The River Cam

The River Cam showing a river or creek and a bridge
Go punting, kayaking, sailing and swimming in this clean river that winds its way through one of the world’s most iconic universities.

The River Cam is the historic waterway that meanders through the University of Cambridge. It is known for the activity of punting, involving flat-bottomed boats propelled by pushing a long pole against the shallow river bed. Walk along the banks of this charming river and visit the sights of Cambridge.

As the river enters Cambridge from the south, it straddles the vast verdant meadows of Sheep’s Green and Coe Fen. Rent a canoe or kayak from the Cambridge Canoe Club. Cycle along the paths and spot cows grazing in this serene, rural area. Stroll along the banks of the river and take photos of King’s College Chapel in the distance.

The river is clear and clean, supporting a diverse ecosystem. It contains wild brown trout among other fish. Participate actively in punting on boats owned by many of the university’s colleges or relax on these small vessels as an operator takes you up and down the river.

Continue north to enter the Queens’ College section of the University of Cambridge. Admire pleasant riverside gardens and cross the famed Mathematical Bridge, which is made from crisscrossing panels of teak timber. Among the highlights here are the Tudor-style President’s Lodge, the Old Court and the Chapel and Walnut Tree Court.

Pass St. Catharine’s College and arrive at King’s College Chapel. Venture inside for its superb medieval stained glass and look up at the vaulted ceiling. Go through Trinity College to get to the spectacular covered structure of the Bridge of Sighs.

At the northeastern end of the city is Cam Sailing Club, where you can watch sailing races most weekends between March and November. Go swimming in the cool water in summer.

The River Cam meanders through the center of Cambridge from southwest to northeast, before continuing into the Great Ouse River. The waterway eventually meets the North Sea on England’s eastern coast, 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Cambridge. Visit nearby sights, including Fitzwilliam Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Top 10 Hotels Near The River Cam

Hyatt Centric Cambridge
Hyatt Centric Cambridge
4 out of 5
37 Eddington Avenue, Cambridge, England, CB3 1SE
Fully refundable
The price is RM344 per night from 1 Jan to 2 Jan
RM344
per night
1 Jan - 2 Jan
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Cambridge. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 bars/lounges and breakfast. Popular attractions Castle Hill and Kettle's Yard are ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (63 reviews)
"Hotel spot on but a bit slow at breakfast must have been under staffed and when we got it it was cold. Can’t understand why they shut the bar a 3pm then open again at 5pm. Would definitely stay again"

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2022

Hyatt Centric Cambridge
Graduate Cambridge
Graduate Cambridge
4 out of 5
Granta Place Mill Lane, Cambridge, England, CB2 1RT
Fully refundable
The price is RM853 per night from 1 Jan to 2 Jan
RM853
per night
1 Jan - 2 Jan
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Cambridge. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and 24-hour room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (228 reviews)
"Excellent location helpful and friendly staff and a bonus to have use of the swimming pool."

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2022

Graduate Cambridge
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
24 Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, England, CB5 8AQ
The price is RM751 per night from 2 Jan to 3 Jan
RM751
per night
2 Jan - 3 Jan
Stay at this 4-star luxury hotel in Cambridge. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in their ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (670 reviews)
"Easy to get to"

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2022

The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit


Top The River Cam Hotel Deals

Hyatt Centric Cambridge
Hyatt Centric Cambridge
4 out of 5
37 Eddington Avenue, Cambridge, England, CB3 1SE
Hyatt Centric Cambridge
Graduate Cambridge
Graduate Cambridge
4 out of 5
Granta Place Mill Lane, Cambridge, England, CB2 1RT
Graduate Cambridge
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
24 Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, England, CB5 8AQ
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Gonville Hotel
Gonville Hotel
4 out of 5
Gonville Place, Cambridge, England, CB1 1LY
Gonville Hotel
ibis Cambridge Central Station
ibis Cambridge Central Station
3 out of 5
2 Station Square, Cambridge, England, CB1 2GA
ibis Cambridge Central Station
Arundel House Hotel
Arundel House Hotel
3 out of 5
Chesterton Road, Cambridge, England, CB4 3AN
Arundel House Hotel
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
4 out of 5
20 Downing Street, Cambridge, England, CB2 3DT
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
University Arms, Autograph Collection
University Arms, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
Regent Street, Cambridge, England, CB2 1AD
University Arms, Autograph Collection
The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton
4 out of 5
33 Milton Road, Cambridge, England, CB41UZ
The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.