There’s plenty to love about October; crisp days, the changing colours and the nostalgia that Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re feeling the cosy vibes, here’s how to make the most of autumn in the city:
Stomp the cobbles
Get ahead of the crowds this month and make a start on the Christmas shopping at one of Cambridge’s many independent boutiques. As the new seasons and collections drop, now is the time to find perfect presents for loved ones. From antiques at The Hive and Angela Reed’s stunning homeware to divine jewellery at Della Kaur and fashions at Lilac Rose, you won’t be leaving empty handed. You’ll also be feeling pretty smug come December!
The colder days call for a cosy pub and a glass of red. Luckily, Cambridge is home to a number of historic pubs with crackling fires and comfy corners. Check out the Free Press Pub on Prospect Row for its cosy nooks and tasty food (great for vegan food too!). For Halloween feels visit The Eagle on Benet Street, known for its history, RAF associations and resident ghosts! The cool kids amongst you should visit Calverley’s Brewery and Taproom, on Hooper Street, just off Mill Road. Open Thursday and Friday evenings, and all day Saturday, here you’ll find a diverse range of brews.
Feel the crunch
One of the best things about autumn is the changing colours and crunch of leaves under your feet. Make the most of this beautiful season with a stroll around the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. There’s 8,000 species spread over 40 acres of landscaped grounds. Don’t miss the Apple Day on 21 October.
To the market
Speaking of apples, pick up the delights of autumns fruits at the weekly Sunday Farmer’s Market on the Market Square, 10am to 4pm. Under the canopies, stalls are stacked with colourful, fresh produce from local farmers. Top buys this month include figs, leeks, blackberries, beets and of course apples.
On your bike
See the sights of Cambridge on two wheels. Cycle the streets of the city admiring the architecture, before passing the cows on the common and pedalling your way along the river. It’s a great way to appreciate the beauty of Cambridge. For all your bicycle needs head to Townsend, one of Cambridge’s oldest cycle shops.
Slow down with a book
We all know Cambridge is famous for its museums, colleges and galleries but this month why not curl up with a good book at Cambridge University Library. Dating back to the 1400s it has a story to tell, you’ll find plenty of literature plus regular exhibitions, events and tours.
Ghost Tours in Cambridge
October is the month of all things spooky, so as night falls and the air becomes crisp and misty, join one of the ghost tours available and hear about the gruesome tales of murder, historic hangings and the wandering ghosts that stalk the city’s streets and buildings. You’ll also learn about the where abouts of Oliver Cromwell’s head! Visit cambridgeghosttours.com for more information.
Vintage fairs in Cambridge
Faux furs, woolly jumpers and retro levis; give your wardrobe a classic update with a trip to Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair at The Guildhall on 6 October, 10.30am-4.30pm. Search through the rails full of fabulous fashions from the eras gone by, browse stalls of collectables and jewellery, find homeware treasures and finish with a slice of cake at the vintage tea party pop up. Entry £2.
Snuggle up in the corner or grab a window seat at one of Cambridge’s famous cafes and simply watch the world go by. Colder weather calls for a little indulgence so tuck into the stickiest Chelsea buns around at Fitzbillies, reminisce about Mediterranean holidays with Pastéis de Nata at the Norfolk Street Bakery or sip one of the finest coffees in the city at Hot Numbers Coffee on Gwydir Street.
Row, row, row your boat
One of the biggest draws of Cambridge is its river and water activities. A punt is fun at any time of year, but October may be a bit too cold for paddle boarding so why not watch those who are far braver as local rowing clubs take to the water to practice. Wrap up warm, grab a travelling cappuccino and make your way to Midsummer Common, Ditton Meadows or the Plough – it’s a great way to pass an afternoon at the weekend, plus it’s free!