Innovation and excellence in science and health

Culture and leisure

Culture and leisure

Cultural and leisure activities for all interests

Throughout the year, a wide range of cultural and leisure activities are on offer in the Cambridge area. Sports, concerts, museums, cinemas, theatres, clubs, societies, restaurants, pubs, antiquarian book shops, fashion boutiques… there is something for everyone.


Cambridge city centre has been transformed by the opening of the Grand Arcade, a stylish sky-lit shoppers paradise which houses leading designer stores and high-street names – as well as cafés and restaurants – all under one roof. The city’s smaller streets house a wealth of independent shops selling everything from hand-crafted jewellery to antiquarian books, traditional toys to objets d’art. All the major supermarkets can be found in Cambridge including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco. Market Hill hosts daily markets and on Sundays a Farmers’ Market with arts, crafts and antiques.
Main shopping centres
Grand ArcadeStylish centre with over 60 premium and high street retailers including John Lewis and The Sanctuary day spa. Parking on site.
Lion YardOriginal city centre shopping arcade, with a wide range of shops and parking on site.
Grafton Centre10 minute walk from the heart of the city. Ample on-site parking. Wide variety of stores, cafes and restaurants and multi-screen Vue cinema.
Cambridge Market is held daily in the Market Square for fruit and vegetables, flowers, garden plants, clothing, footwear, health foods, fresh fish, freshly ground coffee and tea, sweets, crafts, CDs, souvenir clothing, jewelry, books and second-hand bikes. There is a FarmerÕs Market on Sundays. Cambridge Craft Market is held in All Saints Garden every Saturday.
Cambridge General MarketMarket Square, open Monday to Saturday. Wide range of produce, goods and services from superb quality fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, bread and flowers to books, clothing, jewellery, sweets, tailoring and bike repairs.
Sunday Arts & Crafts & Local ProduceMarket Square, crafts including pottery, painting, photographs, furnishings and sculpture. Local farmers selling organic food. Open every Sunday and Bank Holiday from 10 am - 4 pm
All Saints Garden Art & Craft MarketLocated in All Saints Garden, opposite Trinity College. Wide range of local arts and crafts. Held on Saturdays all year round plus Fridays in June, July and August. Also open Wednesday to Saturday in December.

Eating out and pubs
RestaurantsThe cultural diversity of Cambridge is reflected in the selection of international cuisine offered in the city’s restaurants. Options vary from restaurants such as Midsummer House with two Michelin stars to cheap and cheerful bistros.
Cafes and coffee shopsThere are dozens of coffee shops, tea rooms and cafes in Cambridge. The most well-known include Fitzbillies (famed for Chelsea Buns!) and the Orchard at Grantchester immortalised by poet Rupert Brooke. Cambridge is also home to the ubiquitous Starbucks, Caffe Nero and Costa coffee shops.
PubsThere are hundreds of pubs in the Cambridge area including The Eagle which is possibly the most famous of Cambridge pubs with its ceiling of signatures of Second World War pilots. It is also where Crick and Watson came to drink during the period they were working on the structure of DNA.
More informationMore information about eating out, shopping and what’s on can be found in a variety of free magazines distributed around the City:
Explorer magazine
Agenda magazine
Local secrets

