appreciation of gin. 

The tours will have you in awe guiding you through the history and mysteries of gin production. The coolest part: blend your own bottle of gin guided by the gin experts. 

Award-winning gin has never tasted better. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Although walk-in tastings are available daily, book in advance for a more bespoke experience including sensory and cocktail masterclasses.

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Cambridge Gin
5

Jesus Green Lido

Jesus Green Lido is an opportunity to visit one of the few remaining open-air pools across the UK. Just north of the city centre located in the magnificent Jesus Green park, the lido was designed to mimic the feeling of swimming in the nearby River Cam. With newly built saunas and sunbathing space, relax peacefully to the point that you’ll never want to leave. 

Take a lovely trip back in time in Britain’s longest lido.  

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Open annually between May to September, don’t let the cold weather scare you. For a true slice of local life, you’ll always find swimmers at the Lido even on the chilliest days.

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6

Scudamore’s Punting

You can’t come to Cambridge and not experience the punting tours. While there are many places to enjoy punting, Scudamore’s station on Granta Pl is conveniently located next to Graduate Cambridge allowing punters to go directly under the Mathematical Bridge when beginning their ride.  Scudamore’s first introduced the pastime of punting to Cambridge in the early 20th century and it has become one of the most popular activities in the city.

There are a variety of experiences you can take advantage of to appreciate punting in Cambridge. Sip on a cup of tea, gin or champagne while being chauffeured down the River Cam. Explore Cambridge the way it is designed to be seen. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: A chauffeured tour offers the chance for commentary along the way as you take in the wonders of the Cambridge waterways. If you’re brave enough, however, opt for a self-punt hire and hit the water.

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Scudamore’s Punting
7

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

With over 8,000 plant species from all over the world, the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden is a lovely day out. Visitors can enjoy tours with expert horticulturalists and take a leisurely walk over the 40-acre property. 

Once you enter the inconspicuous entrance at the station end of town, you will no longer feel like you are in Cambridge. On the weekend, garden tours with an expert guide are free-of-charge. Lose yourself in the lush green foliage where time will feel like it has halted.

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Take advantage of our special partnership for discounted tickets to the Botanic Garden. Stop by the front desk for more information.

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Cambridge Gardens
8

Kettle’s Yard

Remarkably unchanged since the Ede family left the home in 1973, Kettle’s Yard is one of the most intimate modern and contemporary art galleries you can visit free of charge. A beautiful and unique home in the heart of Cambridge, explore the distinctive collection of 20th century art and be amazed by the perfect layout of paintings, sculptures and objects.

When you enter, you’ll be greeted by the immediate sense of peace while being ushered on your tour. With white-painted walls, raw wooden floors, antique and vernacular furniture, when you finish the tour, you’ll be blown away with what you just witnessed.  

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: During your visit, stop by the quirky onsite shop for unique gifts to take home. Located a stone’s throw from Quayside, grab a Chelsea Bun at Fitzbillies before heading over to Kettle’s Yard.

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Kettles Yard
9

Ark

From a small gift shop to a national brand, Ark offers visitors the perfect opportunity to get “fun” and quirky” gifts for the people you care most about. Ranging from jewelry, clothing, homeware, toiletries, you name it, it’s there at the Ark. Prepare to be pleasantly shocked about the selection of products to choose from. 

Surprise those you love with gifts that will surely be cherished. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Just a 6 minute walk from the hotel, you’ll pass the Corpus Clock on your way to shop! 

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Ark
10

Heffers Bookshop

Last but certainly not least, Heffers Bookshop concludes our top 10 things to do. Don’t be afraid to get lost in some impressive literature. After all, Cambridge is the best place for that. Heffers Bookshop is a palace of literature where both browsing, reading and buying are all pleasurable experiences. 

With every book genre you could ever imagine, you may get lost in there for hours. If you’re a bookworm, we can guarantee that will happen. Unleash your inner love for books at Heffers Bookshop.

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Obviously, books are the main star, but there’s also a lovely selection of board games and stationary to peruse before you start reading.

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Heffers