10 Best Historic Pubs and Cafes in Cambridge

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As you meander through Cambridge's historic streets, you'll stumble upon iconic pubs and cafes steeped in history and charm. The Eagle, Cambridge's oldest pub, boasts a 16th-century grade II listed building and the famous spot where Crick and Watson announced their DNA discovery. The Champion of the Thames and The Anchor offer a glimpse into the city's rich past, while The Pint Shop and The Riverbank Cafe provide a modern twist. From community-focused pubs like The Free Press to hidden gems like Butter Yard, each spot whispers tales of the past, waiting to be uncovered. And, as you explore, you'll find there's so much more to discover.

Key Takeaways

• Cambridge's historic pubs, like The Eagle, offer a glimpse into the city's rich past and are a must-visit for any history enthusiast.

• The Champion of the Thames and The Anchor are stunning examples of 19th-century pubs with well-preserved Victorian interiors.

• The St. Radegund and The Old Crown are beloved 19th- and 16th-century pubs, respectively, serving real ale in cozy atmospheres.

• The Pint Shop is a unique establishment offering an impressive selection of craft beers from around the world.

• The Riverbank Cafe is a charming spot for breakfast and brunch, accompanied by stunning views of the River Cam.

The Eagle: Cambridge's Oldest Pub

Step into The Eagle, Cambridge's oldest pub, where the walls have witnessed centuries of history and intellectual fervor.

You'll feel the weight of tradition as you enter this 16th-century grade II listed building. The Eagle is more than just a pub – it's a hub for intellectuals and a monument to the city's rich history.

In 1953, Francis Crick and James Watson announced their groundbreaking DNA discovery here, and a plaque commemorates this achievement.

As you soak up the pub atmosphere, look up to the RAF Bar's ceiling, where World War II airmen left their mark with graffiti. This unique feature adds to the pub's charm and historical significance.

The Eagle is a thinking hub for the city's leading intellectuals, and its historic significance and traditional pub atmosphere make it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

Historic Pubs in the City Centre

Beyond The Eagle, Cambridge's historic city centre is home to a collection of iconic pubs that have been serving locals and visitors alike for centuries.

You'll stumble upon hidden treasures, each with its own unique architectural charm.

Take The Champion of the Thames, a stunning 19th-century pub that boasts a Victorian interior that's sure to impress.

Or, head to The Anchor, nestled along the River Cam, where you can soak up the cozy atmosphere and sample a range of cask ales.

If you're a fan of real ale, you won't want to miss The St. Radegund, a 19th-century pub steeped in history and charm.

These local legends have been serving up pints and stories for generations, and you can't help but feel the weight of history as you settle in for a pint.

As you explore these historic pubs, you'll discover that each one has its own unique character, but they all share a warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.

The Kite Area's Hidden Gems

secret spots in kite

Venture into the charming Kite Area, where a cluster of hidden gems await your discovery. This picturesque neighborhood is home to some of Cambridge's most unique and enchanting pubs, each with its own distinct character.

The Free PressCommunity vibesSwap library, billiards room, suntrap beer garden
The Elm TreeFamily-friendlyLarge beer garden, children's play area
The CricketersLivelyLive music sessions, large beer garden
The Clarendon ArmsCozyTraditional atmosphere, range of ales, wines, and ciders

From the strong community feel of The Free Press to the family-friendly atmosphere of The Elm Tree, each pub offers a unique experience. The Cricketers is famous for its live music sessions, while The Clarendon Arms provides a cozy atmosphere perfect for a quiet evening out. With their beautiful beer gardens and wide range of drinks, these pubs are sure to become your new favorite haunts. So why not grab a pint and soak up the charm of the Kite Area's hidden gems?

North Cambridge's Best Kept Secrets

As you explore North Cambridge, you'll uncover a treasure trove of unique drinking establishments, each with its own distinct character waiting to be discovered.

This charming area is steeped in history and Village Charms, making it the perfect spot to indulge in a pint or a cup of coffee. Take a leisurely stroll along the Riverbank Walks, and you'll stumble upon hidden gems that will make your heart skip a beat.

The Old Crown: This 16th-century pub is a treasure trove of history, with wooden beams and rustic charm. Enjoy a pint of real ale by the fireplace and soak up the atmosphere.

The Pint Shop: This independent pub is a haven for beer enthusiasts, with an impressive selection of craft beers from around the world. Pair your drink with a delicious burger or salad for the ultimate relaxation experience.

The Riverbank Cafe: Perched on the banks of the River Cam, this cozy cafe serves up delicious breakfast and brunch options, accompanied by stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

North Cambridge's Best Kept Secrets await – go ahead, explore, and discover the treasures that lie hidden in this charming corner of Cambridge.

The Back Street Pubs of Cambridge

historic cambridge pub scene

Tucked away in the labyrinthine streets of Cambridge, you'll stumble upon a hidden world of back street pubs, each one overflowing with character and charm, waiting to be unearthed.

These secret gems are hidden from the main tourist trail, but that's what makes them so special.

As you wander through the quiet corners of the city, you'll discover pubs that are steeped in history and bursting with atmosphere.

Take a step inside, and you'll be transported to a world of wooden beams, roaring fires, and real ale.

Look out for secret passages that lead to hidden rooms, and snuggle up in cozy nooks with a pint and a good book.

The Back Street Pubs of Cambridge are waiting for you, and they're just a stone's throw from the bustling city center.

Hills Road's Cosy Cafes

You'll find a string of charming cafes along Hills Road, each one serving up a warm welcome and a fresh brew to brighten up your day.

