48 hours in Cambridge: a perfect Itinerary

Welcome to my home city!

Lockdown has meant being a tourist where I live has been a real treat, and I’ve spent much more time in Cambridge than I ever have before. It’s been lovely exploring the amazing things this city has on offer that I’ve often overlooked. Cambridge really does make for an ideal UK city break, so I’ve pulled together a perfect itinerary for spending 48 hours in my wonderful home city. You’ll notice my photos are from all seasons, some gloomy and some sunny – but I hope that you agree no matter the weather, the city is beautiful.


Day 1.

A. Grab breakfast at Agora at the Copper Kettle

Get a stay in Cambridge off to a great start with breakfast overlooking the historic King’s College Chapel. The breakfast menu ranges from classic British dishes such as the Full English, through to various egg options, healthy options and even Mediterranean and Turkish breakfast options including beef sausages and honey. It really is delicious, and the views can’t be beaten.

B. Go punting

Punting is a Cambridge tradition and you can’t visit the city without giving it a go. After breakfast, head in to the city centre and try to get to the punting stations before 11am when it starts to get really busy. Whenever I go, I try to arrive at around 10.30am and have booked in advance online via either Scudamores or Cambridge Punters.

Punting is effectively a much less fancy Venetian Gondola ride. You can either hire a boat and punt yourself, or hire a boat and a punter and be punted about by a professional while you sit back and relax. If you’re a tourist, I recommend the latter.

Views from the boat

That said, punting is expensive. If you want a boat to yourself and to be punted, then the price is around £130 a boat for a 45 minute tour. If you’re happy to share with others, then a boat of up to 10 will charge around £15 a person. Or you could hire a boat and punt yourselves for a cost of around £40 for the boat for 90 minutes.

More beautiful river views in early Spring

C. Round Church & Museum

The round church is a lovely building in the centre of Cambridge, which was built in 1130! There is a little museum and film on the history of Cambridge inside, and this is also a starting point for a lot of the guided walking tours which run daily as well.

The Round Church

D. Afternoon tea at Fitzbillies

Fitzbillies was founded in 1920 by Ernest and Arthur Mason, using their ‘demob’ money from the First World War. Their initials are still visible in worn-out gold letters on the shop front. During the post war years, the Fitzbillie’s sponge cake became an institution of Cambridge, and their Chelsea Buns boomed. Despite going bankrupt in the 80s/90s due to competition from supermarkets, Fitzbillie’s was relaunched in 2011 – it bakes everything on site and its afternoon tea is, in my very humble opinion, the best in Cambridge. It’s also served from 11am to 4pm so whatever time of day suits you, it will be able to cater to.

Delicious afternoon tea including traditional scones with jam and cream

E. Evensong at King’s College Chapel

One of the most iconic buildings in Cambridge is King’s College Chapel, founded by King Henry VI in the 1400s. It’s a stunningly beautiful building and inside is a lovely museum about the Chapel’s history. If you can visit for evensong, to hear the choir sing, then it’s a super special experience. Evensong is held at 5.30pm Monday-Saturday and then 3.30pm on Sundays.

F. Walk the Backs

After a visit to the Chapel, take an evening stroll before dinner through the Cambridge Backs, one of the most beautiful areas of the city. Sometimes I come here when I’m feeling a bit low, or just need some headspace, and just watch the world go by against the stunning backdrop of the ancient University.

Walking the Backs in springtime

G. Dinner for any budget

Cambridge has an incredible range of eating options. For really tasty, well priced steak, walk out of town to Maison du Steak, one of Cambridge’s best restaurant secrets. Or if you want to stay more central, you could try Sticks n Sushi for Japanese or Navadhanya for incredible Indian cuisine. And if you want to go all out you could try Michelin starred Midsummer House, run by Daniel Clifford.

Navadhanya (L) and Sticks n Sushi (R)

Maison du Steak

At Midsummer House


Day 2.

A. Brunch at The Ivy

Start your second day off with a big breakfast or brunch at The Ivy, in the centre of the city. Inside the restaurant is decorated amazingly and the food is tasty. I really recommend the berry smoothies as they are absolutely delicious.

B. Trinity Lane & Rose Crescent

Just a few seconds’ walk away from The Ivy are two of the most beautiful streets in Cambridge – Trinity Lane and Rose Crescent. Trinity Lane is known for its picture perfect row of chimneys and it’s a must see while you’re in this part of the city, and Rose Crescent is home to lots of lovely browsing shops and looks a bit like it’s straight out of Harry Potter.

C. University Tour

You can’t come to Cambridge and not visit one of its most famous institutions – its University. Founded in 1209, it’s the world’s 4th oldest surviving University. Graduates include Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, David Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Rachel Weisz, Thandie Newton, Hugh Laurie and Arianna Huffington. Walk in theirs, and many others’ footsteps, by exploring some of the colleges open to the public. You could join a tour, but many don’t take you inside the college grounds, just walk past them – so my advice is pick one or two colleges and visit independently. My personal favourites are Kings College and Trinity College, which you can turn up to and buy tickets.

