Huntingdon grew up around a river crossing on the Great Ouse. Today, the Riverside Park is a perfect area to watch boats pass by. In Norman times, the town had sixteen churches but fell into decline at around the time of the Black Death. In the 18th century, Huntingdon prospered again as an important staging post for travellers on the Great North Road. The historic core is still intact, with many fine Georgian buildings to be seen. Oliver Cromwell's former school is now a museum, which offers a fascinating insight into the Lord Protector's life. In the summer, Shakespeare is performed in the medieval courtyard of The George Hotel, a former coaching inn, in Huntingdon.
Huntingdon has much to offer the visitor, with a pedestrianised high street and many nationally known brands, complemented by some excellent coffee shops and pubs. Castle Hills, Huntingdon, was once the site of Huntingdon Castle built in 1068. It is now a public open space and is the site of the Castle Hills Beacon.
Portholme, situated between Godmanchester and Huntingdon, is the largest lowland meadow in England and was once the site of the racecourse. Huntingdon still has its own racecourse less than five minutes from the town and is home to 17 Jump race meetings, spanning 9 months of the year.