Cambridge is a wonderful town both to visit and live in. Fortunately once you arrive in Cambridge it is very easy to find your way around with a good network of bicycle and walking trails, public transport and roads. We shall look at Cambridge UK transportation in more detail in this guide.
Getting to Cambridge UK
Cambridge UK is only a short distance from central London – approximately 50 miles north-east of the capital.
Most people from overseas arrive to Cambridge by plane into one of London’s international airports. London Stansted is the closest international airport to Cambridge and is approximately 30 miles away. From the airport there are regular buses and trains into Cambridge. It is only about 35 minutes by train from platform 2 at Stansted train station.
Luton Airport is the second closest airport to Cambridge, and it takes approximately 1.5 hours by bus or car to the centre of Cambridge.
Other airports, such as Gatwick and Heathrow are significantly harder to reach from Cambridge, however buses and trains do run.
If you are already in the UK, the easiest way to reach Cambridge is by train. Trains depart regularly from London’s Kings Cross station into Cambridge station. Cambridge train station is approximately 1.2 miles from the centre of the town and there are regular buses into the centre.
The National Express also offers services to Cambridge from around the country for affordable fares.
Public Transport in Cambridge UK
Public transport in Cambridge is very good. Buses run regularly to most parts of the town and to towns, villages and suburbs surrounding the centre of Cambridge. Trains also run to neighbouring towns and further afield to destinations across the UK.
Buses are very inexpensive and you can buy a day pass for approximately 3 pounds – which includes a park and ride service so you can leave your car in a car park outside of the city centre. Try to have correct change when boarding the bus – and note that bus drivers won’t accept large denomination notes.
If you want to see the best sites of Cambridge by bus, then take advantage of the town’s hop on hop off sightseeing bus that operates regularly. However, the city centre of Cambridge is only accessible by foot, so to see everything you will need to jump off and walk around on your own.
Getting around by Foot
The majority of central Cambridge is accessible by foot, and there is rarely a need for a car or public transport to get around – particularly if you are staying in the centre. Cambridge is very pedestrian-friendly, with designated walkways and pavements throughout the town and many pedestrian only streets.
The whole centre of Cambridge is pedestrian-only, so having a car can simply make your life difficult and can mean you miss out on the best that Cambridge has to offer.
If you’re looking for walking routes around Cambridge, the tourist information centres have guides that they can give you as well as advice on the best walks to do.
Bicycles as Cambridge UK Transportation
By far the most popular and common method of transport in Cambridge are bicycles. Cambridge is an incredibly bicycle-friendly city and as most Cambridge University students aren’t allowed to bring their cars to university, it is the easiest way for them to get around.
Many streets are dedicated bicycle routes and all the main roads have bicycle lanes to make it easier and safer to cycle around the town.
If you don’t have your own bicycle, it is very affordable and easy for you to rent one from a range of places around the city.
Cars and Parking in Cambridge UK
The use of cars is discouraged in Cambridge, so don’t expect them to make it easy for you! The cost of parking in the city centre is very expensive, so you are best advised to park outside of the centre and get a bus in.
Taxis are another alternative for getting around Cambridge. There are several taxi companies that operate in Cambridge, with Panther Taxis being the largest and most popular. Camtax and Camcab are two other large taxi companies. All of them operate 24 hours a day and bookings can be made in advance.