You’ve booked your accommodation, sorted your transport and are set for your event in Cambridge. If you find yourself at a loose end when the day’s conference sessions and meetings have finished don’t panic, there are lots of activities waiting for you to enjoy. Meet Cambridge's Deputy Manager Judith Sloane picks the brains of the city’s locals for their recommendations of things to do on a summer evening.
Cambridge’s Shakespeare Festival
Throughout the summer months, the city is home to the celebrated Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. Packed programmes of the Bard’s plays are performed in the evenings in the magical and timeless settings of the Cambridge College gardens. See more on the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival web site.
Bat Safaris on the Cam
Take to the River Cam at dusk for a chance to see and hear the local bat population. Tours are led by Wildlife Trust Bat experts and special detectors make the bats’ sonic signals audible to the human ear. The result is like a modern orchestra score of amazing clicks and buzzes. You might even be lucky enough to see the mother bats flying alongside their little bat pups. Book here at the Wildlife Trust website.
Taking place every Friday from 6pm, these famous tours are a great way to see the city in an entirely different light. A costumed guide will take you through the streets of Cambridge while regaling you with stories about the creepy goings on over the centuries. History has never been so engaging! Find out more here at the Visit Cambridge website.
The city offers lots of choice for those who like a tipple, including one with its own on- site micro-brewery, plenty of riverside venues or cosy country pubs full of olde-worlde village charm. History and culture is never far away in Cambridge; why not stop for a pint at The Eagle pub where Nobel Prize winners Crick and Watson sketched the structure of DNA on a napkin? Our local experts particularly recommended summer evening drinks at The Mill and at Varsity, where you can climb up to the Roof Top bar for a fantastic view of the city.
Whether it’s watching tourists falling in the river after a punting mishap, cycling alongside the locals or hanging out in one of the many parks or open spaces, Cambridge on a summer evening is a great place for people watching. You can grab some takeaway drinks from Cambridge Wine Merchants on Bridge Street and sit by the Quayside, have a picnic on Parker’s Piece or make use of the barbecue stones at Jesus Green. If you’re into swimming, then Jesus Green Lido is open until 7.30pm in the summer months.
Take a quiet evening punt out to Grantchester, a quintessential English village and the location for the recent ITV drama of the same name. Located on the outskirts of Cambridge and featured in the 1912 Rupert Brooke poem ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’, visitors can enjoy a bite to eat in one of its traditional inns then walk back to Cambridge through the ancient meadows. If it’s a bit of a rainy evening never fear – umbrellas and blankets are provided by the punting companies!
Late Night Shopping
Cambridge is a fab place to go shopping and on a Wednesday the shops are open later into the evening. Whether you’re looking for high street brands, independent boutiques, or shops that have all sorts under one roof, Cambridge is a compact city that makes it all easy to browse.
Watch a Film
Cambridge has numerous cinemas but this August bank holiday offers something special – Movies on the Meadows starts from 6pm and its sunset screenings are held over four nights in the open air. They are all ‘silent disco’ screening so you get a radio, which you can use to listen to the film through headphones. Films include Brooklyn, the latest Star Wars film and The Jungle Book, amongst others.
On several evenings through the summer, foodies can get their fix at the Food Park Night Market, where you can sample the best street food going, local live music gems, bars, a super atmosphere and an epic night out. Advance booking is advised at the FoodPark website.
Cambridge’s five theatres and live music venues offer a choice of performances to cover every genre, from student theatre to touring and West End shows. The city has seen the likes of Sue Perkins, Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Robert Webb and Emma Thompson cut their theatrical teeth performing as part of the renowned Cambridge Footlights comedy troupe and throughout the summer music, comedy and dance shows are on around the city.
When you are organising a day out for a conference in an unfamiliar city, such as Cambridge, it can be a time-consuming activity finding something that will appeal to your delegates. At Meet Cambridge we are all local residents and have decided to combine our knowledge of the city in hopes of making your job that bit easier. There is such a huge variety of activities in and around Cambridge, no matter when you visit, and we are positive you will find something for everyone. Meet Cambridge can help you find a venue and host the perfect event in Cambridge. You can make an enquiry by using our online enquiry form, emailing or by calling us on +44 (0)1223 768740.
Photo credit: Scudamores