The picturesque city of Cambridge, known for its rich history, punts and university, is a popular destination for day trippers and visitors seeking a long weekend break. However, away from the museums and beautiful green spaces, the city has a booming shopping scene with plenty of independent stores offering speciality products, alongside familiar brands, making the city worth a visit for shopping alone.
Here are a few must-visit streets for keen shoppers to explore:
This quaint walkway, lined with bicycles, leads off Market Square to some of Cambridge’s most popular shops.
Fans of fine jewellery will be spoiled within Cellini, an independent company of designers and makers, whose store is complete with its own workshop. The company, founded in 1981, holds one of the largest selection of pearls in the UK and additionally carries an assortment of fine coloured stones and high-quality loose diamonds. Visitors can choose stunning jewellery pieces from a collection of over 8,000 designs, or alternatively there is the option for bespoke creations.
Along the narrow lane, the family run business of Cheaney is dedicated to handcrafting premium leather shoes. Established in 1886, the family has been making fine shoes for five generations and are fully committed to producing the finest footwear entirely made in England. Footwear connoisseurs have further choice at North Shoes, founded in 1876, which offers a handful of stores in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, in addition to its Cambridge shop.
Alongside wonderful independent shops, visitors keen to pick up beauty products can pop into well-known brands such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Molton Brown, Jo Malone and L’Occitane En Provence.
Flanked by the historic buildings of Trinity College and Gonville & Caius College, this charming street offers a range of fashion shops and eateries. At All Saints Garden, Saturday shoppers can visit the weekly arts and crafts market where traders sell pottery, paintings, clothing and more.
Trinity Street also offers prime reading material with a number of popular bookstores. Heffers Bookshop is the largest in Cambridge, having traded in the city since 1876. The store offers students and visitors a vast range of books across all genres, plus board games, music and gifts.
No visit to Cambridge is complete without a stop at The Cambridge University Press Bookshop, which is located on the oldest bookshop site in the country. Proudly showcasing a huge range of the Press’s publishing, visitors can also pick up a selection of Cambridge gifts and souvenirs too.
Bookworms can even follow a literary trail which takes in three further independent bookstores, alongside those located on Trinity Street. Down the narrow path of St. Edward’s Passage are The Haunted Bookshop and G. David Bookseller, which sit in the shadow of the ancient church of St. Edward King and Martyr, whilst Bookish can be found on Market Square
This narrow-cobbled street boasts an array of fantastic shops and establishments, including the popular Cambridge Gin Laboratory, with its interactive space offering an array of classes dedicated to the appreciation of gin. Visitors can learn how to taste like a professional, blend their own bottle guided by gin lab experts, or just pick up a bottle of ‘mother’s ruin’ to enjoy when home.
Further along Green Street shoppers will find Laird Hatters, host to handmade hats and caps inspired by Scottish and English heritage meeting modern design, with choices for both men and women. With a small number of stores in London also, Laird Hatters sources the best materials and supports British manufacturing.
Elsewhere in Cambridge
Away from these three streets, visitors will find plenty more stretches of shopping to enjoy, including the centrally located Market Square where traders have been running stalls since the Middle Ages. Open every day, the outdoor market bustles with stalls selling fresh food, art, plants, clothes, jewellery, books, music and much more.
Those planning a visit to Cambridge, or who are looking for a gift for a loved one, can support local businesses by buying a Love Cambridge gift card which can be used in shops, businesses and eateries across the city.