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The River Cam
Holiday Travel Guide

Go punting, kayaking, sailing and swimming in this clean river that winds its way through one of the world’s most iconic universities.

The River Cam is the historic waterway that meanders through the University of Cambridge. It is known for the activity of punting, involving flat-bottomed boats propelled by pushing a long pole against the shallow river bed. Walk along the banks of this charming river and visit the sights of Cambridge.

As the river enters Cambridge from the south, it straddles the vast verdant meadows of Sheep’s Green and Coe Fen. Rent a canoe or kayak from the Cambridge Canoe Club. Cycle along the paths and spot cows grazing in this serene, rural area. Stroll along the banks of the river and take photos of King’s College Chapel in the distance.

The river is clear and clean, supporting a diverse ecosystem. It contains wild brown trout among other fish. Participate actively in punting on boats owned by many of the university’s colleges or relax on these small vessels as an operator takes you up and down the river.

Continue north to enter the Queens’ College section of the University of Cambridge. Admire pleasant riverside gardens and cross the famed Mathematical Bridge, which is made from crisscrossing panels of teak timber. Among the highlights here are the Tudor-style President’s Lodge, the Old Court and the Chapel and Walnut Tree Court.

Pass St. Catharine’s College and arrive at King’s College Chapel. Venture inside for its superb medieval stained glass and look up at the vaulted ceiling. Go through Trinity College to get to the spectacular covered structure of the Bridge of Sighs.

At the northeastern end of the city is Cam Sailing Club, where you can watch sailing races most weekends between March and November. Go swimming in the cool water in summer.

The River Cam meanders through the center of Cambridge from southwest to northeast, before continuing into the Great Ouse River. The waterway eventually meets the North Sea on England’s eastern coast, 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Cambridge. Visit nearby sights, including Fitzwilliam Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Top Trending Hotels Near The River Cam

The Varsity Hotel & Spa
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
24 Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, England
The price is £175 per night from 4 Feb to 5 Feb

Located in Cambridge City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Pepys Library and Trinity College. King's College and Cambridge Corn Exchange ...

4.3/5Excellent! (548 reviews)

"Excellent location, loved the style, and staff were outstanding."…"

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2020

The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel
Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel
4 out of 5
Station Rd, Cambridge, England
The price is £100 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan

Situated in Cambridge, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Arts Theatre. St Catharine's ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (759 reviews)

"This is a very good hotel with very friendly staff. Covid precautions are good with hand sanitiser everywhere. It is a 15 minute walk into town but not too strenuous. There are buses if you prefer.Car parking is in the railway station car park which is just round the corner from the hotel.The restaurant ..."…"

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2020

Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel
Gonville Hotel
Gonville Hotel
4 out of 5
Gonville Place, Cambridge, England
The price is £150 per night from 18 Feb to 19 Feb

Located in Cambridge City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, University of Cambridge, and Anglia ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (857 reviews)

"Lovely hotel, nice decor and excellent service great location. I booked a feature room and was a bit surprised at how small the room was although the bathroom was very spacious. But all in all it had all that was needed . Friendly and helpful staff. Excellent spa with wonderful staff."…"

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2020

Gonville Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in The River Cam

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The River Cam

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Top Hotel Deals

The Varsity Hotel & Spa
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
24 Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, England
The price is £175 per night from 4 Feb to 5 Feb
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel
Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel
4 out of 5
Station Rd, Cambridge, England
The price is £100 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan
Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel
Gonville Hotel
Gonville Hotel
4 out of 5
Gonville Place, Cambridge, England
The price is £150 per night from 18 Feb to 19 Feb
Gonville Hotel
ibis Cambridge Central Station
ibis Cambridge Central Station
3 out of 5
2 Station Square, Cambridge, England
The price is £59 per night from 25 Jan to 26 Jan
ibis Cambridge Central Station
Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge
Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge
4 out of 5
15-19 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, England
The price is £90 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan
Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
4 out of 5
Downing Street, Cambridge, England
The price is £106 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
University Arms, Autograph Collection
University Arms, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
Regent Street, Cambridge, England
The price is £161 per night from 14 Feb to 15 Feb
University Arms, Autograph Collection
Arundel House Hotel
Arundel House Hotel
3 out of 5
Chesterton Road, Cambridge, England
The price is £58 per night from 1 Feb to 2 Feb
Arundel House Hotel
Luxury two bedroom apartment
Luxury two bedroom apartment
5 out of 5
flat 6, Castle Street, Kings Keep, Cambridge, England
Luxury two bedroom apartment
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.