D. Great St Mary’s Church

Great St Mary’s church sits almost directly opposite King’s College Chapel and is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Inside, you can not only visit the church itself, but you can climb the 124 steps up to get a panoramic view of the city. If you manage to time it for a market day, the views out of the colourful stalls in the square are my favourite.

Incredible Cambridge views

E. Grantchester Meadows walk & Grantchester village

Taking a stroll out of the city to get some fresh air is always a good idea, and walks don’t come much more picturesque than this, following the River Cam out of the city towards the quaint village of Grantchester. The walk takes you from Eltisley Avenue in Cambridge, in to Grantchester Meadows and across the fields to the village which is full of thatched cottages and cosy pubs. The full route walk can be found HERE.

F. Varsity rooftop bar

Once you’ve returned from your walk, it’s time to relax with a lovely final dinner and drinks at one of Cambridge’s nicest rooftop bars – The Varsity. The food is delicious, and the views out over Cambridge’s skyline for sunset are the perfect end to the trip.

Rooftop views and tasty drinks


Then if you have longer in Cambridge (you could easily spend a week here if you explore things outside of the city too), you could also:

  • Check out some of the other things to do in and around the city, such as visiting the world’s first eco mosque, the Polar Museum or some grand local stately homes- post HERE.
  • Explore slightly further afield and do some wonderful walks in the countryside surrounding Cambridge HERE.
  • Visit the market town of St Ives and beautiful surrounding villages in my very favourite Cambridgeshire walk HERE (post coming soon).

I hope you’ve enjoyed the whistle-stop tour around Cambridge, and that it might have inspired you to visit one day. What do you think of my home city? Stay safe and happy travelling all!

38 Comments

  1. I’ve only visited Cambridge’s rival, Oxford, when I was in the area in 2015. It’s a shame that I missed Cambridge, because everywhere looks to be postcard-pretty! Again, that afternoon tea is calling out to me, and I seriously need to return to it soon. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You live in a really beautiful city Hannah! I can see why lockdown wasn’t so bad for you 😉. Punting (never heard of this word) seems like a great way of exploring and you’re absolutely right about how beautiful King’s College Chapel is! Love the street views and walking in the Backs and exploring those lovely thatched cottages would be great! Of course your university is beautiful (I seem to use the word ‘beautiful’ a lot in my comment now 😊 … but that’s how it is!).
    And then you got me totally won over with that yummy looking steak! Thanks for a great tour around your home city!

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  3. Cambridge looks so wonderful, Hannah! The architecture is exquisite, rich with history, and the grounds welcoming. as are such appetizing, delicious meals. Thanks for sharing, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You live in such a beautiful city, Hannah! With greenery galore and beautiful old buildings as far as the eye can see, no wonder it’s a popular getaway spot for Brits and tourists alike. Going on a boat ride, passing by the Colleges and appreciating the architecture all while learning about Cambridge with a tour guide makes punting a fun and relaxing experience to have while visiting Cambridge! Thanks for sharing, and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, that would be great. I really miss a good Sunday Roast and of course I’m very excited to give Sladja that culinary experience in a traditional pub setting. Can’t think of a more idyllic place for that than Cambridge.

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    1. It really is such a beautiful city, I’ve taken it for granted as ‘boring’ as I’ve lived here so long. It was great to rediscover it. Oooo that is a desert which is actually a white chocolate parfait inside a white chocolate coating sprayed green, with then a little apple disc on top with small bits of apple. Clever!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How fun to get such a tour of your beautiful hometown! Cambridge has always been the top of my list of places I wanted to see. My dad was in the navy and would send me postcards from all over the world, but the very first one he sent to me was from Cambridge. I still have that postcard taped up by my mirror waiting for the day I get to see it for myself. Beautiful pictures of such a beautiful place! 🙂

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      1. England has always been the top spot of places I want to see. I think though there is a very good chance that when I go, I won’t ever leave. But when I get over there I’ll be asking you to come and join me so you can give me the tour of all these wonderful places 🙂

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  6. Gorgeous pictures of these beautiful buildings. It all looks so perfect I can’t pick a favourite. I thought punting was going to be kicking a football or having a beer. Never expected it to be a gondola ride! Maggie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you like it Maggie and that I’ve also taught you the word ‘punting’. You’re so right, it sounds like some sort of sport rather than a gondola ride haha! Thanks for reading, have a great day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your city, I will have to come visit one day!!! I remember reading a book and they went punting and I was so confused haha I would definitely love Sticks N Sushi and I need to see Kings College Chapel – how stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss you definitely have to come and visit 🙂 Hahaaa that is so funny, I feel like it’s one of those weird English words that noone else uses. Thank you for reading and have a good day!

      Like

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