Things to Do in Cambridge in Winter
We share our top recommendations of places to see and things to enjoy in Cambridge during the colder winter months.
The North Pole...on Parker’s Piece
From November until January, the popular Parker’s Piece turns into a fantastical ‘North Pole.’ With an open-air ice rink, fairground rides, warming food and drink stalls, it’s the best place to visit if you’re looking to discover the magic of Christmas during your visit.
If you’re looking to try some delicious street food or find a special handmade gift, then don’t miss a visit to Cambridge Market.
Located close to the Grand Arcade, it features the best local businesses, offering everything from Christmas decorations to cakes, cheese and even hot artisan lunches.
There’s plenty of [parks and open spaces to explore in Cambridge, and they’re perfect for taking relaxed strolls if you want to get out in the fresh wintry air.
We recommend a visit to the Botanic Garden, with a collection of winter-friendly ferns, plants and other delights (not forgetting the greenhouses for when you need to escape the cold air!)
If you need to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, or just want to escape the cold, then Cambridge benefits from having two large shopping centres. Filled with high-end and high-street brands, there’s plenty to explore and pick up during your time in Cambridge - just don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase to take it all back!
Who doesn’t love a pantomime at Christmas?
Cambridge benefits from having 3 mainstream theatres, each showcasing a range of theatrical pieces to suit all ages and tastes. The Cambridge Corn Exchange is the most central, conveniently located close to the Grand Arcade shopping centre, and tends to show the more mainstream pantos. However, if you’re looking to find something a bit more alternative, try the Arts Centre or ADC Theatre. All very popular choices and not too far from the centre!
If you've ever wanted to see behind the scenes of the famous Carols from King’s TV carol service, then you should prioritise a visit to [King’s Chapel](https://oxfordsummercourses.com/articles/a-brief-history-of-kings-college-chapel/. Kings open their daily service to the public for Evesong, though you must ensure you arrive early as it’s a very popular service, especially in the winter. Nothing beats the sweet sound of choral Evesong that’s shared by all, surrounded by the twinkling reflections in the stained-glass windows from the candles that light up the room.
Explore the University of Cambridge
Following on from your trip to King’s College Chapel, we highly recommend taking some time to explore the rest of the university and its colleges. Winter tends to be quieter in Cambridge in terms of tourism, and so is the perfect time to try and explore the colleges during all the tranquillity.
You can stroll around the city yourself with a map as they’re all quite close to one another, or you can take a guided walking tour to learn about different historic facts that surround each college. There’s 31 in total so you may not have time to visit every single one of them! Best off to plan ahead before your trip and choose a few ‘must-sees.’
Museums and Galleries
If the British weather is playing foul, then there are plenty of museums and galleries to while away a frosty morning.
Some of the most popular places to visit are The Fitzwilliam Museum, the University Museum of Zoology and Kettle’s Yard Art Gallery - with each containing some of the rarest of artefacts and artworks in the world. However, there are lots of them to choose from, with Cambridge being at the forefront of so many historic discoveries, so make sure you do your research before arriving to see which ones are your must-see.
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Experience Cambridge's winter magic at Parker's Piece, Cambridge Market, and Botanic Garden. Shop, enjoy pantomimes, and visit King's Chapel. Explore the University, museums, and apply for Oxford Summer Courses.