10 best things to do in Cambridge

Famous for its world-renowned University and punting along the River Cam, Cambridge is a relaxed picturesque city, brimming with medieval colleges, unique museums and lush green parklands. With a rich history, dating back to Roman times, with Viking influences, Cambridge’s streets are a unique tapestry of the past.

Whether you’re looking to uncover the city’s heritage or mingle with the locals in Market Square, car hire in Cambridge with Hertz allows you to make the most of your visit.

Not sure where to start? Read on to find out our top ten things to see and do in Cambridge.

1. Whipple Museum of the History of Science

Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RH

Science enthusiasts should head to the Whipple Museum of the History of Science to appreciate its broad range of scientific instruments, apparatus and medieval prints. The museum was founded in 1944, when Robert Whipple presented his collection of more than 1,000 scientific devices to the University of Cambridge.

Find telescopes, sundials and orreries in the Astronomy exhibit and trace the history of mathematics from the abacus to the first handheld calculators. You can also admire the extensive collection of antique globes in the Upper Gallery and attend lectures and events throughout the year.

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2. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3DZ

Explore two million years of human history at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Part of the University of Cambridge, it’s home to one million archaeological and ethnographic artefacts from across the globe, across three floors of exhibits, covering everything from pre-historic Arctic materials to African rock art.

You’ll find stone tools and wooden carvings from Oceania, plus pre-Columbian textiles and the most important compilation of Fijian art outside of Fiji. The museum also showcases one of the biggest collections of items from the voyages of Captain James Cook.

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3. River Cam

Bridge Street, Cambridge, CB2 1UW

Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the River Cam, which flows through the city centre, running just over 14 miles to the Great Ouse at Pope's Corner. Follow the Fen River Way between Cambridge and Kings Lynn or enjoy a scenic walk along the Backs to admire the Gothic architecture of the University colleges.

Spot the river’s intricate bridges along the way, from Mathematical Bridge at Queen’s College, to the Bridge of Sighs at St John’s College. To discover the River Cam in true Cambridge fashion, try the traditional pastime of punting between Jesus Lock and Grantchester.

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4. Jesus Green

Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 3BD

You don’t have to drive far to find family-friendly parks in Cambridge. Perched on the edge of the River Cam, just north of Jesus College, Jesus Green is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike to bask in the balmy weather during the summer months.

It’s open year-round, of course, and is the perfect space to relax with a picnic, enjoy a peaceful walk or play sports in the open green spaces. Visit between May and September to take advantage of the Jesus Green Lido – one of Europe's longest outdoor swimming pools at 91 metres.

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5. Footprints Tours

11 King’s Parade, Cambridge, CB2 1SJ

Park up your hire car and explore the city on foot with the student-led Footprints Tours – free to join, with an optional tip at the end. This enjoyable two-hour tour takes you through Cambridge’s main sights and attractions, offering a unique commentary about the city's history.

You’ll learn intriguing facts about the University and famous individuals who have lived here, offering a unique commentary on historical Cambridge. Catch a glimpse of Kings College, Trinity Hall and the Senate House, along with many local hotspots along the way.

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6. Cherry Hinton Hall

Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, CB1 8DW

Find Cherry Hinton Hall in the southeast of the city, for a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of central Cambridge. The Grade II-listed Victorian country house was originally built by surgeon John Okes in 1839, before it came under Cambridge City Council's ownership after the Second World War.

While the house isn't open to the public, the delightful grounds very much are, with several walks and playground facilities available. The Cambridge Folk Festival brings thousands to the park every year, while the wide grassy spaces, water play area and tree trail make it a popular location for dog walkers and families.

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7. Market Square

Market Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ

Market Square is Cambridge’s hub and its origins date back to the Middle Ages. Open every day of the week, the colourful stalls are your go-to for shopping in Cambridge, with a wide range of vendors selling books, records, clothes, jewellery, plants, and more from Monday to Saturday.

On Sundays, the market stalls are dedicated to local food and crafts. Buy organic fruit and veg from the nearby farms, pick up hand-crafted souvenirs for friends and family, and grab something to eat from one of the street food stands.

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8. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EQ

In the centre of the city sits the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences – the oldest of the University of Cambridge’s museums, dating back to 1728. Embark on a 4.5 billion-year journey through the Earth’s history and discover a collection of two million fossils, minerals, rocks and crystals.

Exhibits are there to help visitors learn about the evolution of life, from dinosaurs to sea creatures and beyond. You can also follow one of the designated trails through the museum and let your little ones learn about the different displays, courtesy of fun interactive puzzles and activity boxes.

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9. Parker’s Piece

Parkside, Cambridge, CB1 1NA

One of Cambridge's most visited beauty spots, Parker's Piece offers 25 gorgeous acres of green space in the centre of the city. It’s often remembered as the place where the rules of association football first took shape in the 19th century, so a game of footy is definitely on the cards.

If you’re not a football fanatic, the green is great for cricket or rounders and picnics in the sun, with various events planned throughout the year. Visitors can also spot the large lamppost in the middle of the park, known as Reality Checkpoint, a unique gas lamp which is a piece of local history that dates back to 1893.

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10. Museum of Classical Archaeology

Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA

Whether you’re studying classics or are interested in ancient history, check out the Museum of Classical Archaeology. It houses one of the world’s largest plaster cast exhibits, showcasing more than 450 casts of Greek and Roman sculptures.

Follow the chronological display from 1700BCE to 400CE, to see cult statues from Roman temples and the painted Peplos Kore – a famous statue of a young woman which used to mark graves. The museum can be found on the first floor of the University Faculty of Classics, with regular events, talks and tours running throughout the year.

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Explore all these amazing attractions and venture into wider Cambridgeshire when you book online car hire in Cambridge with Hertz today.