Best known for its university, Cambridge is a city brimming full of history and academic prestige, a must-visit for anyone with a penchant for the past and an eye for an elegant building. YHA Cambridge is a perfect place from which to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer, being just a short walk from the railway station and boasting facilities to suit a wide range of visitors.
One of YHA’s oldest hostels, having been in the same location since 1945, YHA Cambridge is the ideal base for a sightseeing trip around one of the UK’s most picturesque and interesting cities. The hostel is now better than ever, following a £1.4m renovation which was completed just a couple of years ago. With both dorm rooms and private rooms available in a host of sizes, the hostel will suit families, individuals and groups alike! The hostel is themed to suit the city’s illustrious past, with various references to the many famous academics that have graced the streets of the city adorning the walls in communal areas. In fact, the hostel’s café and bar is named ‘Scholars’ in homage to the great minds that the city has been home to over the years. Be sure to take it all in as you enjoy a hearty breakfast or a meal from our newly revamped evening menu.
There are certain things you simply can’t go to Cambridge without doing or seeing! An absolute must is a punt along the River Cam! It’s one of the best ways to view a number of the city’s famous buildings, and is particularly delightful on a sunny afternoon. Sit back, relax and watch the world go by for as you take in the scenery. It’s true that the university dominates the city, and whilst a punt along the river will offer you a view of the central colleges, you can visit individual buildings on foot. Perhaps most popular is the King’s College Chapel, which can be visited throughout the year. Another popular attraction is the Cambridge Botanic Garden, comprising 40 acres of gardens and glasshouses which are home to over 8000 species. If you wish to head a little further afield, then Ely Cathedral is well worth a visit and is just a short train journey away. The current building dates from 1083, and is thought of as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages’. If you prefer the slightly slower pace of life or simply fancy a quiet afternoon in a quintessential English village, head just a couple of miles south of the city to Grantchester, where you can enjoy a stroll along the river or a leisurely drink in one of the village’s pubs.
The 13th – 26th March sees Cambridge host its annual science festival. With hundreds of events and talks, most of which are free, there’s plenty for you to get stuck into and learn. From Alan Turing and the Enigma machine to Chemistry in the Kitchen, there’s something to interest everybody over the course of the fortnight. Another key event on Cambridge’s calendar at this time of year is the annual Boat Race between Cambridge University and their old foes, Oxford, on Sunday April 2nd. Whilst this of course takes place on the Thames in London, students will be out in force to watch the event, so if you happen to be in the city on that weekend, head down to a local pub to soak it all up. A little later in the month is the Cambridge Literary Festival, a celebration of all things words. With novelists, poets, scientists and politicians all showcasing their work, this is a cultural event befitting of the city’s creative calibre, allowing for great debate and learning. There are also a number of live music and comedy events taking place in the next few weeks, with the likes of Jimmy Carr, The Kooks and Circa Waves gracing various stages across the city. Finally, if horse racing is your thing, travel the short distance to Newmarket to enjoy the prestigious Guineas Festival across the weekend of May the 6th and 7th.
Whilst we highly recommend that you make use of the excellent catering service and facilities available at the hostel, it’s likely that you’ll also want to venture out to enjoy one or two of Cambridge’s eating and drinking establishments during your stay. If you fancy traditional English food, then head to the St John’s Chop House, a cosy building serving food to match, and complimented by a range of local real ales. For something a touch more sophisticated, head to The Varsity hotel, where you can dine at the Six Panoramic Bar and Restaurant, which offers breathtaking views across the city, including a number of famous colleges. And if you just fancy a pleasant drink or two, Cambridge Wine Merchants offer a vast range of wines, beers and whiskies for you to enjoy, set just a stone’s throw from the Cam.