Cambridge has the highest level of cycling in the country with one in four residents cycling to work. The county is relatively flat and has an extensive cycle route network for all ages and abilities to enjoy. There are over 80 miles of cycle lanes and routes and a map of the cycle routes in Cambridge and the surrounding villages can be downloaded from the Cambridge City Council.
There are 3 main swimming pools in the city in addition to the pools at the private health clubs and hotels. Some pools at schools are also open to the public. The Parkside complex has an eight-lane, 25m pool, separate adaptable diving pool, two giant flume rides, a children’s water area, a state-of-the-art health suite and cafeteria. Abbey Swimming Pool is a five-lane 25m pool including a children’s pool, sauna and gym and Jesus Green Pool, at 90m, is one of the longest open-air pools in the country.
Abbey PoolASA accredited Swim School swimming lessons; results cards in the pool for those who want to use the pool to get fit; fun sessions for those who just want to relax. Separate 12m learner pool
Jesus Green LidoJesus Green Swimming Pool is a lido. Opened in 1923, it is one of the few remaining examples of the lidos built across the country in the 1920s. Though only 15 yards (14 m) wide, it is among the longest outdoor swimming pools in Europe at 100 yards.
Impington Sports CentreSwimming pool in the sports centre.
Chesterton Sports Centre17 metre swimming pool.
Parkside PoolFamily and diving pool, flumes and toddler pool.
As well as conventional tennis clubs, Cambridge University has one of the few remaining real tennis courts in the country which is open to both members and non-members of the University. There are dozens of squash and badminton courts around the city including the Cambridge Squash Club and the Hurst Badminton Club.
Cambridge Lawn Tennis ClubBased in Wilberforce Road, the club is the biggest in Cambridgeshire, with around 400 adult and 300 junior members, and 18 courts. Currently there are 5 artificial grass courts and 3 hard courts which are in use all year round (and in all weathers). During the summer season (April to September) there are also 10 grass courts.
Cocks and Hens Lawn Tennis ClubOne of oldest tennis clubs in Britain, 6 grass courts, 4 hard courts.
Long Road Tennis Centre Long Road Tennis Centre is based at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. There is no membership requirement, and they offer pay and play facility, short tennis, transition tennis, beginners' tennis, intermediates tournaments and coaching for individuals and groups by qualified coaches.
David LloydThere is a tennis club with indoor and outdoor courts at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre
Cambridge University Real Tennis ClubMembership of the Cambridge University Real Tennis Club is open to all, not just to members of the university and the courts are among the best in the country. New members are always welcome.
Rowing on the River Cam is part of Cambridge life. The City of Cambridge Rowing Club, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2013, runs regular adult beginner rowing courses. A Cambridge tradition is the Bumps, a bizarre rowing race that’s taken place on the Cam since the 1820s. Crews line-up their boats along the river to chase and ‘bump’ the boat in front before they are bumped by the boat behind. Punting on the River Cam is a main attraction for tourists whilst the Grafham Water Centre caters for all types of water enthusiasts – dingy sailing, windsurfing, power boating, paddle sports and rowing
There are dozens of golf courses and driving ranges in the Cambridge area. Cambridge Lakes Golf Course is a very popular 9 hole par 3 golf course close to the city centre whilst The Gog Magog Golf Club - Old Course & Wandlebury Course - are both Championship quality 18-hole courses situated on the free draining chalk of the Gog Magog Hills and offer stunning views over Cambridge and across the fens of East Anglia to the majestic Ely Cathedral.
Cambridge Meridian Golf ClubCambridge Meridian Golf Club is so called because it straddles the Greenwich Meridian Line - just one of 10 courses in the world to do so. Golfers cross the Meridian Line seven times during their round on this stunning championship course. The course was designed by the Ryder Cup players Peter Alliss and Clive Clark.
Menzies Hotel and GolfSet in 200 acres with an extensive range of health and leisure facilities, the Menzies Cambridge Hotel & Golf Club provides a tranquil setting just five miles from Cambridge. Opened in 1974, Menzies has played host to a number of professional tournaments and is home to the PGA East Anglian Open.
Cambridge Lakes Golf Course9 hole course 1 mile from city centre; Cambridge Lakes Golf Course is suitable for beginners, inexperienced and experienced players, juniors, corporate and charity days.
Gog Magog Golf ClubHosts some of the best amateur golfers in the country - the famous Lagonda Trophy has been played here many times though even the top amateurs struggle to master a course that celebrated its centenary in 2001.
Cambridge Golf Club, Longstanton18 hole course, 7 miles north of Cambridge, welcomes all abilities
Milton Park Golf Course9 hole course, 3 miles north of Cambridge
Girton Golf Club18 hole course, mature trees offer challenging course;
DW Fitness Club Fitness equipment, group exercises, pool, jacuzzi and steam room.
David Lloyd Gym and personal training, tennis, badminton, squash, sports hall, indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, spa and steam room.
LA Fitness Personal training, group fitness classes, indoor pool.
The Glassworks Health Club and Elemis Spa. Gym & personal training. City centre location.
Impington Sports CentrePersonal Training, gym, group fitness classes, sauna and steam room.
The Barn Health & Leisure (private)Gym, fitness classes, Swedish pine sauna, steamroom.
Spirit Health Club, Impington Fitness classes, personal training, gym, steam room, jacuzzi, indoor pool
Nuffield HealthGym, fitness classes, pool
Cambridge South Hockey Club plays on the all-weather pitch at Long Road Sixth Form College. The club runs three ladies' and four men's league teams, ranging from experienced players to those new or returning to the sport. Matches are on Saturdays from September to March, with a social mixed team also playing on occasional Sundays.

