Cambridge, England is a beautiful city that has a much more extensive history than you might think. It is best known as the location of Cambridge University, an institution that dates back nearly 800 years and is world-renowned. A good portion of the city is centered around this establishment but there is so much more to see in Cambridge. From visiting the university's Botanic Gardens to taking a boat ride down the peaceful River Cam, there are lots of ways to see the city and so many reasons to come here on vacation.
Cambridge also has a great food scene (make sure to try the street food) and lots of shopping options, too. If you want to go on a shopping spree while you are in town then you have come to the right place, and we will introduce you to all of the best places to shop in the City Centre and beyond. You won't need your suitcases or large bags while you browse and buy, so stow them away in a luggage locker in Cambridge. If you make lots of purchases, store them there also!
Popular Shopping Malls and Outlets in Cambridge
The Beehive Centre is a collection of outlets all located in the same area, making it a convenient spot to find almost anything. There are shops like Next Home and Home Sense that are perfect for finding new indoor décor and furnishings, and Pets at Home for any dog, cat, reptile or rodent parents to find pet food, toys and accessories.
These shopping outlets are a short distance away from the central area of the city and since there are so many shops here, you can easily spend a whole afternoon browsing the stores. But no need to worry, as there are 3 hours of free parking on-site plus restaurants to try in case you get hungry.
Grafton Centre is one of the top shopping centres in the city. It is found just eastward from the main shopping districts making it the perfect stop before or after you visit those areas. The building has multiple floors and a glass ceiling, and since it has been recently refurbished there are even more stores for you to discover.
Make sure you stop by the food court since you will need all of your energy to explore the entire shopping centre. Come here to shop for fashion and clothes, accessories, gifts, arts and crafts, homeware, tech and even more.
The Grand Arcade is located right in the heart of Cambridge and is also the beat of the shopping scene. It is a popular spot for many locals and the young adult population since it is joined to the Central Library and the Lion Yard, which has its own selection of boutique shops. In total there are over 60 stores in this one building where you can shop for food, and all types of items.
The flagship store is the John Lewis department store which is spread over five stories. The rest of the mall is two stories high and has shops selling all sorts of things. Some notable names include the Apple Store, Chocolat Chocolat and Ed's Easy Diner.
Designer Stores in Cambridge
The Cambridge Satchel Company
This is one of the top attractions for shopping in Cambridge and this brand is now known around the world as the trend of the British satchel grows. The founder of the store is a woman named Julie Deane, and she aimed to reinvent the schoolbag that she remembered from her youth. She opened this business back in 2008 and the proceeds were used to help send her children to private school.
Now many celebrities can be seen wearing these satchels, and you can buy one of your own if you visit this store in Central Cambridge. They aren't cheap but rest assured that you will be paying for the best quality, and those who admire style and craftmanship will particularly like this shop.
Iris & Violet
Iris & Violet has a beautiful collection of items for home décor and woman's fashion. The owner, Beth, carefully selects her inventory and everything is made by independent brands and small businesses, meaning that you can't find these things in the high street shops of the Cambridge City Centre.
You are sure to have a unique shopping experience and many of these items also make for great gifts. Treat yourself to something new from Iris & Violet.
When you are doing some Cambridge shopping make sure to stop by Laird Hatters. They have been in business since 2009 and have four locations; three found in London and only one in Cambridge so it is worth the trip. These hat makers have the passion and drive needed to create these interesting hats, and they only use British fabrics.
You can shop their inventory to see if anything catches your attention or ask them to make you something specific for a special occasion. Come here to get your own piece of British fashion to take back home!
This is one of the most eccentric stores in all of Cambridge and it has been around for a while since it was established back in 1978. In fact, Nomads is one of the independent retailers that has been around the longest in the entire city.
This place is a treasure trove of items and antiques collected from around the world. The owner, Fin, finds all of these items on his travels around the globe and brings them back here to Cambridge to share with the people. You can find anything from Afghanistan glass vases to fabrics that were hand painted in Tibet.
Jack's on Trinity
If you are traveling to Cambridge for sightseeing and want to bring home a souvenir, then this is the place to go. They have lots of things for you and your abode that will remind you of your time in Cambridge, and they make great gifts for loved ones back home as well.
Much of their inventory is official branded Cambridge University clothing, so whether you want sweatshirts, t-shirts, varsity jackets or other items you can buy them here. They even have Cambridge clothes for kids!
