Ely is only a short train ride away.Famke Veenstra-Ashmore

There’s so many things of cultural significance in Cambridge that it can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a fourth-year or a fresher, the Arts team are here to help and have compiled some of their favourite places to visit in and around the city.

1. The Fitzwilliam Museum

This first-time tourist’s favourite is popular for good reason. Full of intriguing artefacts, ranging from Greek ruins to Renaissance paintings, the Fitzwilliam is always worth a visit. Frequently holding exhibitions and even outdoor theatre, it’s somewhere a stone’s throw away from town which is also accessible — offering free entry to all.

2. Kettle’s Yard

Kettle’s Yard is a fascinating place, consisting of multiple galleries and originating from a private collection. They have collections of art from painters such as David Jones and sculptors like Barbara Hepworth, with space for topical exhibitions as well.

3. Anthropology & Archeology Museum

For culture, the Anthropology and Archeology Museum —located in the centre of town — is a must-visit. Small but striking, collections have both a focus on Cambridge as well as the wider world. It has recently started work on decolonising its collections, and there are explicit details on how many of the artefacts on display were ‘acquired’ / stolen.

4. Ely Cathedral & the Stained-Glass Museum

A short train ride away from Cambridge lies Ely, a beautiful town home to an immense and intricate cathedral, dating back to AD 672. Aside from its stunning external and internal views, it is also home to an impressive collection of stained-glass works, ranging from biblical medieval windows to modern takes on various social issues.

5. Cambridge University Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are extremely versatile; they offer beautiful walks and scenery all year round, and its various greenhouses display a wide variety of botanic life, including tropical plants and its very own fern room. A welcome break from intensive study, it is the perfect place to relax and learn more about nature.

6. College Landmarks (Mathematical Bridge, Bridge of Sighs, Corpus Clock)

You don’t have to go beyond the university to find interesting landmarks. Why not spend the day visiting every college, and noting the different styles of architecture that you find? There are also some other striking things to see in town, including Queens’ Mathematical Bridge, St. John’s Bridge of Sighs (visible via punt!) and the kind–of–terrifying Corpus Clock!

7. St Mary’s Church

Why not actually visit the place you are somehow legally required to live within three miles of? It’s just as striking on the outside as it is on the inside. On occasion, you can receive a tour and, for a fee, reach the top of the church for some breathtaking views of Cambridge. Check it out!

8. Bookshops (Heffers, Waterstones, The Haunted Bookshop, The University Bookshop, Amnesty Bookshop)


Mountain View

Books to transport you around the world

With so many notable authors among Cambridge’s alumni, it comes as no surprise that the city is also home to a number of great bookshops. Whether you prefer somewhere with a cosy corner you can nestle into with your newly-bought tome, or somewhere old and haunted, with a good layer of dust on the shelves, you’re sure to find the perfect bookshop to while away the hours!

9. Anglesey Abbey

This gorgeous National Trust property lies just a short bus ride outside of Cambridge. The house, built in a Jacobean style, dates back to the start of the 17th century and boasts some truly beautiful gardens. There’s also an outdoor cafe with a great cake selection, making it a lovely place to take a day out of an intense term.

10. Wren Library

The Wren Library is one of the most beautiful buildings along the Cam, (it’s always my favourite view on a punt ride!), but why not go and have a look inside? Located in the middle of Trinity College, with huge glass windows to let in lots of natural light, the library is home to original manuscripts from Isaac Newton and A.A. Milne.