Places to visit in and around Cambridge if you are here for an extended visit over Christmas

Cambridge is a beautiful and historic city, just wandering the streets, taking in the architecture, history and welcoming transient community will definitely make a stay in the city enjoyable over the festive season.

But, if you’re here for an extended stay, either visiting relatives or on a short term contract for work, there are lots of other things to do in the area that are well worth taking the time to see, visit and experience.

Some on this list are specifically over the Christmas period, but many are just wonderful winter activities.

Here’s our top 10 (in no particular order!)

1 – Cambridge Botanic Garden

Located right in the heart of the city the botanic gardens are an absolute joy to visit any time of the year, but if you wrap up warm you won’t regret a leisurely wander around the

Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG) which holds a collection of over 8,000 plant species from all over the world.

Not only will you enjoy the beautiful surroundings, you can also take a stop off in the lovely garden café, where you can sit inside, on the terrace, or use for a take away cuppa on your walk.

2 – Visit the Theatre

‘He’s behind you’

Here in Cambridge there are several performing arts venues to choose from, and over the festive period you can see some traditional (and not so traditional) pantomimes as well as a host of other performances, live music and comedy.

Click this link to see all panto showtimes, including those available a short drive from the city:

3 – National Trust – Winter Lights

Just a short drive from the city and there are not one, but two, winter light trails to choose from, Anglesey Abbey, or Wimpole Hall. Both are magical and you can’t help but get into a festive spirit following a visit.

Be warned these are popular and booking will be essential.

If you don’t manage to see the light events, you can still visit in the day and enjoy wonderful walks in beautiful surroundings.

4 – Punting

Not just for the summer !

With our great British weather the locals are very used to the changes in season and punting over the colder months can be a very special experience. Grab yourself a hot chocolate from one of the many independent cafes, wrap yourself up in the blankets provided, and enjoy visiting the Cambridge Backs from a riverside view. You won’t regret it

5 – Watch a match

There are 3 main stadiums in and around the city, Cambridge Utd, Histon FC and Cambridge City (due to open Nov/Dec 2022).

So if you want to watch some live football, you have plenty to choose from!

If Rugby is your sport of choice then Cambridge also has one of the biggest community sports clubs in East Anglia, based in Shelford.

6 – Visit one of the many Museums – most of them are FREE to enter

We are incredibly lucky to have many museums to visit, most of which are free to enter.

Here’s a list to view:

7 – IWM Duxford

About a 15 – 20 minute journey from the city, you can’t visit the area without a trip to Duxford

IWM Duxford stands apart from other aviation museums because the site is an exhibit itself.

Get up close to gigantic aircraft and uncover hundreds of personal stories of the many lives impacted by conflict.

They often run events, so it’s worth following their social channels to see what’s coming up.

8 – Visit Grantchester

For over 700 years, students such as Coleridge, Cromwell, Darwin, Elizabeth I, Marlow, Milton, Newton, Tennyson, and Wordsworth, have all journeyed between Cambridge and Grantchester Village, which has the orchard tea room at the heart of the village.

Located on the river Cam, you can bike, walk, drive or punt from the city and get yourself a lovely afternoon tea or a pint in one of the 4 cosy pubs, all within the village.

You might also know the name Grantchester from the popular BBC1 series, set there in the 1950s, which just adds to the history of this small village.

9 – Shopping

Cambridge has long been a popular destination for retail therapy, and more recently it proudly boasts many local, independent stores which just adds to the city’s unique character.

10 – Eating out

From Italian to Mexican and Michelin starred cuisine, when you visit Cambridge there are pubs, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.

Here’s 10 of the best as voted on Trip advisor:

Whatever you decide, make sure that you enjoy the unique experiences that you can only get from such an historic city.