Date of Publication: 15 April 2020
The city of Cambridge offers an unrivalled student experience in terms of the number of beautiful open green spaces it has to offer. From natural woodland trails and meadows to man-made botanical gardens and quaint cafes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
To help you get the most out of your time with us on a Cambridge summer course, we have compiled a list of some of the city’s must-see open parks and green spaces.
Bordering the River Cam, Midsummer Common is probably one of the most famous parks in the city Cambridge, with houseboats and college boathouses usually nestled along the bank. Aside from looking rather beautiful, Midsummer Common is also well known for its famous Strawberry Fair and large bonfire night celebrations, drawing in plenty of locals throughout the year.
Within walking distance of our Cambridge accommodation, it’s the perfect place to wander during downtime from class; students can walk along the river bank in the summer and admire the cattle that graze there.
Located just north of central Cambridge, the popular Jesus Green park gets its name for being nestled close to Jesus College. Another popular park for the local community, it’s home to Jesus Green lido which is among some of the longest outdoor swimming pools in Europe – running at 91 metres in length! There are also six tennis courts, free table tennis and a refreshments kiosk.
A particular highlight is in the summer months when the green offers Sunday afternoon band concerts – definitely worth a visit if you have some free time!
Located in the centre of Cambridge, Parker’s Piece is one of the most popular open spaces in Cambridge, used for student picnics, football games and cricket matches. It’s bordered by Park Terrace, Regent Terrace, Parkside and Gonville Place and is in easy reach of all our Cambridge accommodation.
Some interesting facts about the park include that the park’s name is derived from Edward Parker, a cook who held the original lease from Trinity College to the land which, at the time, was used for grazing by the cattle. It also claims to be the green area where basic football association rules were formed in the 19th century.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Spread across 40 acres of parkland in the heart of the city, the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens offer a beautiful space of tranquillity.
Founded in 1846, the garden is a leading horticultural research centre, home to over 8,000 plant species. With glasshouses, rock gardens, collections of timeless trees and even a lake, the gardens offer something for everyone. It’s the perfect place to visit when you have some downtime and want some peace and quiet. University students have free entry access to enjoy a relaxing stroll or picnic in the gardens with their friends.
Milton Country Park
If you’re looking for a hidden woodland filled with fantastic flowers and wildlife, then Milton Country Park should be on the top of your list for one of the must-see parks in Cambridge!
With winding woodland walks, there’s enough to explore to keep you entertained for hours, including a visitor centre, two play areas, viewing platforms and sun clock. A great place to explore with your new course mates, there’s even a recently refurbished cafe on-site which serves a selection of homemade cakes and delicious ice creams in the summer months!
We’ve spoken before about our love for Grantchester Meadows, and it really is one of the green spaces in Cambridge that is worth shouting about.
Just south of the city, students can access it by walking across Lammas Land, via Paradise nature reserve to the river meadows and then by following the footpath to Grantchester. Offering beautiful scenery along the walk and most certainly when you arrive, the meadows are a great place to hang out with friends in the summer – a hot spot for almost everyone from wildlife watches to sunbathers and social gatherings.
Forgot your lunch? No problem. Quaint and quintessentially British, the Grantchester Orchard Tea Garden makes delicious scones, best served up with cream and jam, all whilst being soaked up in the sunshine – some even argue that they’re the best scones in the whole of Cambridge!