Cambridge is a brilliant staycation destination for people with all interests and of all ages. Popular with families, couples, business people, and solo travellers, this charming and romantic city is full of great things to do and see.
As a famous university city, the obvious to-dos for any itinerary would be a visit to Cambridge University’s colleges, museums, and botanic garden.
Top rated by visitors, these are no doubt must-sees, especially if it is your first time visiting. Yet, visitors wanting to avoid the obvious have plenty more to explore.
Planning a winter staycation? Discover the hidden gems to add to your itinerary for an alternative trip to a quintessentially British city.
Ascension Burial Ground
Thanks to its roots in academia, Cambridge was and still is, a stomping ground for the world’s cleverest people.
After admiring the work of some of the planet’s greatest minds at the university, why not head to what has become known as Britain’s brainiest cemetery?
Cambridge is full of hidden parks and cemeteries. These hidden green spots can be found beyond the usual Backs and riverside haunts. But it’s Ascension Burial Ground off Huntingdon Road that is among the most interesting.
It’s here where Ludwig Wittgenstein; five members of Charles Darwin’s family; three Nobel prize winners; many city and university dignitaries, scientists, and scholars; and 11 members of secret intellectual society Cambridge Apostles are buried. It’s even the rumoured secret resting place of Professor Stephen Hawking.
If you’re looking for an off the beaten track attraction to enjoy after dark, you have to visit Cambridge Observatory.
Based on the campus of Cambridge University’s Institute of Astronomy, the observatory is home to several large aperture telescopes.
Their most famous telescope is the Northumberland Refactor, which measures in at 20 feet long.
The observatory is only open to the public on Wednesday nights, with Cambridge Astronomical Society running stargazing events there from October to March.
G. David Books
Lovers of literature could bag themselves a rare vintage book on their staycation in Cambridge.
G. David Books in St Edward’s Passage is a second-hand bookseller that’s home to many rare and first editions.
The shop itself is rather modest from the outside, but inside you’ll find an Aladdin’s cave that will delight any avid reader and deliver a shopping experience like no other.
Here Anne from The Cambridge Placebook shares her first experience of visiting G. David Books:
“There were quirky posters and postcards pinned to the wall, black and white photos of historical David’s Bookshop milestones, photos of notable people with G. David bags (including Michelangelo’s David), and an envelope addressed only to “David’s Bookshop, The Passage, Cambridge” with a sticky note proudly announcing that it found its way here.
And there were more rooms and downstairs. (No photography allowed, or I would have eaten it all up in my camera.) Needless to say, I left with more books than I had come to buy.”
Explore Cambridge in an altogether different way by searching for its series of Dinky Doors. These tiny doors are littered around the city. They’re no bigger than six inches high and three inches wide, so be warned, they’re not easy to find. But we’ll start you off – there’s a famous door to be found on Downing Street in Cambridge.
No one knows who placed the Dinky Doors around the city, they’re the work of a mysterious street artist.
If you can’t get enough of Cambridge’s street art scene, visit Argyle Street, Arbury Court, Free School Lane, Long Road, and Byron’s Pool to discover the best of the city’s urban art, including an incredible graffiti tribute to Stephen Hawking.
You can even embark on a tour to appreciate the work of a very different urban artist – the mysterious ‘Yarnbomber’. Her latest wool creation, a giant pink flamingo, can be spotted on Jesus Green.
Discover hidden Cambridge for yourself
From alternative attractions to alternative accommodation, complete your stay by booking one of our luxury serviced apartments.
It’ll be your home away from home during your staycation and is the perfect spot to enjoy all the hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems of Cambridge.
Want to indulge in a staycation sooner rather than later? Spend the festive season with us by treating yourself to a Christmas break at Citystay.