One of the very few fun things (there’s no others) about living far away from your friends is showing them around where you live.
Most of my northern pals have never been to Cambridge, which means when they do visit then we go to the best bars and restaurants, obvs, but with a punt or picturesque scene thrown in to the mix. Got to make it a tad cultural right? Otherwise you may as well be in your second year house drinking gin from a mug instead.
If you haven’t been to Cambridge then you should deffo come visit, not that I’m biased at all – just live here and love the South (represent) – but it is SO worth it.
I got to live out my tourist-y day with my bestie from university (and sister for life) Ellie. As Ellie had never been to Cambs before I had to make sure she got the full southern experience in 24 hours.
The University of Cambridge will fill all your Hogwarts and HP vibes with the old school, traditional English vibes. Even though none of it was filmed here. Obvs we’re all huge HP fans, so it’s a must do really, we can pretend right?
Start your day right and get eating. Grab a legendary Chelsea bun from Fitzbillies if you appreciate some sweet sugary goodness or if you’re more of a savoury gal it’s a great spot for a tasty af breakfast even if it does have a Cambridge price tag to come with it. *Northerners take deep breaths before reading the bill*
Stroll down past Fitzbillies and down to St John’s or King’s College and take a tour of one of the colleges. If you’ve got a pal at the university this is even better (thanks Dan ly) as then you can sponge off them as their their university card will get you in for free as their guest.
The colleges are worth a visit if you appreciate architecture or want a better view of the river, the colleges or iconic spots such as the Bridge of Sighs.
Punting is an obvious choice for Cambs. If you only have one day, I’d say have a punt, but my god get a tour. Do not, I repeat do not punt yourself unless you have a full change of clothes and enjoy being submerged in some filthy ass water and smelling like a dirty river all day.
The tours are also a good way to learn a bit of Cambs trivia and it’s a nice way to spend an hour; flowing down a river with a glass of summin’ while a man with a big pole does all the work. The Mill (right by the punt tours) does great Pimms and has a good amount of gin so that’s your afternoon sorted tbh.
Post punt or picturesque walk head over to grab some ice cream from Aromi or Jack’s Gelato, even if it’s raining; it’s the stuff of calorific dreams, trust me.
I always like a cheeky drink when showing pals round, usually at the Pint Shop – because SO MUCH GIN – the Mill or a standard pitcher (lol who am I kidding, two pitchers) from Las Iguanas.
Walking through the centre to the main shopping area and market is also v lush, many a shop, for many a purchase if your bank balance will allow ya. Spoiler: Mine won’t.
There’s also a Franco Manca in the main square, a new addition that is very welcome for all the sourdough and chorizo oily goodness.
If you have slightly longer than a day or just don’t like my suggestions so far (rude) then most of the chain restaurants / bars in Cambridge are pretty nice, whether that’s Byron, Bill’s, or a cheeky Nando’s. Same same, reliable yanoo?
The Honest Burger company and Nanna Mexica are also my faves to eat, because you can’t go wrong with a burger or a big ass burrito right?
For a fancy ass dinner or drink I’d recommend Six and the roof terrace bar or the Ivy Brasserie. It’s fancy, but not bodyguard-on-the-door-take-your-comfy-shoes-off fancy.
Also an essential in Cambridge is a boyfriend, I’m kidding I meant a bag man/woman/tree branch to hang your stuff on when you take photos, as trust me, you’ll take photos. How could you not?
Enjoy your day exploring in Cambs, be a tourist (I still pretend to be) and be ready to dodge hundreds of boyfriends (some girlfriends) of Instagram getting them angles in for the money shot. You’ll be surprised how many photos you can ruin in one day.