This store is perfect for women who have a bold and eclectic style. The clothes sold here are unique and sure to make you stand out in the crowd. The items they stock are meant to be different than the ones that you will find in the other stores when you explore Cambridge, so if you are bored of the usual fashion you should come here.
Aside from clothing, you can shop for accessories and jewelry, and it is a good place to buy gifts as well. Come here to completely transform your wardrobe or just to add some distinctive new pieces.
The Cambridge Cheese Company
The Cambridge Cheese Company might not be your first thought when you think about shopping in Cambridge but it should definitely be one of your stops. As you might have guessed, this store sells different kinds of cheese from around the UK and the rest of the world.
You will be surprised as to how different from one another the cheeses can taste, and if you are interested in trying new foods then this is the place to go. Aside from the cheeses, you can find artisanal items and locally made foodie products, like olive oils and pickles.
Whether you are shopping for clothing, gifts, souvenirs or home décor, Ark has something for you. There is lots to see here and with the store's vibrant and fun atmosphere you will have a hard time not bringing something home for yourself.
If you are traveling with children they will enjoy browsing through this independent shop and will be especially interested in the kid's corner. Here you can find toys that might look old-fashioned but each one is modified with a new modern twist. Bring the kids here for a family friendly activity.
This is one of the independent boutiques specializing in men's fashion. The clothing sold here can keep you looking trendy and stylish, and they have an array of clothing styles and brands perfect for all men.
There is a wide selection of fashionwear at Sevenwolves Cambridge, from small upcoming brands to bigger names known around the world. Come find something new to wear at Sevenwolves Cambridge!
It is hard to explain what you can find in Podarok since their inventory includes a bit of everything. The store has earned a reputation for selling unusual but charming items that work well as gifts and are suitable for anyone.
Podarok sells homeware, nice jewelry and other random items. They even have kids' toys, and since many of them are handcrafted there is no doubt that they are unique and can't be found anywhere else.
Popular Shopping Streets in Cambridge
Cambridge's Market Square is one of the best places to go shopping in the city. The surrounding area and streets include Sidney Street, which is connected to Green Street and Trinity Street, Market Street, Petty Cury pedestrian street, and St Andrew's Street, and they are all great places to check out. The whole area of the historic centre of Cambridge is filled with upmarket boutiques as well as cute cafes and eateries. It is a great place to do sightseeing among the beautiful buildings, and street performers are common too!
The Market Square itself has an all week market that is filled with tradesmen and talented crafters from Cambridge who come here year round to sell their creations. It has been one of the top shopping areas since way back in the middle ages and is still where many people choose to go shopping today. Here you can find everything from books and garden plants to clothing and accessories. Some stalls sell second hand books, fresh fruits and tasty street food.
Mill Road is a vibrant and colorful shopping street in the South Eastern part of Cambridge. The shops that you will find here are different than in other parts of the city; instead of high street shops, you will find independent shops and quirky restaurants.
Many charity shops also make a home here as well as bars. It is a beautiful part of the city as many ethnicities tend to gather here, like Thai, North African, Korean and Spanish. This part of the City Centre brings people together, especially with events like the Winter Fair which has live music and dancing. During this event, there is a friendly competition among the local shops where they each try to make the best window displays.
Just a short mile away from the heart of Cambridge is Newmarket Road. This is where lots of superstores and retail areas have been built making it one of the top destinations on your shopping adventure. There is also a football stadium and the Leper Chapel dating from 1125 nearby, so you can do some sightseeing at the same time.
Some of the stores found in the area include Sports Direct, Dunelms, Curry's PC World and Argos. There have recently been two new hotels constructed nearby, so if you are planning to shop a lot and want to stay in the area you are able to.
A Shopping Spree in Cambridge
Shopping can be a fun thing to do as a family, with friends and even on your own. Cambridge is one of the best places in England for shopping and while you are in the city you should definitely dedicate a day or two to seeing what the locals stores have to offer. You can go straight to the outlets to find everything in one place or stroll along the main streets to browse the small shops.
From clothing and accessories to souvenirs and food, Cambridge has everything that you could need. Even if you don't want to buy anything, shopping can be a good way to see the city and to get to know its people as well. You have nothing to lose from walking down the high streets and doing some window shopping in Cambridge.