Why Cambridge is a great place for a family break
Cambridge is fantastic place to visit if you have little historians in your brood. Its history can be traced back to a Roman settlement in 1st century AD but Cambridge only truly prospered and grew into a reasonably-sized town under Viking Rule in around 875 AD when the Danes captured Eastern England.
More recently you'll find that it has ties with the Americans from the Second World War. Cambridge is home to a Grade 1 listed landscaped American WWII cemetery that overlooks the Cambridge fenland. The cemetery was initially supposed to be one of the three temporary cemeteries in Britain for Americans who died during the war but Cambridge University donated the land and the cemetery became permanent. It's certainly well worth a visit.
Aside from the amazing history that you'll see as you wander the city, we've put together some other activities and sites that are great for the whole family that you should do when you're there.
World Famous University
Cambridge University dates back to 1209 and is one of the oldest universities in the world. In fact, Cambridge University was founded before the Incan Empire in South America existed. This world famous leading university has over 100 academic departments and 31 colleges. Whilst you're able to wander around parts of the university we'd recommend taking some walking tours and guided punts to properly explore the history and heritage of the university and its architecture.
When you think of Cambridge you can't help but picture punting down the river surrounded by magnificent buildings. Punting began in Cambridge around the start of the 20th Century as the number of trade boats decreased. You certainly won't be short of options to immerse yourself in the punting culture of the city. There are loads of businesses that offer punting hire and guided punting tours.
If you don't fancy giving it a go yourself then we'd suggest hiring chauffeured punting tour that lasts around 50 minutes and covers the area between Mathematical Bridge and Magdalene College.
It’s a peaceful, relaxing way to observe the majesty of the university campus as you gently glide through on the River Cam. It is a great way to admire the beautiful bridges and nature whilst in Cambridge. The chauffeured tours offer the additional knowledge of historical facts, anecdotes and stories about Cambridge and the university colleges you pass.
There are over thirty museums in Cambridgeshire, many of them in and around Cambridge. They offer a diverse range of subjects and collections and you will certainly find one that everyone enjoys. Here are just a few that we think will appeal to the whole family.
Airborne Assault Museum
Located just outside Cambridge, the Airborne Assault Museum focuses primarily on the history of the famous Parachute Regiment and Airborne forces. The museum provides an insight into the highly trained paratroopers using imaginative displays, film footage and sound recordings.
Museum of Zoology
Your kids will love the Museum of Zoology. The static displays are made fun by the animal noises soundtrack that teaches children different animal noises. The museum has two Zoology clubs for children, one for 6-12 year olds and the other for 13-18. Members receive free newsletters by email and can book hands on workshops and special events. There are helpful trails and maps, including those for families and those with under fives.
Tickets are free but released every Tuesday for the following week. Cambridge University runs the museum of Zoology.
Museum of Technology
This is quite a rare museum as it has no 'don't touch' signs so your kids really can get hands on. Focusing on the Industrial Revolution, the museum has loads indoor and outside areas to explore. There are changing family trails, activity stations, interactive displays, models, dressing up and much more.
Fitzwilliam Museum & The Botanic Gardens
The Fitzwilliam Museum and Botanic Gardens are run by the university. The museum offers various interesting collections as well as having a fun family trail to discover the long history of the gardens.
Cambridge and the wider area offers excellent, and safe, opportunities for exploring by bike. Don't worry if you're not too keen on cycling as due to the flatness of the location it's super easy to cycle around the city. Cambridge has 80 miles of cycle lanes, many of them in locations where motor vehicles are not allowed to go. It’s also the easiest way to get around the city.
With so many cycle paths, cycling is also a great way to explore the wider area. You can easily travel about, enjoy the countryside and scenery and know that you are working off that big Cambridge breakfast!
Cambridge is a fantastic place for a family break. The museums have free entry, you can easily hire bikes when you arrive and there's loads of history to keep everyone on their toes - you never know what you may spot!