Day Trip to Cambridge

What to do in Cambridge

At the Traditional Punting Company, it is no surprise that we have a heavy bias towards Cambridge. However we are not alone, in October 2022, Cambridge was voted the best city in the UK by Conde Nast Traveller Readers, beating the metropolis’ of London, Edinburgh and Manchester.


In this blog, we will be dissecting the best things to do on a day trip to Cambridge.

Why Cambridge? 


Cambridge is famous the world over for its University. Having hosted the likes of Sir Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, Alan Turing, Sylvia Plath and Emma Thompson to name just a  few. It is understandable that Cambridge University is a household name.


Besides the University there is so much more that the City has to offer. The city was built around the university so the architecture in the city ranges from the 11th Century right through to the modern day.


The city also boosts many green spaces for locals and tourists to use year-round. Perhaps the most famous one is Parker’s Piece where in 1863 ‘Cambridge Rules’ was created. Subsequently pathing the way for the foundational laws of the Football Assosation.

Location, Location, Location


In a period where staycations have become increasingly popular, people are looking within the UK for new places to visit.


Located in the East of England, Cambridge is pretty well situated and therefore fairly accessible from most places within the UK.


Cambridge is just under an hour on the train from London Kings Cross, Peterborough, Kings Lynn and Bishops Stortford. From Norwich and Ipswich it’s just over an hour on the train.


Should you choose to drive, Cambridge is just over an hour from Northampton, Milton Keynes. St Albans and Chelmsford.


Cities within a two hour drive from Cambridge include; London, Canterbury, Lincoln, Birmingham, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nottingham and Guildford to just name a few.


Many of our punting customers come for a day trip to the famous city.

Must Do’s on a Day Trip to Cambridge

Punting in Cambridge

Synonymous with the city, punting in Cambridge is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Our guided punting tour through the college backs allows visitors to glimpse the beauty of the university, only accessible by boat. During your tour, you will visit seven colleges and nine bridges.

You can decide between taking a shared punting tour or a private punting tour with us, each of these options include a guide.

Your guide will tell you all the facinatining stories and history of the college backs.

To read our ulimate guide to punting in Cambridge, click here.

Kings College Chapel

One of the most iconic buildings in the whole of Cambridge, Kings was founded in 1441 by Henry VI. It is largest stone vaulted chapel in the world.

Kings College Chapel has a rich history. During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell used the chapel as a training ground for his parlimentarian troops. In more recent times, during the second world war all the stained glass was removed incase of bomb damage.

Nowadays, Kings College Chapel is renowned for its Christmas Carols, hosting ‘Carols at Kings’ and ‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols‘ on Christmas Eve.

You can book your tickets in advance to your visit.


Cambridge Botanical Gardens

Cambridge University Botanical Gardens houses over 8,000 different plant species. This garden is designed to further the research of botany.

Alongside the university, members of the public are allowed to visit its diverse landscape.

The gardens are located just at the end of Station Road, so an ideal pitstop on your way from the train into the city centre.



The Fitzwilliam Museum

One of Cambridge’s biggest collections of Art accessible to the public, The Fitzwilliam Museum is a must-visit on your Day Trip to Cambridge.

The Fitzwilliam Museum houses over half a million works of art and historical artefacts. Alongside this, they host a series of exhibitions throughout the year.

The site was acquired from Peterhouse in 1821, and in 1848 the Museum was finally opened to the public.

The museum is free entry.



Local Recommendations for your Day Trip to Cambridge.

Mill Road

A slightly broader suggestion in terms of location, however a stroll down Mill Road is definitely recommended.

Arguably one of the most eclectic places in Cambridge, the mile long road is adorned with charity shops, independant resturants and shops. The only ‘chain’ stores to be found down Mill Road are the two Co-ops and a Sainsburys.

You will find this street always abuzz with people from every age coming to enjoy its wonders.

We would definintaly recommend sourcing a spot for dinner down Mill Road, particulary at either Fancett’s or Bedouin.

Evening Drinks

Being a student town, there are plenty of places in Cambridge for a drink.

cafe foy is on the quayside.  you will find it relaxing with the sights of the Magdalene bridge and the punting boats along the river Cam.  Alternatively, If you are looking for a more panoramic view for drinks, Varsity is your go-to with a roof-top bar overlooking the beauty of Cambridge city.

Cafe's at Quayside, Cafe Foy, Independent Cafe/Bar Cambridge, Cambridge food and drink

View Points

Walk to the top of Great St Marys Church, the sixth floor at the Varsity Hotel or even the top of Castle Hill to get the best photography spots in the city. See a panoramic view of our historic city and take in the beauty below.

st marys, st marys church, cambridge, cambridgeshire, market, city center, visit cambridge, st. marys church cambridge, university

Posted on December 1st, 2022, by the Traditional Punting Company Editor