Why Cambridge is the Place to be This Summer

Published: 01/03/2023

What events and activities are happening this summer in our beautiful city of Cambridge? Well, where do we even begin? At the end of last year, we published a blog highlighting the must-do events over the Christmas period…but Cambridge is buzzing all year round, no more so than over the summer. When people think of Cambridge, they often think about the warmer months – cycling around the backs, admiring the collages, punting with a punnet of strawberries and a bottle of bubbly, and having a picnic by the Mill Pond. The list of pastimes is endless.

Cambridge, one of the UK's most iconic university cities, is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. The summer of 2023 promises to be packed with exciting events catering for all ages and interests. From concerts to beer festivals, here are some highlights you can look forward to enjoying in Cambridge this year. If you live here, work here or are just visiting for a day or weekend, we promise you will not be disappointed.
Cambridge Folk Festival - The Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the world's longest-running and most famous folk festivals, bringing together a mix of traditional and contemporary folk, Americana and world music. The festival takes place over four days, with an impressive line-up of established artists and local talent, making it a must-attend event for music lovers. First held in 1965, this fantastic event attracts around 14,000 visitors every year. Tickets are available to purchase now but get in quick as they sell out pretty fast.
Cambridge Literary Festival - The Cambridge Literary Festival is an annual event over five days in April. It showcases some of the world's most renowned authors, journalists, and thinkers - over 350 to be exact - for a series of talks, discussions, and book signings. Past speakers have included Salman Rushdie and Bill Bryson… a pretty impressive line-up. The CLF present two literary celebrations each year; the famous Summer Festival, which kicked off in 2003 and the introduction of the Winter Festival, which started a few years later.
Cambridge Festival - The new, interdisciplinary Cambridge Festival (replacing the Cambridge Science Festival and the Cambridge Festival of Ideas) will take place in mid-April with a mixture of online, on-demand and in-person events covering all aspects of the world-leading research happening at Cambridge. The Cambridge Festival is a popular annual event that aims to show off the latest developments in science and technology. The festival includes talks, workshops, and interactive demonstrations for all ages. It's a great way to inspire a love of science in children and adults alike, so this is definitely one for the whole family to enjoy.
Cambridge Food and Drink Festival - If you're a foodie, you won't want to miss the Cambridge Food and Drink Festival, which takes place in May every year. The festival brings together local food producers, chefs, and brewers to showcase the region's finest produce. With food stalls, live music, and cooking demonstrations, it's the perfect place to indulge in some culinary delights. If you love food, this is the place to be this summer.
Cambridge Beer Festival - The Cambridge Beer Festival is held in May and November each year. Well attended and popular with locals, the festival showcases real ales, ciders, Perry’s, wines and beers.  Much of the popularity is down to the addition of good music and even better food.…I mean, who doesn’t like a cheese board with their highly alcoholic beverage?

Cambridge Club Festival – The Cambridge Club Festival is renowned for offering a wide range of arts, culture, and music for all members of the family, young and old…and an opportunity to have a good ol’ boogey. Launched in 2017 as a one-day event, the festival expanded to a full three-day weekend in 2021. Music is only one element of The Cambridge Club itinerary. The festival celebrates creativity with comedy, live podcasts, family activities, group games, wellness and more to explore in their various dedicated areas across the site. Each year, festival-goers can also enjoy delicious food and drink menus, as well as children's entertainment and the chance to glamp in style.

This year, the festival will welcome Lionel Richie, Grace Jones, Kool & The Gang and many more live acts to the main stage. You do not want to miss this!

Festivals aside…

If festivals are not your thing, rest assured that people flock to Cambridge in their thousands for many other events. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them…
Cambridge Half Marathon - The Cambridge Half Marathon is a popular event that attracts runners from all over the country…and beyond. The 13.1-mile course takes in some of the city's most iconic landmarks, including King's College Chapel and the River Cam. Whether you're an experienced runner or a beginner, the Cambridge Half Marathon is a great way to challenge yourself and enjoy the city's stunning scenery. So, dig out that lycra and come and get involved.
Cambridge University Boat Race - The annual boat race between Cambridge and Oxford universities is a highlight of the city’s sporting calendar. The race, which takes place in March each year, sees the two universities compete in a gruelling 4.2-mile rowing race along the River Thames in London. The event attracts thousands of spectators, and supporters flock to their nearest public houses in Cambridge to enjoy the celebrations…because everyone knows we will win, right?
Cambridge United Football Club: If you're a football fan, don't miss the chance to watch Cambridge United in action at the Abbey Stadium. The club has a passionate fan base, and the atmosphere is amazing at every match. Check out the fixtures and plan a trip to the stadium for a fun-filled day out.

So, if you can only plan one big event this summer, make sure it’s one of Cambridge’s fantastic festivals. This blog just skims the surface of what this great city offers…

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