This Autumn/Winter, the historic city of Cambridge is inviting travellers to explore its boutique shops, experience its calming wellness treatments, indulge in some delicious food in the local restaurants, and celebrate fine seasonal produce.
Below, Visit Cambridge has shared with us the top five things to see and do this winter:
Explore Cambridge on foot
With autumn moving to winter, experience the changing of the seasons with a guided walking tour along Cambridge’s quaint streets. With Cantab Tours, visitors can catch a snapshot of the surrounding famed sites which put Cambridge on the map, providing an introduction to the adventure that follows.
Explore six iconic university colleges, including King’s and Trinity, with a professionally trained Tourist Guide, and marvel at the natural beauty of Cambridge as the leaves turn from green to yellow, amber, and crimson hues. Tours leave every day at 11 am, and there is an additional 2 pm tour at weekends. After a day of immersing in local culture, visitors can sit back and relax with some hearty pub grub in the Eagle Pub, one of the oldest inns in Cambridge, bursting with 14th-century charm and character.
Seasonality is at the heart of many local restaurants
Local produce that changes with the seasons is at the heart of many a menu around Cambridge – Market House offers one-of-a-kind dining in the heart of Cambridge, changing its menus every six weeks to adapt to local fresh produce availability. Alternatively, check out Pint Shop, home to the finest selection of craft beer, snacks and classic dishes, served in an 18th Century building once lived in by E.M. Forster.
Those looking for a Sunday treat can head to Cambridge Chop House, located in the centre of the city and a stone’s throw away from Kings College Chapel, offering traditional roasts. For something more refined, Trinity restaurant has its emphasis on innovative dishes and a forward-thinking wine list, with Lindisfarne Oysters taking centre stage. For spirited dining, The Orator invites visitors to contradict Oscar Wilde’s idea that ‘Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast’ and enjoy your chosen company through engaging conversations whilst indulging in sumptuous food and beverages.
Indulge in some winter pampering
Treating yourself as winter approaches is a surefire way to stop the winter blues in their tracks. Gresham House at the Gonville is a place of tranquillity and relaxation in the heart of Cambridge, offering pampering for everyone, perfect for a moment of self-care or a gift for a frazzled friend. Choose from a range of facials, massages, beauty or spa packages to suit your needs. For a truly exceptional sensorial experience, visit the University Arms Treatment Rooms.
The hotel has partnered with British brand Aromatherapy Associates, that for over 35 years has specialised in harnessing the healing powers of the finest natural ingredients, known to enhance people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. University Arms’s Treatment Rooms are open Monday-Sunday every week, meaning relaxation is just around the corner, whatever your schedule.
Local boutiques for Christmas gifts
It’s well known that Christmas is just around the corner as soon as Halloween arrives. Get ahead on your to-do list by stocking up on gorgeous gifts at local independent boutiques. If you’re on the hunt for a quirky handbag, unique homewares or beautiful jewellery, head to Podarok, an award-winning gift shop.
Go searching in a cave of treasures at Nomads, the go-to place for exotic accessories, home interiors and crystals. A family favourite, particularly for Harry Potter fans, is The Department of Magical Gifts; visit them down Rose Crescent – which looks and feels like Diagon Alley – to be transported into a world of nostalgia.
For a slightly more refined present, visit the artisan husband and wife team soap makers, Soap and Clay, who specialise in natural handmade soap, bath products and local pottery.
Winter Warmers after a wander around Cambridge
After a day of walking tours, shopping and relaxation, what better way to warm up than some delicious hot chocolate or mulled wine? Visitors can head to Chocolat Chocolat, the home of artisan, handmade chocolate, and choose from a variety of bouquets, boxes, making or tasting courses, or personalise their gift with a handmade chocolate bouquet.
For a mid-afternoon boost of energy, visit Signorelli’s for an Italian hot chocolate, or, if caffeine is more up your street, pop into Modigliani for a coffee and Italian delicacy from the artisan coffee makers on Mill Road. Adults can end the day with a warming cup of mulled wine from Cambridge Wine Merchants, the UK’s most awarded independent wine merchant.
Immerse in culture, heritage, arts
Visitors can check out the Defaced Exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum, the first major exhibition to explore a 250-year history of protest, using currency as a canvas and a vehicle for rebellion.
Literary enthusiasts can head to the Cambridge Literary Festival, where over 350 writers and speakers are welcomed to Cambridge each year, and it also offers stage events that cover a huge variety of topics. Music lovers can get funky at Cambridge Jazz Festival, presenting 11 days of live music, workshops, films, tributes and speakers.
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