Your Cambridge City Guide
12 January 2018
Cambridge is the UK’s foremost university city, a place globally-renowned for its historic colleges, beautiful architecture and rich academic traditions. Those fortunate enough to study here will enjoy a diverse and welcoming student community, fostered by the experienced team at The Cam Foundry – a new state-of-the-art student accommodation complex in the heart of the city.
If you’re thinking of joining the student community at The Cam Foundry, our student guide to Cambridge can help you get the most from this inspiring city. Use the links below to look around the guide, which includes everything from tips on getting around the city to our top recommendations for places to eat and drink.
Area Guide | The Cam Foundry
Student Life in Cambridge
Area Guide | The Cam Foundry
New for September 2018, The Cam Foundry is an innovative complex of student homes located on Cambridge’s bustling Mill Road. With a choice of private studios, shared apartments and beautiful townhouses, and the security of 24/7 support from the friendly aparto team, there’s no better base from which to take advantage of Cambridge’s vibrant student community.
Mill Road is one of Cambridge’s most popular and cosmopolitan streets, running from the city centre to the affluent suburb of Cherry Hinton. It’s famous for its independent cafes and shops, international eateries and string of bars and pubs – making it one of the most desirable student areas of the city.
The Cam Foundry is located close to the junction between Mill Road and Suez Road, offering convenient access to Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Cambridge, and the city centre. It’s serviced by a major bus route and is also part of Cambridge’s extensive cycle network.
Below, we list how to get from The Cam Foundry to the Anglia Ruskin University, University of Cambridge, and the city centre, via public transport, on foot or by bike.
Directions and Getting Around
Anglia Ruskin University
By Bus | 9 Minutes
Reaching the Anglia Ruskin University by bus takes just nine minutes, and includes only a short stroll on to campus. Jump on the Citi 2 bus at the Vinery Rd stop and travel 4 stops to Covent Garden. The campus is a three-minute walk down Willis Road, to the right of Mill Road.
By Bike | 7 Minutes
Mill Road is very bike-friendly, with wide cycle paths in both directions, so cycling to the Anglia Ruskin campus is a convenient option. There are several routes you can take, but the easiest involves turning right at Gwydir Street, following this as far as Norfolk Street, then turning left on to Blossom Street, which brings you to the campus.
Walking | 25 Minutes
Walking to Anglia Ruskin campus is perfect on a sunny day, with the cafes, coffee shops and bars of Mill Road to tempt you in along the way. The walk is easy too – simply head all the way down Mill Road to Gonville Place, hang a right, and you’re there.
The University of Cambridge
By Bus | 20 Minutes
The main University of Cambridge campus is around 20 minutes from The Cam Foundry by bus. Alight at the Vinery Road stop on Mill Road, taking the Citi 2 bus four stops to Covent Garden. Then, it’s easiest to walk the remaining half a mile, following Gonville Place until you reach the campus.
By Bike | 11 Minutes
Cycling is the easiest way to reach the University of Cambridge, taking just six minutes from The Cam Foundry to King’s College Chapel at the heart of the campus. Pedalling north-west on Mill Road towards the city centre, continue on to Parkside before cutting through Parker’s Piece (reputed to be the birthplace of football). Once through the park, turn right on to Regent Street (becoming St Andrew’s St and then Sidney St) and follow this route through town. Turn left at Green Street and follow the road until you reach the campus.
Walking | 35 Minutes
WWalking to the University of Cambridge is a safe and convenient option too, and offers plenty by way of sightseeing. If you fancy a leg stretch, simply follow the same directions as you would when cycling.
Cambridge City Centre
By Bus | 19 Minutes
The shops, bars and cultural highlights of central Cambridge are just a short 20-minute bus journey from The Cam Foundry. Simply jump on the Citi 2 bus at the Vinery Rd stop and ride for 5 stops until you reach St Andrew’s Street – and you’re in the heart of the action.
By Bike | 8 Minutes
Cycling from The Cam Foundry to the centre of town is a rewarding ride that takes you past some of Cambridge’s most beautiful parks and buildings. Follow Mill Road until you reach Parkside, pedal through Parker’s Piece, before turning right on to St Andrew’s Street – which takes you the rest of the way into the city.
Walking | 30 Minutes
The centre of Cambridge is around one-and-a-half miles from The Cam Foundry, ideal if you fancy a good walk. To amble into town, follow the directions listed under biking.
Ideally situated on Mill Road, The Cam Foundry provides convenient access to Cambridge city centre and the universities. But what amenities can students expect in the local area in terms of shops, convenience stores, bars and restaurants?
The southern end of Mill Road is packed with shops, cafes and bars, with a One Stop convenience store just next door to The Cam Foundry – great for stocking up on daily essentials. A short walk south brings you to The Edge Café, which serves a selection of breakfasts and light lunches, and The Brook, a traditional pub serving good food and a range of cask ales.
