Being a university city, Cambridge offers a multitude of cultural activities – you will find all manner of festivals (literary, folk music, beer, film and science for starters), top-flight museums (the Fitzwilliam and the Scott Polar), concerts of every musical hue, lectures given by world experts, a varied and vibrant theatre and cinema scene, and the quirky Kettle’s Yard gallery. there is a wealth of green spaces to enjoy including the Botanical Gardens, Coe Fen, Jesus Green and Parkers Piece (where the rules of football were effectively devised).
Favourite activities include punting along The Backs or cycling along the Cam towards Fen Ditton to watch either the May Bumps (the inter-collegiate rowing races) or the September Dragon Boat Festival. not to be missed is the annual Boxing Day barrel-rolling contest held in grantchester. Alternatively, you can tread in the footsteps of Rupert Brooke across Grantchester Meadows and reward yourself with tea in the charming garden at The Orchard before returning for a pub supper at The Eagle (where Crick and Watson announced they had discovered the structure of DnA). Foodies may not find the variety and quality of London but there are a few gems like Cotto and The Oak Bistro, Midsummer House for a real treat and a range of good pubs like The Punter, The Mill, The Tickell Arms in Whittlesford and the Green Man in Grantchester.
Cambridge is well-served for sporting types, with the Cam being ideal for rowing. You will also find a large municipal pool (with flumes), numerous tennis clubs, real tennis and squash courts and a host of peripatetic clubs. many of the university and local schools’ facilities are ‘borrowed’ by local clubs, which gives plenty of outlets for sporty families wanting to get involved in anything from cricket to trampolining.
Outside Cambridge, you can enjoy lovely walks in Wandlebury and Gamlingay woods (to the south and west), or discover peaceful Wicken Fen (a wetland nature reserve to the north); the children can ‘Go Ape’ or follow the cycle trails in Thetford Forest to the east; there are historic houses such as Audley End, Anglesey Abbey and Wimpole (which lay on a range of concerts and children’s activities) and racing at nearby Newmarket, where the summer ‘Newmarket Nights’ provide a winning combination of racing and big-name live bands. Other attractions for children include the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and Spy Missions at Bar Hill. Further afield, the pretty north norfolk and Suffolk coastlines are only a 90-minute drive.