Where To Stay In Cambridge: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
In the heart of Cambridgeshire, about fifty miles northeast of London, Cambridge is a historic city with stunning architecture and picturesque nature. It is home to one of the world’s best universities, beautiful ancient churches, remarkable museums, and distinctive libraries. As you walk around the city, you’ll immediately notice the significant influence of the university, with its skyline dominated by iconic college buildings. However, despite its growing popularity among visitors worldwide, people still enjoy its quiet, country atmosphere.
Before deciding where to stay in Cambridge, it's essential to determine where you want to go and what you want to do while in town. If you’re here to explore popular places like the Fitzwilliam Museum and King’s College Chapel or go punting on the River Cam, the Hilton Cambridge City Centre may be your best bet. The Royal Cambridge Hotel is another accommodation to consider, as it’s within walking distance from famous colleges, including Corpus Christi College, Queens’ College, and Magdalene College.
Whether it’s a quick visit or an extended vacation, you won’t be short of options when looking for a convenient place to stay in Cambridge. Although it’s a relatively small city, it’s bursting with fantastic homes and hotels throughout its distinct neighborhoods. From affordable cozy rooms to luxury hotels and apartments, there’s always a perfect accommodation that matches every budget, style, and need.
But before you make your way to any neighborhood of your choice, it’s best to leave your bags with a trusted luggage locker in Cambridge. That way, you can search for a room in peace, knowing that your belongings are in safe hands.
Where to stay in Cambridge City Centre
If it’s your first time in Cambridge, you’d want to stay in an area with a central location just a short walk from tourist spots, shops, and restaurants. Cambridge city centre is where most fun happens, with lots of shopping and dining opportunities and many famous university colleges to explore.
Just fifty yards from King’s College Chapel is a haven for meat lovers, The Cambridge Chop House, specializing in different cuts and chops of meat. Also located in the heart of the city, Bills Restaurant is tucked away on a small back street, offering a hearty breakfast, tasty lunch, luscious dinner, and everything in between.
The city is welcoming and small, so it’s easy to navigate and get to places on foot. It’s also where most museums, art galleries, and old churches are located. Go see the world-famous collections of antiquities and art or take a relaxing cruise along the River Cam. You’ll never run out of things to do and places to visit if you stay in Cambridge city no matter your preference and style.
Once you’ve completed your adventure for the day, go to the Gonville Hotel. It's a city centre hotel just a 15-minute walk from the main Cambridge train station and half a kilometer away from the Grande Arcade shopping centre.
But if you want to stay in a room with a lovely terrace, check out the Graduate Cambridge. Surrounded by the River Cam, this hotel provides spectacular views and a good location. It is close to popular points of interest in the historic centre, including the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and St. Catherine’s College. There’s also the Hotel Du Vin for those looking for a city break. It’s a renovated university building, delivering quirky accommodation and mouthwatering food.
Where to stay in Mill Road
Situated southeast of the city centre, the Mill Road area boasts a vibrant community with easy access to Cambridge Railway Station and the central city. It’s a popular area among commuters and families looking for quaint period properties and excellent schools, like St Matthews Primary School, Sancton Wood School, and St Alban’s Primary school. Plus, Anglia Ruskin University, one of the two universities in Cambridge, is within walking distance of Mill Road.
Whether you’re here to study, work, or visit, the Mill Road area has a wealth of affordable accommodation options suitable for travelers, students, and backpackers. The Mill Suites is close to Cambridge University and the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. It’s only 1.8 km from King’s College and 600 meters from Anglia Ruskin University. You’ll also find economy hotels like ibis Cambridge Central Station, located near the main Cambridge station, and student housing perfect for every budget.
Staying in Mill Road means having access to the eclectic shops, restaurants, pubs for brunch, and cafes just a few minutes' walk from the city centre, giving you a cosmopolitan feel. It even has a microbrewery nearby and a variety of independent family-owned shops that sell everything from vintage clothes to fresh locally-produced vegetables and fruits.
With many international restaurants around the area, it won’t be long until you find the cuisine that will remind you of home. Head to Rocker’s Steak House if you’re craving some American-style steak or want some juicy burger. There are also Bangladeshi and Indian delights at The Golden Curry and luscious North African cuisine at Bedouin.
Where to stay in Chesterton
Chesterton is a quiet neighborhood to the northeast of Cambridge, south of the Arbury and King’s Hedges districts, and east of Castle Hill. It offers a village feel though still very close to the city centre and many of its services. It’s known for its excellent, peaceful location, unmatched transport links, and easy access to the city’s major attractions. It’s such a notable suburb that in 2018, it was even one of The Time’s list of best places to live in the United Kingdom.
