Visit Cambridge by train this winter and discover a city rich in culture.. With its world-famous colleges, churches, museums or why not get your christmas shopping done around the historic market place?
For travel from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge, Advance fares start from as little as £6 Standard and £12 First Class on weekdays and weekends. With Advance tickets, the earlier you book the more you could save.
Christmas shopping in Cambridge
Cambridge isn’t all punting and beautiful colleges (although it has those in abundance). It’s also a great place to get your Christmas shopping done. Its historic streets offer everything from quirky independent stores and market stalls to high street chains - perfect to pick up some festive pressies.
It has a small city vibe, so finding your way around is easy too. Most of the shopping areas are no more than a short walk apart, so you can easily do the whole lot in a day or across a long weekend.
Shopping simply doesn't get any better than the Cambridge experience. Whether you have designs on a new outfit or you're looking for the perfect christmas pressie, there's sure to be something to take your fancy in the city's amazing array of stores.
Known as the Arts Quarter because of its bohemian vibe, this area has shops for fashion, ceramics, jewellery, second-hand books and more.
Bridge Street and Magdalene Street
The heart of the elegant Quayside area has everything from a Bang & Olufsen home entertainment store to Mountain Warehouse and Bridges patisserie.
This is one of Cambridge's newest retail developments, featuring a host of high street brands from underwear supremo Triumph to cookshop Divermenti. Grab a coffee in Starbucks or enjoy the stunning views over Christ's Pieces from the Giraffe restaurant.
This indoor shopping centre is home to over 70 retailers, including family favourites like Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre. On the way from the city centre you'll pass through Fitzroy and Burleigh Streets, where you'll find many interesting independents shops, as well as Primark and Argos.
With over 50 stores, including a five-story John Lewis and many other leading clothes and homewares outlets, this glittering city centre mall is Cambridge's flagship retail development.
Head here for a more traditional shopping experience. The quaint cobbled street is lined with charming independent shops and eateries selling everything from clothes to cameras.
King's Parade is Cambridge's classic shopping street. Close to the colleges, it's home to designer dress shops, stylish menswear stores, fine art galleries and Cambridge Wine Merchants, one of the UK's best independent specialist drinks retailers.
Directly connected to the Grand Arcade, Lion Yard has a range of fashion, accessories and electronics shops, including New Look, Moss Bros, Superdry and Carphone Warehouse.
Cambridge's famous open-air market is right at the heart of the city. Drop in any day of the week and browse for bargains amongst the diverse mix of stalls. From Monday to Saturday it's a general market selling all kinds of goods from fruit and flowers to bags and books. On Sundays there's a tempting array of local artisan foods and handicrafts.
Home to historic Sidney Sussex college, Sidney Street also has a mix of retailers, including branches of Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Waterstone's, Monsoon and Austin Reed, as well Hobbs sports shop, which has been serving Cambridge residents for over 80 years.
With its ornately decorated store fronts, this is one of the city's most classy shopping streets. It's also home to the All Saints Garden, Art & Craft Market where painters, potters, photographers, jewellery makers and other artisans sell their wares direct to the public.
Christmas lights switch on14-15 Nov
The Big Switch-On takes place on the 14th-15th November, with two days of entertainment and spectacle.
Starting it all off is the Grafton Centre switch-on this Saturday, which promises full day of Christmassy fun. Heart FM will host the day's entertainments, which include a visit from Santa, and appearances from Miss England and the Mayor of Cambridge.
If you fancy paying a visit to the big man himself, Santa will be on hand in the grotto (£5.00 including toy), and Peppa Pig and George will appear during children's story time sessions at intervals throughout the day, as well as at the lights switch-on.
Activities start at 2pm, with the switch-on scheduled for 4.30pm.
The entertainment doesn’t end there! Check out circus acts on the Sunday, performing in Lion Yard and Grand Arcade shopping centres, and the main event in the Market Square with entertainment including plenty of music and dance!
The Grand Arcade lights switch-on will take place at 4pm, with the Big Switch-On in Market Square at 5pm.
Mill Road Winter Fair
Mill Road Winter Fair takes place on the 5th of December, from 10.30am to 4.30pm.
