The Hidden Gems of Cambridge

While everyone knows about the colleges and the river and, of course, the punting, there’s so much of Cambridge that gets left off the tourist guide. I’ve lived here all my life and there are some truly wonderful places that you may not see in the everyday travel guide. Here are a few of my favourites, from little independent shops to beautiful walks.

Ditton Meadows and Stourbridge Common

I discovered these beautiful green spaces because they were on my way to work, and they are some of the prettiest parts of the city. One of the best parts is that they don’t feel like the city at all, it feels like you’re just walking through the countryside. Maybe one to avoid if you’re not a fan of cows, as they wander freely, but definitely one to have a look at if you want a walk along the river where the rest of the tourists won’t be. It’s a brilliant place to go for a bike ride. For lunch, head over the Green Dragon Bridge to the Green Dragon pub, with their riverside beer garden.

Oxfam on Mill Road

I charity shop a lot and I can say, hands down, this is the best one I’ve ever been to. It’s a fantastic place to find vintage gems, from 50s shoes to 80s dresses, they’ve got you covered. The walls are decorated with local art, posters and records, giving it a fantastic feel that most plain, boring charity shops don’t have. It’s also got a brilliant record section, with a huge range of different genres, a must for collectors.
Also check out YMCA on Mill Road, a bit newer and more expensive than Oxfam but a fantastic shop none the less.

Jemporium Vintage

Jemporium Vintage has been featured in Vogue, and for a good reason. The shop has so many fantastic pieces, from Winnie the Pooh dungarees to shell suits in all of the colours, you’re for sure going to find something you love in there. Everything is also very reasonably priced, meaning you can look a million dollars without breaking the bank. You’ll see styles of all sorts around Cambridge and if eclectic vintage is your favourite, make sure to pop in.
Also browse Burleigh Street’s many charity shops; I recommend Oxfam and Sense for the best bits and best prices.

The Haymakers

This is a really lovely pub, with a huge range of beers (that I don’t personally like but everyone I’ve been there with says they’re fab) and lots of food to satisfy anyone, their pizzas are especially good. On a summer evening after work, the garden’s packed with everyone having a nice laugh and chat; you’ll struggle not to speak to someone new. The inside is just as nice, making this pub perfect for anyone.

Nanna Mexico

This one may be more well-known than the others, but really just cannot be missed. If you like good food and lots of it, this really is the place for you. Amazing burritos, nachos, tacos, if it’s Mexican and amazing, they probably have it. There’s so much variety for fillings, vegans and very much meat eaters (like me) will both be happy, with a lot of their ingredients local. There’s one on Regent Street and another on Petty Cury, you have to check them out.
Cambridge is a city that’s really full of little gems just waiting to be discovered. Have a walk around the winding streets during your stay and I’m sure you’ll find your new favourite place.

Guest post author: Penny Cracknell

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