What can you do in Cambridge in one day?

Firstly, why Cambridge?

First time visitors might ask themselves ‘why is Cambridge so special?’ Well, worry not,  we have the answers for you.


Cambridge is England’s epicentre of history and culture. A bold claim, we agree, but one we can back up with astounding evidence. Yes, we quite literally have the receipts.


An article in Conde Nast Traveller quite eloquently put it “Like olives and whisky, Cambridge is largely wasted on the young. Perhaps this has to do with the city’s alarming and, in a way, almost unbearable concentration of history and brilliance and beauty, which can seem overwhelming.”


Cambridge has been on the global map since 1209 when a group of scholars from Oxford escaped the riots of townspeople vs scholars and migrated here. Allegedly they were fleeing accusations of murder.


The happenings of Cambridge University students over the centuries has lain the groundwork for the rich cultural history found in this rather small city in the east of England. Below is just a handful of University Alumni who have left their mark on the world.


Francis Bacon

The Tudor philosopher and statesman was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. His aversion for Aristotelian philosophy began during his studies here.


Francis Crick and James Watson

This duo is known for their discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. It is widely known that on the 28th of Feburary 1953 a lunch at The Eagle Pub was interrupted by Francis Crick who announced that the duo had “discovered the secret of life”.


Stephen Hawking

Probably the most synonymous alumni to Cambridge. After graduating at Oxford, Hawking arrived at Trinity Hall in 1962. In 1965 he was accepted into a research fellowship and Gonville and Caius. He is best known for his discovery that Black Holes can omit radition which can be detected by specialised instruments. He lived here right until his death in 2018.


John Milton

Most famous for his work ‘Paradise Lost’, Milton attended Christ’s College, Cambridge. Allegedly the Mulberry Tree on the college grounds is where he wrote Lycidas.

Issac Newton

Known throughout the world as the man who discovered Gravity, Newton attended Trinity College, Cambridge. Whilst the university was closed during the plague years (1665-1667) Newton began to significantly develop his theories on Gravity.


Sylvia Plath

One of the greatest poets of the 20th Century, Plath studied at Newnham College. During her first year there she met and married Ted Hughes.


Alan Turing

Widly regarded as the father of artificial intelligence and best known for cracking the German enigma code during World War Two, Turing studied mathamatics at Kings College, Cambridge.


Xu Zhimo

The chinese romantic poet studied at Kings College, Cambridge. He is commonly celebrated as one of the most important figures in modern Chinese poetry.


Additionally, some scholars left a lasting mark on Cambridge. Magdalene College houses the Samuel Pepys’ Diary. The Wren Library houses the original copy of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. The Cambridge University Library houses an impressive collection of historical and cultural documents including original 20th Century sufferagette posters.


There is so much to do on a visit to Cambridge, the tradition of town vs gown means that there are activities to suit everybody’s interests. Not only has Cambridge got a rich culture it also has some beautiful outdoor spaces, delicious restaurants, boutique hotels and great coffee.



Cambridge Must Do’s


Punting in Cambridge


We are certainly not being biased when we say that Punting is the #1 must do Cambridge experience. Ask any local, search engine or travel magazine and they will agree. It really is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. It is estimated that around 900,000 people go punting in Cambridge each year.


There are endless reasons as to why punting in Cambridge is a must do. Number one is that it is a quintessential British activity. Number two, it is the best way to see some of Cambridge’s most iconic sights, without having to pay numerous entrance fees.


With Let’s Go Punting, we can offer either a shared tour or a private tour. Both of our these are guided punting tours along the College Backs. Our punting tours last for approximately 50 minutes and you will see seven colleges and nine bridges. This is the perfect way to experience the highlights of our city on both a budget and time limit.

Punting Tours on the River Cam


Walking Tours in Cambridge


The next best way to experience the history, culture and architecture of this famed city is by going on one of our green badge tours. The ninety minute tours depart from The Cambridge Gift Shop on Rose Crescent every day at 1pm.



Another quintessential Cantebrigian activity is to try the famous Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies cafe on Trumpington Street.


Fitzwilliam Musuem


This Musuem/Art Gallery houses over half a million works of art, including iconic artists like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Babara Hepworth. Entry is free and is just a five minute walk from the central market square.


The Six Bar


The Varisty Hotel’s sixth floor bar, aptly named Six, boasts panoramic views of the cities skyline. Sit back after your Cambridge punting tour with a cocktail in hand and ponder over the sights you have seen on your 50 minute punting trip with us. What’s better is that The Varsity Hotel is situated only a two minute walk from our landing stage.


Cambridge Day Trip Ideas


If you haven’t already filled your day with the above activities then keep reading down below for some great recommendations for a day trip to Cambridge.


Museums in Cambridge


With Cambridge being a very academic city it is no surprise that there is an abundance of museums in the city. If you are interested in science then we recommend either the Zoology Musuem, Whipple Musuem or the Sedgwick Musuem. If you are interested in Geography then we recommend The Polar Musuem. If you are interested in humanities then we recommend either Kettle’s Yard or the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.


Outdoor activities in Cambridge


This City is brimming with outdoor activities, including cycling routes, kayaking, paddleboarding and plenty of green spaces to play tennis or other outdoor games.


Cambridge and Rowing are an classical combination, known famously for their annual boat race along the River Thames against Oxford. As of recently you can now experience what it is like to row along the famous waters of the River Cam. City of Cambridge Rowing Club now offer half day experiences.


There are a numerous amount of activities to keep you entertained on your day trip to our city, you can view more at the Visit Cambridge website.

Our news

Related Articles

Want to find out more?

Please check out our frequently asked questions.
Go to Top