The men’'s section trains on Tuesday evenings and the ladies on Thursdays during the season. Training is free to attend and grouped according to level. The club also runs an open "Pay & Play"” mixed knock-around session on Wednesday evenings throughout the year - £4 (£2 unwaged), no booking required, just turn up and join in.
Arts PicturehouseLocated in the city centre, this is a three screen cinema dedicated to showing the best in current, classic, independent and foreign language releases. The cinema hosts the annual Cambridge Film Festival every summer and has a varied programme for children.
Vue CinemaThe Vue Cinema is an 8 screen cinema located at the Grafton Shopping Centre in central Cambridge.
CineworldCineworld Cambridge is a 9 screen cinema located less than 2 miles away from the historic centre of Cambridge. The cinema is served by good transport links and a multi-storey car park.
Cambridge Arts TheatreThe Cambridge Arts Theatre is the city’s main theatre with a varied programme of drama, dance, music, comedy and pantomime as well as many shows prior to and direct from the West End.
ADC TheatreThe ADC Theatre is a department of the University of Cambridge and is the oldest University playhouse in the country. It is the centre of university drama in Cambridge presenting professional standard productions. The ADC Theatre has helped to launch the careers of many theatre luminaries, including Sir Ian McKellen, Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson.
It also present shows by local drama groups and touring companies outside of University Term.
Cambridge Corn ExchangeThe Corn Exchange hosts concerts, plays and other dramatic productions. Footlights, the world-famous comedy group which started the careers of many famous British actors, comedians, writers and vicars puts on three main shows each year, takes a touring show round the country and gives frequent informal evenings of comedy at the ADC.
Cambridge Corn ExchangeThe Corn Exchange is the city’s centre for arts and entertainment hosts concerts, plays and other dramatice productions.
West Road Concert HallWest Road Concert Hall is one of Cambridge’s premier classical music concert venues housed within the University’s Faculty of Music. The university houses three resident ensembles: the Academy of Ancient Music, the Britten Sinfonia and the Endellion String Quartet.
The JunctionDescribes itself as more than a nightclub, offering educational, creative and artistic opportunities in music, drama, art and digital art

POETRYFrom performance poets, the annual Shakespeare Festival, the Cambridge WordFest Festival – Cambridge has a thriving poetry and writing scene.
CLUBBING & LIVE MUSICThe Junction describes itself as more than a nightclub, offering educational, creative and artistic opportunities in music, drama, art and digital art. Cambridge night clubs include the Fez Club, Soul Tree and Club Salsa.
Cambridge Folk FestivalThe Cambridge Folk Festival, in July, is one of the most famous folk festivals in the world and attracts thousands of people from near and far to the Cherry Hinton Hall site to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and music; Emmylou Harris, Ry Cooder, Joan Armatrading, Steve Earle and Laura Marling have all graced the stage.
Cambridge Film FestivalThe city’s Arts Picturehouse hosts the Cambridge Film Festival every September showing an imaginative mix of films, shorts, documentaries and a children’s film festival, plus the chance to follow the River Cam up to Grantchester Meadows to enjoy open-air cinema under the stars.
Cambridge WordfestSpot literary luminaries every spring and winter when the city’s own literary festival Wordfest presents a programme of lively and friendly events across all genres for the entire family.
Cambridge Shakespeare FestivalThe Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is a seven-week tour-de-force of Elizabethan drama performed in the idyllic and unique settings of Cambridge University’s private gardens, where the audience can picnic on a summer’s evening before enjoying theatre at its best.
Cambridge Beer FestivalThe Cambridge Beer Festival was first held in 1974. This festival is the branch's largest and its main beer festival. The festival is the United Kingdom's longest running CAMRA beer festival and currently the second largest regional beer festival.
NATIONAL TRUST PROPERTIESNational Trust properties in the East of England
Anglesey Abbey6 miles from Cambridge, house from 1600. Fairhaven collection of paintings and furniture. 40 hectares of landscape garden and arboretum.
Wimpole Hall A working estate with an impressive mansion and home farm, approximately 10 miles from Cambridge.
City centre parks and green spacesCambridge is a uniquely green city, the natural fen landscape flows right into the city centre along the river Cam. Public parks and commons provide a haven for all and a paradise for children with play equipment, football pitches and tennis courts. Parks are plentiful - Jesus Green, Parker's Piece and Midsummer Common, all within the city centre.
Cambridge University Botanic GardenCity centre, 40 acres of beautiful gardens containing glasshouses. Open daily at 10 am, small charge.
Grantchester MeadowsA delightful footpath runs from the city centre through Grantchester Meadows to the village of Grantchester and famous Orchard Tea Rooms, renowned for its famous past visitors.
Fitzwilliam MuseumOutstanding collection of antiques, fine and decorative arts spanning centuries and civilisations.
Kettle's YardArt gallery and house in central Cambridge. Originally home of Jim Ede. Now displays Ede's collection of early 20th Century art.
Cambridge and County Folk MuseumFormer public house, presents the lives of the people of Cambridge from 1700 onwards.
Cambridge Museum of TechnologyIndustrial heritage museum, situated on the River Cam.
Cambridge University Museum of ZoologyPart of the University, the museum houses an extensive collection of material dating back to 1814.
Museum of Archaeology and AnthropologyHouses the university's collections of local antiquities.
Scott Polar MuseumCentre for research into the polar regions.
Sedgwick MuseumGeology museum of the University of Cambridge.


The Cambridgeshire Community Information database InfoCam lists details of over 4,000 local community, voluntary groups, clubs and societies as well as other local resources and facilities such as halls for hire. Sports ranges from angling, badminton, climbing, cricket, cycling, dancing, flying and gliding to martial arts, rowing and sailing are listed.


Find out more about…