The Fair is known for its special charm and atmosphere with over 10,000 people participating in different ways and enjoying all that the Mill Road area has to offer.
Many of the restaurants, shops and businesses along Mill Road take part in the Fair by staging their own events, providing special dishes and offers, or raising money for charity. There’s a Food Fair in Gwydir Street car park with a wide range of specialist and artisan produce, plus craft and market stalls at a number of other spots including Donkey Common, Ditchburn Gardens, Bharat Bhavan, Great Eastern Street Car Park, Lloyds Bank Car Park, Romsey Terrace, Hope Street Yard and the Co-op Car Park – all perfect for picking up festive presents or just treating yourself.
The Fair is officially opened at 10.30am with a ceremony in Ditchburn Gardens. There’s then a variety of events and activities to keep you entertained for the whole day! The Carnival Parade sets off from Coleridge Road around midday – a riot of colour and sound, this will really get you in the party mood! Music, dance and other performances happen all along the road throughout the day at major venues and busking spots.
Plus there are arts and crafts, history exhibitions, tours and walks, and entertainment and activities for little ones.
To find out more, click here.
Cambridge city centre is compact and easy to get around on foot. But there's an amazing amount packed into it, from state-of-the-art shopping malls to glorious green space. History fans can tour the colleges where many politicians, scientists and celebrities have studied or visit legendary locations like Parker's Piece where the first ever game of association football was played. Shoppers will find all their high street favourites as well as many interesting independent stores. And whether you're a classicist or a clubber, the city's eclectic music scene will have something to excite your interest.
Join a walking tour
Explore the fascinating history of the city and visit some of the famous buildings, including the magnificent King's College Chapel and exquisite Queen's College.
Take a punt on the river
It's as much of a must-do as riding a gondola in Venice. Enjoy amazing views of the beautiful 'Backs' as you glide on a punt along the River Cam through the heart of the city. And if you travel by train with Abellio Greater Anglia, you can even take advantage of our 2FOR1 offer.
Have a walk in the garden
The University Botanical Garden is a real treat for anyone who loves plants. Over 8000 species are displayed in borders and glasshouses across the 40-acre site.
Make splash at the lido
Jesus Green Lido is one of Europe's largest outdoor swimming pools. Cool down with a dip then relax and catch some rays on the paved and grassed poolside areas.
Browse for bargains at the market
Market Square has been a trading point since the Middle Ages. Today's seven-day-a-week general market stocks everything from books to bikes and on Sundays there's a focus on artisan food, arts and crafts.
Experience the angelic Evensong sung by the world-famous King's College Choir, a daily task since 1441. Listen to Latin grace sung from the minstrels' gallery at Trinity College's Great Hall. For a varied mix of drama, dance, opera and pantomime, head to the Cambridge Arts Theatre. It attracts some of the highest quality touring productions in the country, as well as many shows direct from and prior to seasons in the West End. See stand up comedy, concerts and shows at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.
Opened in 1848, this superb museum has been described as 'one of the greatest art collections of the nation and a monument of the first importance'. It's packed with amazing art, antiquities and artefacts.
King's College Chapel
Cambridge's most majestic and beautiful building is one of the finest examples of late Gothic architecture in the world.
Museum of Cambridge
Explore the history of the city in this captivating little museum, which has nine themed rooms housed in a 17th century former inn.
Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute
Discover the amazing stories of intrepid explorers who have pushed themselves to the limits at the far ends of the globe.
Whipple Museum of the History of Science
The Whipple houses an awe-inspiring collection of scientific instruments, apparatus, models, pictures, prints, photographs, books and more.
Drink alongside students and locals in traditional city-centre pubs around Bene't Street or laze away an afternoon on the terrace of a waterside gastro-pub along the River Cam. Take your pick from Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants around Newnham Road and Burleigh Street or hobnob with university professors and wealthy inventors from Silicon Fen at Michelin-starred Midsummer House.
For unlimited bus travel around Cambridge to get to all the attractions, buy a PLUSBUS ticket with your train ticket (at station or online). For details about Cambidge PLUSBUS click here.