A Weekend in Cambridge/Newmarket: A 3 Day Itinerary

Friday Evening
We travelled up from Manchester and so didn’t arrive until 10.30pm – straight to bed for us! We had booked into an Airbnb on Mill Road, it is an apartment which the owner, Kath, uses during the week as an industrial kitchen and rents out at weekends. This was the best deal I could find in Cambridge and it was perfect for us as we weren’t planning on spending much time there. Kath provides cereal and toast for breakfast which was really handy and she even left us some delicious chocolate brownies for when we arrived – yum.

Saturday Daytime
My boyfriend is very into horse racing and seeing as the trip was for his birthday we planned to spend quite a lot of time in Newmarket – the home of horse racing! We drove down to Newmarket Saturday morning for our visit to Palace House – National Horse Racing Museum. The drive is about 20-25 minutes. We parked in a long stay car park just behind the museum which was recommended on their website (All Saints Car Park, Post Code: CB88ET). The car park cost us £2.50 for the whole day. We spent about 3 hours at the museum, however you could easily spend more or less depending on your interests. I would definitely recommend it even if you don’t like horse racing. Make sure you don’s miss the behind the scenes tour of the Rothschild Yard, you get to meet some retired racehorses and hear about how they are retrained, really interesting! The museum itself is interesting and informative, there is one section about the origins of horse racing and one about the anatomy of the horse and how they are bred to become race horses. There is also a horse racing simulator where you can have a go at what it’s like to race a horse, you can even dress up as a jockey whilst you have a go – great fun!

Saturday Evening:
We spent the evening on Mill Road where we were saying which has a wide variety of independent shops, restaurants, bars and pubs. We went first to the Royal Standard right at the top of Mill Road near our apartment. We only had drinks but the food smelt delicious – they did amazing mussels and fries in a different combination of sauces. I would definitely eat here if we went again. We also went to The Empress which was just off Mill Road on Thoday Street, they have pool and darts and a juke box. They only serve Pizzas, these looked really good but we didn’t eat here either. Afterwards we walked further down Mill Road and ended up in Bedouin, a North African restaurant. This really is the gem of Mill Road – the food was absolutely out of this world. Definitely eat here if you’re in Cambridge.

Sunday Daytime:
Another day in Newmarket for us as we went to the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket Racecourse. If you were only in Cambridge for 2 days and not into Horse Racing then you could give this part a miss. We took the train to Newmarket this time which took about 20 minutes and cost us £5 each return with a railcard. The race course had put on shuttle buses from the station to the course, this was ready and waiting when we arrived and we easily got on, although we had to stand up. But there was another bus right behind which we could have waited for if we wanted. We were in the premier enclosure as we thought this would be less busy. The race course is really grand compared with others I’ve been to and I really liked it. After the racing we got a shuttle bus back to the station, again a really smooth experience. We got to the bus stop area and a bus was ready and waiting and we got straight on. It arrived at the station about 2 minutes before the next train.

Sunday Evening:
We decided to spend this evening in town as we had already spent one evening on Mill Road. However, we had one drink in Castle Bar and decided we much preferred the Mill Road area as it was quieter and had more of a local feel to it as opposed to a lot of the chains we saw in the city centre. We headed back up Mill Road and went in The Cambridge Blue. We had our dinner here – pie and peas! This was really good. There was a vast array of ciders and real ales available, it even had a sour beer for my boyfriend which he has recently discovered! We were tired after our long day out at the races but had we not been we would also have visited the Kingston Arms and the Petersfield as these had been recommended to us.

Monday Daytime:
We headed into Cambridge itself this morning and our first port of call was punting on the Rive Cam! We went with Scudamores after many recommendations and decided to take a tour instead of trying to punt ourselves – something which we were very happy about after the tour as we saw many self punting groups stuck in the middle of the river! We took the tour down the College Backs which I would highly recommend. The guide was so informative and interesting, and really funny too. The tour takes about 45 minutes and isn’t cheap, it cost us about £40 for two but it was definitely worth it. Afterwards we had a wander around the old streets of Cambridge and in some of the gift shops which were lovely. We then went into Kings College which cost us £9 each. You can’t go inside the actual college buildings, only the chapel. The chapel was really quite something, very big and grand and it had a section with information on the history of it being built. I do think that £9pp was rather expensive though and I have heard that some of the other colleges are just as interesting and much cheaper, so if you are on a budget then I would recommend trying a different one.