in the middle
Cambridge lies north of London in the east of England and it's best known for being home to Cambridge University, which is internationally recognised as one of the best in the world. Tourists flock to visit because of the majestic buildings of the university colleges as well as the architecture of the city.
There are also plenty of independent shops, plus museums and art galleries that are great for browsing on a lazy afternoon. And as the sun starts to go down you will find plenty of entertainment too, with a thriving arts scene including theatre, live music and comedy available most nights of the week.
There are also plenty of annual festivals that are a big draw and always pack hotels in Cambridge to the brim. The Cambridge Summer Music Fair sees musical performances in great venues across the city both, whilst Strawberry Fair, the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Cambridge Science Festival offer some free events in their programs.
Cambridge is a fairly sprawling city, but it's flat and easy to traverse either on foot or by bike, but you should be aware that if you're arriving by train that the station is by no means in the centre! There is plenty of choice when it comes to finding a hotel in Cambridge, and you should certainly consider both staying in the outskirts in a cheap Cambridge hotel or looking to stay at the university's halls of residence outside of term time if you're after a break on the cheap.
There are also plenty of hotels in the centre of Cambridge, and you can even find a good deal here if you look well in advance and are prepared for less space or a lower star rating. But if it's luxury you're after you'll be certain to find that too, with a whole range of lovely hotels in Cambridge for a treat.
Be aware that bookings for Cambridge hotels will go through the roof at other times of the year besides public festivals and events as they will also be affected by the University. Graduations in particular will see all the hotels full to the brim! So if you're not finding any availability, look two to three weeks either side of your chosen dates!
Whilst you may not be able to predict the English weather, Cambridge offers more than enough come rain or shine. Of course, summer is the most popular time for many reasons, not least the weather! Try July or September to still avoid the students but escape the worst of the midsummer crowds.
There is no reason why you shouldn't visit Cambridge at any time of year, as long as you are prepared for the weather! Christmas is another popular time, but you could go in November for Christmas shopping without eating too much into your present budget. Spring is a great time too, as all the green spaces are coming to life.
Some of the major must-see sights in Cambridge include King's College and in particular King's College Chapel, Trinity College and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Many of the university colleges have ridiculously beautiful architecture, and you could definitely spend several days just visiting these whilst you're staying in your hotel in Cambridge. The Mathematical Bridge, The Backs, the Botanic Garden and Kettle's Yard are all great sights too. Plus you could also visit nearby towns such as Ely and Bury St Edmunds with Cambridge car hire.
See our Cambridge guide for more money saving tips and sights!