Short Breaks in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire: The Getaway Choice

Cambridgeshire is an amalgamation of pastoral beauty, rich history, and modern conveniences, making it an ideal destination for short breaks.

Located in the East of England, the county offers an array of picturesque landscapes, vibrant cities, and quaint villages.

Whether you seek academic charm, outdoor activities, or culinary delights, Cambridgeshire serves as a versatile destination with something for every traveller.

Magdalen College, University of Cambridge.
Magdalen College, University of Cambridge, set in lovely surroundings.

Why Short Breaks In Cambridgeshire?

Cambridgeshire is more than just a gateway to the prestigious University of Cambridge; it is a destination that blends history with modernity, and nature with culture.

Its countryside studded with traditional English pubs is a paradise for cyclists and hikers. The iconic River Cam offers opportunities for punting or a leisurely walk along its banks.

Ancient chapels, world-class museums, and a calendar filled with festivals mean that you can indulge in a variety of activities without ever feeling pressed for time.

For those who fancy less frequented spots, the charming villages provide a more laid-back setting, making Cambridgeshire a multifaceted destination perfect for short breaks.

Old stone bridge over the river in Cambridge.
An old stone bridge over the river in Cambridge, with people enjoying river boating.

Getting to Cambridgeshire: Quick Guide

Getting to Cambridgeshire is straightforward, regardless of your starting point in the UK.

The county’s robust transportation network ensures you can easily reach your destination by rail, road, or air. This well-connectedness makes it simple to plan a short break without the worry of lengthy or complicated travel arrangements.

Here are some easy ways to reach your short breaks in Cambridgeshire:

  • By Train: Cambridgeshire’s main railway station, Cambridge, has frequent services to London’s King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations, taking approximately 50 minutes.
  • By Car: Major motorways like the M11 and A14 provide easy access to Cambridgeshire. It’s around a 90-minute drive from London.
  • By Air: The nearest international airport is London Stansted, about 30 miles away, offering numerous international and domestic flights.
  • By Bus: National Express offers coach services from various parts of the UK to Cambridge.

Average Driving Times To Cambridgeshire

Starting CityAverage Driving Time to Cambridgeshire
London1 hour 30 minutes
Manchester3 hours
Edinburgh6 hours
Cardiff3 hours 30 minutes
Birmingham1 hour 45 minutes
Liverpool3 hours 15 minutes

The Highlight of Cambridgeshire: The University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge isn’t just an educational institution; it’s a landmark that has shaped the city and the world at large.

Its esteemed history dates back to 1209, and over the years, it has been the academic home to many of the world’s greatest thinkers, from Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking.

The university complex itself is an architectural marvel with historic buildings, such as King’s College Chapel and the Cambridge University Library.

Visitors can take guided tours to explore the magnificent courtyards, libraries, and chapels. Whether you’re an avid scholar or a history enthusiast, the University of Cambridge offers a unique, enriching experience that is second to none.

Photo of Clare College, Cambridge, UK.
Clare College, Cambridge, complete with beautiful buildings.

Things To Do In Cambridgeshire

From leisurely punting along the River Cam to exploring the vast open spaces like the Fens, Cambridgeshire offers an extensive range of activities that go beyond academic pursuits.

Families will find plenty to do at places like Wimpole Estate, where history meets fun, or Shepreth Wildlife Park, a compact but diverse zoological garden.

For those more interested in art and culture, the Kettle’s Yard gallery and museum provides a serene environment to view modern art.

Outdoor adventurers aren’t left out either; the region offers numerous walking and cycling paths through beautiful, scenic landscapes.

Photo of Queens College, Cambridge
Cambridge itself is really interesting to walk around, with buildings like Queens College.

Places To Visit in Cambridgeshire

When it comes to attractions that blend history, culture, and natural beauty, Cambridgeshire doesn’t disappoint.

Whether you’re a history aficionado, a lover of fine art, or someone who appreciates the tranquillity of botanical gardens, this county has something tailored for your interests.

Here are five must-visit destinations that cater to a variety of tastes and will make your short breaks to Cambridgeshire unforgettable.

  • Ely Cathedral: Known as the “Ship of the Fens,” this magnificent cathedral is a marvel of medieval architecture and home to one of the most impressive Gothic facades in the UK.
  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden: This 40-acre garden is an oasis of tranquillity and a showcase for a collection of over 8,000 plant species from around the world.
  • Imperial War Museum Duxford: A branch of the Imperial War Museum, Duxford offers an extensive collection of tanks, military vehicles, and aircraft.
  • Fitzwilliam Museum: Located in Cambridge, this museum offers a wide range of art and antiquities, including masterpieces by Titian, Rubens, and Van Dyck.
  • Oliver Cromwell’s House: The former home of the famous English military and political leader, this house in Ely is now a museum which offers a glimpse into 17th-century domestic life.
Oliver Cromwell’s house is an amazing place to visit. Photo © G Laird (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Popular Towns In Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire is home to a diverse range of towns, each with its own unique attractions and character.

From the world-renowned academic haven of Cambridge to the tranquillity of riverside locations like Ely, the county offers a compelling blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

  • Cambridge – Home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Cambridge is more than an academic town. It boasts historic architecture, idyllic riversides, and a lively cultural scene.
  • Ely – Known for its stunning cathedral, Ely offers a peaceful atmosphere with its riverside walks, medieval streets, and charming marketplaces.
  • Huntingdon – With a rich history that dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, Huntingdon offers a mix of modern amenities and historic landmarks, including the Cromwell Museum.
  • St Neots – The largest town in Cambridgeshire, St Neots sits on the River Great Ouse and offers a variety of recreational activities from water sports to scenic walks.
  • Wisbech – Often called the ‘Capital of the Fens,’ Wisbech is known for its Georgian architecture, historic port, and the sprawling Wisbech Park.

Whether you’re interested in exploring medieval architecture, enjoying scenic walks, or delving into local markets, there is something for every traveller enjoying short breaks in Cambridgeshire.

Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, perfect for short breaks.
Ely Cathedral is a fantastic attraction for your short trip to Cambridgeshire.

Planning Short Breaks in Cambridgeshire

Before setting off on your Cambridgeshire adventure, here are some practical tips to enhance your visit on any short break to Cambridgeshire:

  • Public transportation is limited in rural areas, so renting a car is advisable if you plan to explore beyond Cambridge city.
  • Many attractions and historic sites have seasonal opening hours; check in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • The weather can be unpredictable; packing layers and waterproofs is recommended.
  • If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, consider visiting in spring or autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds.
  • Free Wi-Fi is widely available in Cambridge and larger towns but might be limited in rural areas.

Whether you’re yearning for a weekend retreat or a longer stay, Cambridgeshire offers a splendid array of experiences for every type of traveller.

From the bustling city life of Cambridge to the tranquil beauty of the Fenlands, it’s a destination that captivates with its rich history and modern charm. Short breaks in Cambridgeshire are packed with things to do and amazing attractions.

Ideal for both romantic getaways and family vacations, Cambridgeshire promises an unforgettable visit that will leave you eager to return.

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