Is Cambridge safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
Cambridge is a county town in Cambridgeshire, located on the River Cam, about 50 miles north of London. With a population of over 150,000, Cambridge is a relatively small city in the UK but doing well economically and fast-growing too. Home to one of the world's oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, for which the city is often referred to as the university city, Cambridge attracts over 7 million visitors each year.
This historical city has a lot to offer visitors from around the world. With its countless museums, vast green parks, age-old pubs and restaurants, shopping centers, and fresh markets, Cambridge is definitely a city to add to your bucket list. Tourism spikes during the summer months, from June to August, when daily average temperatures are above 67 F. If you don't like to mingle with the crowds, check your accommodation options during the shoulder season (from September to the beginning of November) when the city quiets down a bit.
But is Cambridge a safe place for tourists? The answer is, of course, yes. This university town is a pretty safe place to visit, whether you're a student enrolling at Cambridge University, a couple on a weekend retreat, backpacking, or on a work-related trip. For people traveling from rural areas, Cambridge may feel a lot busier and not as safe as home, but considering the low crime rate and low risk of natural disasters Cambridge, compared to other cities in the UK, is generally a very safe city.
Safe or not, you should always keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings. To avoid potential dangers from occurring, such as pickpocketing or theft, store your luggage with Bounce in Cambridge and see the sights burden free.
Is Cambridge safe to visit right now?
Cambridge is a very safe place compared to other cities in England. With a diverse community of students, young professionals, and thousands of tourists yearly, Cambridge has a low crime rate and a low risk of natural disasters.
In fact, Cambridge is considered one of the safest cities in the UK, with Travel Safe Abroad giving this English fairy town a ranking of 78, unlike London, which ranks with an index of 68, followed by Oxford with 66. There are far fewer crimes reported in Cambridge than in other university towns in England, such as Newcastle, Nottingham, and Leeds, especially alcohol-related incidents involving students.
Despite the high safety ranking, you should always be on your guard, especially when alone, at night, or in a dark and empty alley. Possible threats in Cambridge include pickpocketing, criminal damage, vehicle crime, and bike theft. But don't let these potential dangers keep you at home. They can happen anywhere in the world. As long as you follow these Cambridge safety tips, remain vigilant, and stay out of trouble, expect to have a marvelous visit.
Since there is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, we suggest you do your research before booking and find what tours and places you want to visit. Also, it helps to look into the neighborhood of your preferred accommodation before making the reservation. And whether you're an experienced traveler or not, don't forget to check your government's official travel guidelines before your trip to Cambridge.
Top petty crimes and scams in Cambridge affecting tourists
Petty crime in Cambridge is low, and tourists should feel free to walk around and explore. But as with any other city, you should always remain vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings. Although not common, here are some petty crimes and scams you might encounter while in Cambridge.
Riding a bike is a popular way to get from place to place in this small city. This is the most common threat in Cambridge, affecting residents and tourists alike. To prevent your bicycle from being stolen, always lock your bike when you're not using it.
Ticket scams can happen to everyone who is not being careful when purchasing tours online or buying tickets for events. To avoid being scammed, always purchase from a reputable website, vendor or agency. Never trust a ticket seller on the street.
When out and about at attractions and wonderful sites like King's College Chapel and the stalls of Market Square, stay alert and don't become complacent about theft. Don't carry a backpack with easily manipulated pockets and keep valuables, credit cards, and your phone in hard to reach places. Better yet, store your extra gear with Bounce and only carry the essentials.
Is Cambridge safe to travel alone
Cambridge is a friendly city and considered safe for solo travelers, groups, students, and female solo travelers, with the United Kingdom earning a rating of 26 on the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index.
However, women traveling alone should never let their guard down. When out and about the city, stay alert and avoid neighborhoods with a bad reputation, especially at night or after hours. In busy restaurants, pubs and clubs, never leave your drink unattended to protect your beverage from being spiked. Don't accept drinks from people you don't know either.
Use common sense and remain vigilant and you shouldn't have to worry about your safety while visiting Cambridge on your own.
Safest neighborhoods in Cambridge
Cambridge is one of the safest places to live in the UK. It's filled with quaint neighborhoods, whether you want to see the city centre or venture to the suburbs. If you have any concerns when booking your accommodation, these are considered a couple of Cambridge's safest neighborhoods.
De Freville Avenue
This area in Cambridge has the best reputation. It's a wealthy neighborhood just a stone's throw from the river and boasts beautiful properties. Plan to see the David Parr House for a guided tour that includes intriguing exhibits of arts and crafts.
This lovely locale is close to King's College and a visit here will be a treat. Plan to stop for an authentic UK meal at a pub or a quick coffee at a cozy cafe.
However, some neighborhoods are less popular among tourists. Some areas you can easily skip are located in Cambridge South, such as Cherry Hinton and Coleridge. Huntington, Abrury, Kings Hedges, and East Barnwell are also on the list of neighborhoods that you can pass by.
Is Cambridge public transportation safe?
Generally speaking, public transportation in Cambridge is very safe and reliable. Most residents, however, use bicycles. Cambridge is known as the city of cycling due to the highest number of cyclists in the UK, thanks to the flat and compact city. If you take a bike share in Cambridge, follow the safety tips to avoid bike theft. And as long as you obey traffic laws, you shouldn't be anxious about your safety when riding a bike.
Besides driving a car and bicycles, people in Cambridge commute using the subway, shuttles, buses, and commuter rail. There has been an increase in vandalism in recent years, but nothing dangerous or serious enough to make a person feel unsafe or uncomfortable when riding the bus.
Just to be safe, use common sense when riding on public transport in Cambridge as you would anywhere else. Keep your bags close to you and wallets and valuables inside your bag, preferably in internal pockets. If you ride alone and feel uncomfortable or in danger at any point, especially in almost empty transportation at night, try to get off the bus, report to the driver or call someone for assistance.
But these situations are very rare. As mentioned earlier, bike thefts are the biggest crime in the city. As mentioned, to avoid cycle theft, always keep your bike locked when you're not using it.
Important emergency numbers in Cambridge
As a tourist in a foreign country, your safety is your responsibility, so you should be aware of the emergency numbers of the country you're visiting. This way, you'll be able to react fast should you or anyone around you require immediate assistance. The following numbers are some of the most important emergency numbers in Cambridge:
- Emergency police, fire, ambulance: 999
- Cambridgeshire Police (non-emergency): 101
- Environment Agency - Floodline: 0845 9881188
- Report a gas leak: 0800 111999
- Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (non-emergency): 01480 444500
- NHS 111 (non-emergency health queries): 111
Of course, it goes without saying that you should be aware of your embassy's contact number, too, in case you need an emergency passport or need other official government documents.
A fairytale town indeed
Cambridge is a safe city and you should not have any concerns about your safety as a tourist. The most dangerous threat you might encounter is bicycle theft, which is more of an annoyance than a danger.
If you're a female traveling alone, you should use common sense, never leave your drink unattended, and walk away from suspicious behavior. Petty crimes like pickpockets are also low, but that doesn't mean you should make your wallet available for stealing or leave your phone unattended, especially when riding on public transport. Finally, invest in travel insurance when traveling to Cambridge. This way, you'll be financially covered if you need medical assistance or fall victim to theft.
Follow these Cambridge safety tips, and you should have a wonderful time in this beautiful fairytale town. Wondering where to choose accommodation? Our guide, Where to Stay in Cambridge: The Ultimate Guide can help you decide. To learn how to navigate the university city, check out How to Get Around Cambridge for the essential facts.