Car-free adventures aroundCambridgeCambridgeshire

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Perfect for car-free staycation holidays, Cambridge is a great city to explore on foot and a fantastic hub for journeys by bus, bike, boat and train. Cycle or punt down the River Cam to Grantchester and have tea in an orchard; catch a train to see red pandas and an underground cave or hop on the guided busway to the market town of St Ives and bird-haunted lakes at Fen Drayton. Here are three top trips out of town with some tips, at the end about bus tickets, bike hire and handy places to stay.

  • County: Cambridgeshire
  • Great for: boat trips | gardens | good cafés and pubs | history | nature reserve | testtag | wildlife park |
  • Refreshments: plenty of choice in Cambridge, Shepreth and beyond...
  • Please note: researched/updated November 2023. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 3. Grantchester by bike, foot or boat

    This three-mile escape route from the city out into cow-grazed, willow-lined water meadows is as easy as it is popular.

    • You can hire a bike (see below) and cycle there or walk along the river (detailed directions and a map in our Green Spaces feature)
    • Or hire a punt for the day and head there by boat.
    • Enjoy scones in a deckchair at the apple-tree-shaded Orchard tea garden or a pint in the Rupert Brooke pub.
  1. Buses, bikes and places to stay

    Here’s a bit more practical info if you’re planning a staycation in Cambridge.

    • If you’re taking several bus rides around Cambridge there are Stagecoach Dayrider tickets giving unlimited trips across the city.
    • If the bus journeys are on the same day that you arrive by train, get a PlusBus ticket in advance for unlimited bus rides around the whole urban area.
    • You can hire bikes from the Railway Station and cycle off into the countryside past the flowering Botanic Garden.
    • There are lots of places to stay in Cambridge, including the YHA hostel just round the corner from the railway station.
    • If you want something fancier, the four star Clayton Hotel is even closer to the station.
    • You could also make your base in neighbouring Ely or Saffron Waldon. See our car-free guides for more holiday ideas.
    • Good Journey also has directions to Cambridge Museum.