The countryside is also within easy reach if you opt to stay in Chesterton. It’s close to the city’s best green open spaces, including Ditton Meadow, Stourbridge Common, and Jesus Green, providing a perfect balance of city and country living. In the middle of a residential area, Bramblefields Local Nature Reserve allows you to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle and be one with nature. It’s a fantastic site for families and kids to discover wildlife.
Chesterton is a brilliant place to consider if you plan to stay in Cambridge for a while. It’s a favorite destination among family renters and buyers, so it’s not surprising to find suburban family homes and riverside apartments around the neighborhood. There are also a few hotels on Chesterton Road, including Ashley Hotel, which occupies two Victorian houses with spacious rooms, and Arundel House Hotel, beautifully located overlooking River Cam.
Where to stay in Newnham
Newnham is a charming suburb hailed for offering country living in the heart of the city. It’s been recognized as one of the best places to live in Cambridge and has been frequently featured among the top ten UK places to live in various lifestyle surveys. That’s why it’s not surprising that Newnham has been attracting tourists and travelers looking for cozy and world-class accommodations in Cambridge.
If you want to step away from the busy city streets, go to the Paradise Nature Reserve, lying alongside the river between the bottom of Owlstone Rd and Lammas Land Car park. Despite its small size, it provides an ideal home for reptiles, mammals, birds, and a range of plant life. The suburb is also a bike ride away from Grantchester, where you can find the famous meadows and tea rooms for ultimate relaxation.
Since several university colleges are situated in the area, including Darwin, Selwyn, and Newnham, you’ll find an array of student accommodations with free wifi access and a private bathroom and budget Cambridge hotels near the university and some museums.
Where to stay in Romsey
Situated outside the central city, Romsey is probably one of the hippest UK neighborhoods. It’s a vibrant area popular among students, known for its hip culture. It even outranked various trendy areas, such as Liverpool, London, and Manchester. It also takes pride in its strong community, making it a pleasant place to work and live in Cambridge. Even if you’re only here for a quick visit, there’s no way you’ll miss the tremendous community spirit in the neighborhood that it seems like a village on its own.
Everything you need in a local place is available here, from shops and restaurants to cafes and bars. There are also record stores, vintage fashion outlets, galleries, and bike shops. Another plus point is that it’s only a short bike ride from Cambridge city centre, featuring rows of gorgeous terraced house streets that connect to Mill Road.
Perhaps, you want to check out Relevant Records for a delicious brunch upstairs and an array of vinyl records in the basement. It also hosts events if you plan to organize a party in this part of the city. Or stop by the Black Cat Café for breakfast or get your daily dose of caffeine and sugar at Urban Larder. And if shopping for all things vintage is your thing, head to the Old Chemist Shop Antique Centre and find some awesome items to take home.
You can find a mix of accommodation in Romsey for any budget. Shared and individual rooms are available, as well as hostels, apartments, and even rental homes. There are also guestrooms to rent, serving a very good breakfast and featuring bathrooms and kitchens with microwaves and refrigerators.
Where to stay in Newmarket Road
If you’re wondering where to stay in Cambridge with your family, De Freville Avenue is a family-friendly neighborhood to consider. It’s one of the most desired addresses in the city, with its convenient location, quiet street, and cozy suburban feel. It’s no wonder many professors from Cambridge University call it home.
De Freville Avenue is close to the central train station, giving you easy access to many areas in and out of Cambridge. It is also near the River Cam and a quick cycle into the central city. What’s more, it’s a short walk from many of the top schools in Cambridge, including the prestigious Chesterton Community College.
If you want to relax or hang out with your friends, you don’t have to go too far because the Midsummer Common is just on the other side of the river. It’s a lovely wide-open space where you can take children to play, walk your dogs, or simply enjoy nature, especially during the summer months. De Freville Avenue is also near Jesus Green, which features a railway-themed play area, tennis courts, a barbecue area, a skate park, and more.
Hotels and family homes are available in the neighborhood for rent. The well-appointed homes often have three bedrooms, a large garden, and a spacious living room for the entire family. You can also stay in a guest house or a traditional hotel in a central location with free parking, a full English breakfast, free wifi, 24-hour room service, and complimentary toiletries.
The Best Place to Stay in Cambridge
You’ve probably already made a list of places to visit and famous sites to explore in this historic town. Still, you’re having difficulty figuring out where to stay in Cambridge, especially since you’re new to the area and don’t know anyone from the city. Visiting such a notable place is a wonderful experience, but your trip can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t plan your accommodation well.
The best hotels are an excellent option if you have the budget. However, if you’re planning an extended holiday, try finding a more cost-friendly room, apartment, or guesthouse if you’re with your family. Don’t just go for popular hotels you find online. Instead, check the guest reviews and ratings to give you an idea of their services and the guest’s overall experience. Once you’ve picked from the best accommodations or hotels in Cambridge, you’ll be on your way to an experience of a lifetime.