Cambridge is such a dreamy city and I was so lucky to sneak another visit in just before lockdown 2.0 in England! I’ve visited a few times before but this time I had a great big list of places I wanted to see that I’ve been saving across Instagram since the last time I was down a couple of years ago. With wonderful college buildings, magical narrow lanes and charming scenes along the river Cam these are the top 12 Instagram spots in Cambridge.
1. Trinity Lane
The most recognisable street in Cambridge is probably the enchanting Trinity Lane which you’re sure to recognise from Instagram photos due to its unusual chimneys. They rise up high out of the college building on the right as the road curves around. It’s a popular spot not just for photographers but also for tourists and students who use this lane to get to the river from Trinity Street so come early in the morning for the best change of having it all to yourself!
2. The Backs
Cross over the River Cam and out of the bustling city centre of Cambridge and you’ll find yourself wandering along The Backs. This is a wonderful picturesque and peaceful part of the city whilst still being so close!
The name The Backs comes from the fact that a number of colleges back onto the river with wonderful green fields and at King’s College – with cows as well! Other green spaces to enjoy around the city include Parker’s Piece, the Botanic Gardens & around the Fen Causeway. For a longer stretch of the legs, walk out to Grantchester!
3. King’s College Chapel
King’s College Chapel is a must visit in the city and also a must capture Instagram location! The chapel is spell bindingly beautiful and you can really imagine the dulcet tones of Carols from Kings as you wander through. Work began on this incredible building in 1441 and makes it the oldest surviving part of King’s College.
4. Mathematical Bridge
The rather unusual, Mathematical Bridge, traverses the River Cam and joins two sections of Queens’ College together. It makes a rather striking image especially if you can capture punters drifting lazily underneath as well!
I would put the Bridge of Sighs on this list as well as a bonus 13th Insta spot in Cambridge but the only way to see it is either paying to get into St John’s College or paying to take a punt journey along the river – neither of which I’ve done yet!
5. Senate House Passage
Senate House Passage may be one of my favourite spots in the city. Each direction has multiple photo opportunities with plenty of distinctive buildings and details to capture. Looking down, away from King’s Parade you’ll see the edge of Trinity Hall College with its flag waving in the wind.
Looking up towards King’s Parade, it’s Gonville & Caius College that dominates the scene. Make sure to come here early as this street is often used as a cut through by students, locals & tourists alike getting around the city.
6. The River Cam
Since the city takes its name from the river that runs through it, of course the River Cam has to have a mention! There’s so many spots along here that make a wonderful Instagram shot as the river curves its way through Cambridge. Make sure to include punts in your shot so everyone can tell this is Cambridge 😁
7. Green Street
Honestly there are so many lovely corners in the heart of Cambridge it’s hard to pick the most Instagrammable but Green Street has appeared on my own Insta feed at least twice so far and as such needs a mention! It’s the curve of the cobbled road and the lights strung across the buildings that make this a pretty spot. Plus – Mercado is an excellent place for dinner later in the day!
8. Great St Mary’s Church Tower
Head up the tower of Great St Mary’s Church in the heart of the city centre for an excellent bird’s eye view. From up high you can see Cambridge’s skyline with a number of different angles to get your perfect Instagram Shot! My favourite is the shot above overlooking Cambridge Market with its brightly coloured awnings!
9. Rose Crescent
Rose Crescent is one of a number of lovely streets that runs off Trinity Street. It is an adorable shopping street with flag stones to match the honey hued brick PLUS a leading line is perfect for an Instagram shot to stand out on your grid! I adore the ornate lamps that decorate the street and the greenery that adorns the top of the shop facades as well.
10. Trinity College
You have to include one of the University Colleges on your Instagram list and one that is very recognisable is the entrance to Trinity College. You can find it on Trinity Street and the ivy clad wall that runs alongside often makes for a wonderful addition, especially in autumn! During the day you might even catch a Porter outside as above! Just a little bit further down the street you’ll find St John’s College which also has a rather distinctive (orange hued) entrance.
11. Magdalene Street
Magdalene Street must have the most colourful row of shops in Cambridge and not only are they super colourful but also very charming with their wonky fronts and old style shop signs! Magdalene Street leads to Magdalene Bridge which is where the original bridge stood that gave Cambridge its name – bridge over Cam!
12. Orchard Street
If you’re missing your village pics on a trip to Cambridge then head to the lovely Orchard Street. Rather bizarrely this row of cottages looks like it’s been plucked out of a sleepy country village and plonked right in the centre of the city!
Check out these quirky places in Cambridges for something a little unusual!