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‘You’ time is back - six ways to indulge yourself in Cambridge



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Ian Sandison, chief executive of Cambridge BID, has plenty of ideas for how to enjoy our city.

Ian Sandison, chief executive of Cambridge BID. Picture: Richard Marsham
Ian Sandison, chief executive of Cambridge BID. Picture: Richard Marsham

As autumn approaches, it is pleasing that some things are back to normal.

Schools have returned, the Premier League and English Football League are about to start and Australia, the old enemy, are here to play cricket.

For all you cycling fans The Tour De France is also in full swing. Do you remember when it came to Cambridge? More on that later.

This all provides a great opportunity for parents, who have had children at home for many months, to visit Cambridge and indulge in some retail, beauty, leisure and maybe sports therapy while their young ones catch up on learning.

Cambridge continues to have very low level of infections and businesses have invested a lot of time and money in putting in place a range of measures to keep you and their staff safe.

These range from floor stickers to help you queue outside or navigate around a business, hand sanitisers and the wearing of masks, all of which have increased consumer confidence.

Our weekly footfall figures show some city streets are only 20 per cent down on last year so all the hard work businesses have put in is being rewarded by consumers coming into and enjoying their city, their way, and taking their time to do so.

If you enjoy eating out, try our list of 20 places that are offering Eat Out to Help Out-style discounts throughout September.

Look after your health and wellbeing

All that eating and drinking is great but it also reminds us that we need to maintain our health and wellbeing. The good thing is our city centre gyms are now open.

You can choose from:

  • Puregym at The Grafton Centre, with memberships from £22.99 and no contract;
  • Glassworks at Thompsons Lane, which has a lovely gym and spa and beauty experience;
  • F45, in the station area at No 50/60 Station Road is also open.
  • For indoor swimming, both Parkside and Abbey pools are also now available.

Go to the cinema

The Vue Cinema in The Grafton centre. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Vue Cinema in The Grafton centre. Picture: Keith Heppell

If you fancy a more sedentary leisure pastime, then we all love the cinema.

The Arts Picturehouse on St Andrew’s Street is now fully open, and currently showing a wide range of films.

Back at The Grafton centre, the Vue Cinema is also now open, with their very wide and comfortable airline-style seats.

Enjoy Cambridge’s open spaces

Alex Summers, glasshouse supervisor at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Picture: Keith Heppell
Alex Summers, glasshouse supervisor at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Picture: Keith Heppell

For a more contemplative recharge then Cambridge has many beautiful green spaces to enjoy - Parker’s Piece, Jesus Green, Midsummer Common and Lammas Land to name but a few.

The University of Cambridge Botanic Garden is also open. Bookings are required at botanic.cam.ac.uk .

Check out these new places

The Town and Gown on Market Passage . Picture: Keith Heppell. (42116982)
The Town and Gown on Market Passage . Picture: Keith Heppell. (42116982)

While it has been a challenging time for the high street, Cambridge has no shortage of new places opening.

The new Town and Gown Pub and Theatre is now open in Market Passage. This is a revival of the former Cosmopolitan Theatre that opened here in 1933.

Laser Clinics has opened in Rose Crescent. From left, Shannon Dry, Cassie Thompson and Hannah Carlton manager. Picture: Keith Heppell
Laser Clinics has opened in Rose Crescent. From left, Shannon Dry, Cassie Thompson and Hannah Carlton manager. Picture: Keith Heppell

Rose Crescent has the new Laser Clinics offering all types of treatments including 30 per cent of hair removal.

At 16 Rose Crescent, to complete the eclectic mix on this lovely old street, we have the fantastic new vintage and retro boutique Fantasia now open. They have been trading well on Mill Road for a number of years and we wish them well in their new home.

At Little Roos in The Grafton centre are, from left, Margaret and Michael Ronney. Picture: Keith Heppell
At Little Roos in The Grafton centre are, from left, Margaret and Michael Ronney. Picture: Keith Heppell

Ecco Shoes has also recently opened on Sussex Street into the previous Costa Coffee unit. Jacks Gelato has expanded to a second place in All Saints Passage and, as a result of the ‘Grow at the Grafton’ scheme, Little Roos is now open. This is a family run business selling clothing, footwear and accessories for children from birth to 12 years old.

Watch live sport

Cambridge Brewhouse
Cambridge Brewhouse

Well, since you can’t attend everything in person, why not hook up with a bunch of friends and go to a bar to watch the sport?

There are heaps of venues to chose from.

The Tour De France is on all week. Do you remember July 7, 2014, when stage 3 started in Cambridge?

The football season starts this weekend with Cambridge United hosting Carlisle and the Premier League fixtures include newly promoted Leeds travelling to Champions Liverpool. The US Open tennis championship draws to a climax this weekend, Formula 1 comes from Tuscany and on September 11, 13 and 16, the continuation of 140 years of cricketing rivalry can be enjoyed as England play Australia in three one-day games.

Cambridge has some great venues to watch sport, including the Champion of The Thames, The King Street Run and The Cambridge Brewhouse all on King Street, The Alma on Russell Street, WT’s sports bar on Burleigh Street and The Grain and Hop Store on Regent Street. Don’t forget - know before you go and book ahead.

Try the Love Cambridge Gift Card

If you’re not sure what to treat yourself with, or want to treat a friend or loved one, then the Love Cambridge Gift Card is the answer.

Accepted in more than 200 shops, bars, restaurants and hotels in the city, it is an easy-to-use card that supports the high street since it can only be used in-store. Whether it is lunch at one of our fine hotels, a new bicycle, booking a holiday, a new hairstyle, the Love Cambridge Gift Card can be purchased online at love-cambridgegiftcard.com .

It works like any other gift card, plus it supports your local city and high street.

Travel tips for your trip

Stagecoach Park & Ride buses
Stagecoach Park & Ride buses

It is a great time to visit Cambridge.

The city has been making improvements since the lockdown was eased, giving pedestrians more space and making it easier and more relaxing to navigate the streets.

Drive into Cambridge and you will pay £1 an hour to park all day , every day, so why not bring the family and take your time to enjoy our beautiful city, knowing your parking fee will be great value? If you have a Blue Badge, then you can park for free for up to three hours in all the city multi-storey car parks.

In all the surface-level car parks, such as Adam and Eve, Riverside and Castle Hill, parking is free after 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays, and after 5pm on Sundays.

If you are taking the bus, then the city has five Park & Rides open that allow you to park for free for up to 18 hours. The bus fare into the city centre starts at £3 with up to three children riding for free.

Stagecoach, which operates the buses around Cambridge, also has a handy app with its ‘How busy is my bus?’ function. This gives passengers all the latest information and the confidence to board.

Cambridge is, of course, a great cycling city. Many villages are connected to the city by cycle paths and in the city many streets have separate cycle lanes. There is also ample parking for bikes of all sizes.

Cambridge railway station is just one mile to the south-east of the centre and is connected by a number of Stagecoach bus services.

The Cambridge guided bus also runs regular services into Cambridge bus station from towns and villages to the west of the city, including Park & Ride stops at St Ives and Longstanton, and to the south, including Trumpington.

Read more

20-plus Cambridge venues offering Eat Out to Help Out-style discounts in September

Welcome back to Cambridge: 10 ways to enjoy one of the world’s best small cities

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