As you wander along this bustling street, you'll discover the heart of Cambridge's coffee culture, where locals and visitors alike gather to indulge in a cuppa and soak up the atmosphere.

The Coffee Lab: A haven for coffee connoisseurs, with expertly brewed pours and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

The Paddy Field: A charming spot for a casual catch-up, serving up delicious cakes and sandwiches alongside exceptional coffee.

The Tea House: A tranquil oasis perfect for a relaxing afternoon, with an impressive tea selection and homemade treats.

As you explore Hills Road's cosy cafes, you'll experience the authentic local charm that makes Cambridge so special.

From the rustic decor to the warm smiles of the baristas, every detail is infused with a sense of community and warmth.

The Famous Mitre Pub on Kings Parade

london s historic pub landmark

Standing on the historic King's Parade, the famous Mitre Pub beckons you to step inside and experience the warm hospitality that's been a Cambridge staple since 1840.

As you step through the door, you'll be struck by the stunning Pub Architecture, with its beautifully preserved Victorian-era features that transport you back in time.

The Mitre's rich history is palpable, and you can almost hear the whispers of past patrons echoing through the centuries.

Take a seat by the roaring fire, and let the friendly staff regale you with tales of the pub's fascinating past.

With its prime location on King's Parade, the Mitre is the perfect spot to rest your feet after a day of exploring Cambridge's iconic colleges and chapels.

So why not grab a pint of real ale, settle in, and soak up the atmosphere of this beloved Cambridge institution?

You'll soon see why the Mitre remains a firm favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The Cambridge Yard's Historic Inns

As you explore the charming streets of Cambridge, you'll discover a cluster of historic inns waiting to be uncovered in The Cambridge Yard.

This hidden gem is a treasure trove of historic ambiance, where centuries-old pubs and inns transport you back in time.

Take a step inside and discover:

The Eagle, a 16th-century coaching inn, where the RAF Bar's ceiling is covered in World War II airmen's graffiti, adding to its historic charm.

The Pickerel Inn, built in 1608, which was originally a gin palace, serving spirits to customers.

The Champion of the Thames, a cozy pub since 1843, known for its live music performances and warm atmosphere.

These hidden treasures offer a glimpse into Cambridge's rich history, where every brick and beam tells a story.

As you wander through The Cambridge Yard, you'll uncover the secrets of these historic inns, each with its own unique character and charm.

Butter Yard's Hidden Treasures

vintage shop hidden gems

Tucked away between the historic Eagle Pub and the Church of St. Edward King and Martyr, Butter Yard's charming passageway beckons you to explore its eclectic mix of boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.

As you wander through this hidden gem, you'll uncover a treasure trove of local history. The yard's quaint shops and secret gardens seem to whisper tales of the past, drawing you in with their charm.

You'll discover hidden courtyards, tucked away behind ancient buildings, where you can pause and soak up the atmosphere. Take a moment to appreciate the blue plaque commemorating Francis Crick and James Watson's groundbreaking discovery of the DNA double helix structure in 1953.

Today, the yard is home to a vibrant community of independent businesses, each one unique and full of character. As you explore Butter Yard, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of history, charm, and character – a true hidden treasure in the heart of Cambridge.

The Man in the Moon's Rich History

You'll stumble upon a piece of Cambridge's rich history at The Man in the Moon, a pub that has been a cornerstone of the community since the mid-19th century.

This iconic pub has undergone a remarkable transformation, from its original building in 1850 to its demolition in the 1960s and eventual rebuilding in 1964.

Demolition and rebirth: The original pub was torn down in the 1960s to make way for commercial development, but its spirit lived on in the rebuilt version.

Space age design: The rebuilt pub features a unique space-age design, complete with a spaceship-shaped bar and astronaut-themed decorations that will transport you to a galaxy far, far away.

Community hub: Throughout its history, The Man in the Moon has remained a beloved gathering place for locals and students, hosting lively music performances and fostering a sense of community.

Today, The Man in the Moon continues to thrive, attracting visitors from around the world with its quirky decor and rich history.

As you step inside, you'll be immersed in a world of nostalgia and charm, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Cambridge's historic pubs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Historic Pub in Cambridge?

When seeking the most historic pub in Cambridge, you'll discover the Eagle Pub, boasting a Tudor atmosphere and steeped in medieval legend, where RAF wartime heroes once gathered, making it a must-visit spot.

What Is the Oldest Bar in Cambridge?

You're searching for the oldest bar in Cambridge, and you'll find it in The Pickerel Inn, a 415-year-old gem that's been serving vintage ales since 1608, exuding medieval tavern charm in its dimly-lit, beam-ceilinged space.

What Is the History of the Green Dragon Pub in Cambridge?

You'll find The Green Dragon Pub, a 19th-century gem, boasting Medieval Architecture, where literary legends like AA Milne and CS Lewis would gather, making it a treasured Literary Haunt in Cambridge's heart.

What Is the History of the Eagle Pub in Cambridge?

You step into The Eagle, surrounded by 16th-century architecture, where war heroes once gathered, and discover the pub where Crick and Watson announced their DNA discovery, now a hub for cozy atmosphere and traditional fare.


As you wander through Cambridge's historic streets, the weight of centuries of stories, laughter, and pints shared in these iconic pubs and cafes settles in.

You've discovered hidden gems, stumbled upon unexpected treasures, and uncovered the rich history woven into the fabric of these beloved institutions.

Now, grab a pint, take a seat, and soak up the atmosphere – you're part of Cambridge's ongoing narrative.

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