What to see & do in Cambridge
See & Do
Punting on the River Cam: a popular Cambridge pursuit since the early 1900s. Try it yourself or arrange for a chauffeured tour. Sit back, sip a glass of wine and watch the famous Cambridge colleges glide by. You can find full details and book online at www.letsgopunting.co.uk or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cambridge University maintains a fascinating and stimulating collection of museums, which are an invaluable resource to researchers, students and the public. Entry to all museums is free. There is a small charge for visiting the University’s Botanic Garden.
For a full list and details of opening times go to: www.cam.ac.uk/museums
Probably the best known of Cambridge’s museums is The Fitzwilliam, renowned as one of the best regional museums in Europe. The Fitz offers a wide range of exhibits, encompassing exquisite Greek and Roman antiquities, paintings by Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh and priceless illuminated manuscripts. Entry is free, but a small donation is welcome.
The sheer size of the Fitzwilliam and the wide variety of exhibits can make a visit seem a daunting task. We offer an introductory tour which will introduce you to the main galleries and highlight some important exhibits, hidden gems and a few personal favourites.
Other Cambridge museums include: the University Museum of Zoology, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Archeology and Anthropology, Classical Archeology and The Whipple Museum of the History of Science.
Not to be missed is the recently refurbished Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute.
For modern art lovers, the University offers the incomparable Kettle’s Yard, the home of former Tate Gallery curator Jim Ede turned into a showcase for 20th century art.
Some 20 minutes walk from the historic centre is the University’s beautiful Botanic Garden, founded in 1846 by Darwin’s mentor, Professor John Henslow.
The Orchard, Grantchester: serving teas since 1897 and open all year round. Walk down the river or hire a bicycle. The Orchard is open for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. The scones are famous, as are many of the clients over the years: Bertrand Russell, Maynard Keynes, Wittgenstein, King George VI, Pandit Nehru, Salman Rushdie and John Cleese, to name but a few.
What's On in Cambridge
Cambridge is renowned for its music scene. Apart from major venues like the Corn Exchange and the Junction, there are many excellent pubs around the city offering free gigs on a regular basis. These are sometimes not well publicised. If you are in town and want to sample some music, email us for details of any forthcoming events. Also see our ‘Cambridge Pubs’ page which lists some of the pubs offering live music on a regular basis.
For lovers of classical music, Cambridge University has its own first rate venue, West Road Concert Hall. Known for its superb acoustics, this is a relaxed and intimate place to enjoy classical music.
Theatre goers can choose from the Cambridge Arts Theatre which runs a continuous programme of high quality West End productions with well known stars, or the University’s own ADC theatre . The latter is one of the liveliest venues in Cambridge, presenting a varied programme of theatre to suit everyone’s tastes. The ADC helped to launch the careers of such theatre luminaries as Sir Ian McKellen, Rachel Weiss and Emma Thompson, so you may well see a star in the making. The Cambridge theatre scene has recently been further enriched by the redevelopment of the Corpus Playrooms, an intimate 80 seat theatre owned by Corpus Christi college and run by the ADC Theatre.
Cambridge Arts Theatre:
Box office: 01223 503333 or http://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com
Tickets and info: corpusplayroom.com or 01223 300085
Cambridge Corn Exchange:
For full details and bookings log on to www.cornex.co.uk or phone 01223 357851.
For bookings and details: 01223 511 511 and www.junction.co.uk
West Road Concert Hall:
For full details and booking: www.westroad.org and 01223 355 184.
Cambridge Shakespeare Festival:
The ever-popular festival of Shakespeare’s plays performed in college gardens makes a welcome return in July and August every year. Full information at www.cambridgeshakespeare.com
Concerts at King’s:
A series of concerts and events in celebration of King’s College Chapel’s 500th anniversary. For full details go to www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/concerts-at-kings.
Gigs in Pubs
The Sunday Sessions at the Six Bells (11 Covent Garden, CB1 2HS). 5-8pm. Open mic and maybe a poem or two.
The Elm Tree invariably has gigs on Sunday evenings. Cosy single bar. Candlelit. Top notch local musicians. Cracking beer. (16A Orchard Street, CB1 1JT)
The Geldart: one of the Mill Road "Backstreet Pubs". Excellent beer and the famous "hot rocks" meat dishes. Music on Sunday afternoons provided by Cambridge legend, George Breakfast, and the Sure Can Playboys. (1 Ainsworth Street, CB1 2PF).
The hugely popular Songsmith Sessions at The Alma, every Sunday from 8pm. Free entry. Also the home of rugby and real ale. (26 Russell Court, CB2 1HW).
The Earl of Beaconsfield. In the heart of the buzzing Mill Road area, with its myriad international eateries. Real ales, craft beers and regular gigs, often on Saturday nights.