Cambridge is a famously green city – with its many parks and college greens, as well as surrounding countryside. For those with a horticultural bent, there are numerous gardens to explore – in the city and beyond. We pick the best for you to take a stroll in.
A day spent exploring the colleges wouldn’t be the same without a stop off at the Fellows’ Garden. One of the largest of all the college greens, it was largely neglected in the run-up to World War II, but has since been transformed into one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Fellows’ Garden is just 10 minutes on foot from the city centre.
Located right on the edge of Jesus Green, Alexandra Gardens is a well-maintained space with a perimeter of ancient trees and a pavilion that provides a perfect shaded spot to sit and read, or just take in the view. It also has a playground if you have a child or two in tow. Alexandra Gardens is on Carlyle Road, less than 15 minutes on foot from the city centre.
Christ’s Pieces, near Drummer Street bus station and Grafton Centre shopping mall, is a lovely park to walk in but also contains a flower garden that is an attraction in itself. There’s a bowling green and tennis courts nearby, making it an ideal destination for a summer’s day.
No list would be complete without a mention of the city’s most famous garden. Just a few minutes’ walk from the railway station, Botanic Garden, a centrepiece of Cambridge’s park life for more than a century, is home to over 8,000 plant species, many of them rare and exotic. It also features the famous Scented Garden, filled with scents of flowers from all over the world.
For those willing to travel a bit further, Anglesey Abbey, in Lode, is the place for you. The garden, about 30 minutes east of Cambridge by car, is the result of nearly a century of development, started by the Abbey’s original owner, Lord Fairbanks. A dahlia garden, snowdrop collection and statuary are just a few of the many features you can explore here for a very pleasant afternoon out.
Twenty minutes’ drive south from the city, in Wimpole, lie the grounds of Wimpole Hall, a National Trust property complete with a working farm. The farm and house offer a great day out for the family, but the gardens are well worth your time, too. Expertly landscaped, they stretch out past the manor – with topiary and flowerbeds and three neighbouring lakes to enjoy.