The Best Landmarks To Visit in Cambridge, UK

The Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College in Cambridge is a Grade II-listed structure
The Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College in Cambridge is a Grade II-listed structure | © eye35.pix / Alamy Stock Photo
Dating back 1,200 years, with a host of colleges, churches and bridges to admire, Cambridge wears its history on its sleeve. Despite being a relatively small city, it can take time explore, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here are six of the best landmarks in the city you won’t want to miss.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Art Gallery, Building, Museum
British Art Gallery, Fitzwilliam Museum
© Damien Vickers / Courtesy of Fitzwilliam Museum
It’s virtually impossible to walk past the Fitzwilliam Museum, known as the Fitz to Cambridge residents, and not be stopped in your tracks. The beautiful columned façade of the 19th-century building beckons passers-by inside, where they’ll find one of the most expansive art and archaeology collections anywhere in the UK. Just down the road from St Catherine’s College, the museum is easy to find – and not one to miss.
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Mathematical Bridge

Bridge

At a glance, this small wooden bridge over the River Cam seems rather unassuming. Connecting two parts of Queens’ College, it was built by James Essex in 1749 and is so named because it forms an arch, despite being made from only straight beams. While some have said no nails or bolts were used to construct it, that’s just a myth.

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Queens’ College Moondial

Architectural Landmark

You’ve heard of a sundial, but what about a moondial? Only a handful remain intact, and you can see one of them at Queens’ College. It was painted on the wall of one of the campus buildings in 1733, and to tell the time with it, you would need to make four complex mathematical equations. It’s not hard to see why it never caught on.

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The Eagle

Pub, Restaurant, European, Pub Grub, $$$
Tourists look at the plaque to Watson and Crick on the outside of The Eagle pub in Benet Street, Cambridge,  England, UK
© Keith Douglas / Alamy Stock Photo

Pubs are not in short supply around Cambridge, but the Eagle offers something special. Opened in 1667, its proximity to the university soon made it the favoured watering-hole of many academics. In 1953, while sitting in one of the booths, James Watson and Francis Crick announced they had cracked the double helix – the structure of DNA. Visit this history-changing boozer on a day in the city. The Eagle is on Bene’t Street, just past the Grand Arcade.

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Corpus Clock and Chronophage

Architectural Landmark
Tourists gather by the unusual and unique Corpus Clock in Cambridge
© Keith Douglas / Alamy Stock Photo

Anyone who has walked past this structure in the city will surely have been left intrigued. Unveiled in 2008 by Stephen Hawking, this big clock, with a metal bug on top, is actually a mechanical marvel. The bug is the titular Chronophage, or “time-eater”.

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These recommendations were updated on June 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.