Head north towards Cambridge city centre, and you’ll find the Mill Road Surgery, Chenai Hair and Beauty salon, and The Royal Standard Pub, a unique Flemish-style pub serving a range of craft beers and Belgian-inspired food.
When it’s time to do the big shop, you won’t need to travel far to find a supermarket, with a large Sainsbury’s store on Brooks Road, just south of Mill Road towards Cherry Hinton.
Student Life in Cambridge
Few cities in the world offer a more rewarding student experience than Cambridge. From its prestigious university to its student-friendly pubs, and of course the picnic-ready banks of the Cam – Cambridge provides an unrivalled place to live and study, and The Cam Foundry is the perfect base to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
To help you get the most from your experience in Cambridge, here we list some of the city’s highlights, categorised by sport and leisure, food, culture and nightlife.
Sport, Leisure and Fitness
From team sport to keep fit, Cambridge has all the amenities you need to stay active during your tenure at university – including a massive choice of facilities on the campuses themselves. The Cam Foundry itself is close to a wide range of leisure facilities, from Parkside Indoor Swimming Baths to David Lloyd Cambridge, in nearby Cherry Hinton.
Keen runners who prefer the park to the street are also well catered for, with the Romsey Recreation Ground, Coleridge Recreation Ground and Parker’s Piece providing plenty of space to pound the pavement. The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is also just a short walk from The Cam Foundry, and is the ideal place to practice yoga or tai chi in the summer months.
From student-friendly gastro pubs to premier restaurants, Cambridge offers a great variety of eateries to suit all budgets. For a midday lunch while taking a break from the library, try the Norfolk Street Bakery, whose Portuguese inspired sandwiches are truly next-level. Hot Numbers is, of course, a student favourite, but if you’re looking for something a little classier, try Massaro’s, where you can enjoy a silky flat white without wincing at the price.
If your parents are visiting and you’re stuck for somewhere to take them, give St John’s Chop House a go. This 17th-century regional restaurant is part of a small Cambridgeshire chain that deals in hearty local fare done right, and all at a reasonable price. We’d also highly recommend The Sea Tree, whose ‘alternative fish and chips’ makes for a mouth-watering and affordable (£5.55) midweek supper.
Tear yourself away from academia for the day, and Cambridge provides a wealth of things to see and do – including the iconic student pastime of punting on the Cam. If history is your thing, spend an hour or two exploring the artefacts of the prestigious Fitzwilliam Museum, or head to Ely Cathedral for some of England’s finest Norman-age stained glass. Cambridge boasts an excellent selection of theatres and cinemas, and we’d definitely recommend the ADC Theatre, one of the city’s oldest and most intimate venues.
If gigs are your thing, the legendary Cambridge Junction always boasts a great line-up of acts, while the historic Portland Arms puts on great folk nights in its 1930s-era music room. The city also hosts a vast array of festivals throughout the year, ranging from comedy to food and drink, so stay abreast of upcoming events on the Visit Cambridge website.
Whether you’re after a candlelit pub full of fellow thirsty scholars or a club where the party continues into the small hours, Cambridge boasts a varied and vibrant nightlife. The historic Free Press pub should be your first port of call on a pub crawl of the city’s historic taverns, before moving on to The Eagle, The Flying Pig, The Cambridge Blue or The Pint Shop. There’s a roster of more modern bars too, ranging from the upmarket Hidden Rooms to the more student-friendly La Raza.
If the night proves young and the pubs are closing, make your way to one of Cambridge’s many nightclubs. Lola Lo has a great cocktail menu as well as a rooftop bar, while the Fez Club plays the latest underground music in a laidback setting.
Money Saving Tips
Cambridge may be notoriously expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the city on a student budget. Here, we offer some practical tips on managing your money while enjoying the very best that the city has to offer.
Take Advantage of a Free Trip to the Cinema with E4 Slackers Club
Each month, Arts Picturehouse teams up with E4 Slackers Club to screen a free film just for students – perfect for an affordable night out. To take advantage of the offer, just turn up at the cinema and show your NUS membership card, and you’ll be able to enjoy that month’s film for free. Click here to find out more.
Head to Cambridge’s Sunday Market
While buying fresh produce from a market isn’t quite as convenient as popping to the supermarket, you could save yourself a fortune by doing your grocery shopping at Cambridge’s Sunday Market. Taking place on the market square every Sunday, the market attracts traders from far and wide, and offers a range of affordable goods. The great thing about shopping at a market is you buy only what you need, so you’ll be helping the environment, too.
Become a Mystery Shopper – Or Eater
Who would say no to free food, and money off a little retail therapy? By becoming a mystery shopper or eater in Cambridge, you can dine out or hit the shops at a discounted rate while enjoying the power of being an anonymous critic. To become a mystery shopper and take part in market research, head to Cambridge’s dedicated Secret Shopping site.
Get a Bus Pass
If you plan to rely on Cambridge’s extensive bus network during your time at uni, we’d recommend getting yourself a bus pass to save money on toing and froing to campus. To buy your bus pass, click here.