Shopping in Cambridge: Where to Start?
Cambridge enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a centre for academic excellence and scientific innovation with visitors from all over the world eager to explore the university’s famous colleges or be inspired in one of the city’s celebrated museums.
Fewer people know that Cambridge can also be considered top of the class when it comes to shopping. The historic streets are home to hundreds of attractive storefronts, from globally-recognised names to independent boutiques, and today’s blog highlights only a few of the fantastic businesses you can visit during a day (or more!) of retail therapy.
So, whether you’re a clothes curator, a book lover or someone seeking out the perfect gift for a loved one, consider Cambridge as the next shopping destination on your list….
For a Classic Souvenir…Head to Ryder and Amies.
Those wishing to commemorate their time in the city by picking up some ‘University of Cambridge’ merchandise—or ‘stash’ as the students call it—can take their pick from several well-stocked souvenir shops.
However, a firm favourite amongst the students themselves, is Ryder and Amies which has operated as an outfitter to the university for over 150 years. Alongside stocking university sweaters, t-shirts, hats and scarves this family-run business also supplies the iconic gowns and hoods worn at graduation ceremonies. The superior quality of the clothing, and the traditional atmosphere of the wood-panelled store make it a lovely place to find a lasting reminder of your visit that will have you feeling Cambridge pride wherever you call home.
For Unique Gifts…Go on an Adventure in Ark.
This colourful cavern is packed with an incredible range of items, including toys, accessories and homeware. With cuddly elephants, polar bear pendants and fox-shaped bottle openers, customers can spot most of the animal kingdom on the shelves and often find stunning, stand-out presents for friends and relatives in this city-centre establishment which caters to a variety of budgets.
Just around the corner, there are more delights to be discovered in Podarok. It may look small, but shoppers can expect to spend a long time inside this quirky emporium, enchanted by the charming Well Read Co bags or the collections of jewellery inspired by the British countryside. Like Ark, Podarok is an essential stop for anyone searching for gifts for the special people in their lives. But, be warned, it’s highly likely you’ll spy something irresistible for yourself as well!
For Gorgeous Clothes…Catwalk into Bowns.
Many people see a visit to Cambridge as an opportunity to expand their mind rather than their wardrobe, but there’s no reason not to do both. The fashion forward will love exploring independent boutiques such as Bowns which offers an attractive selection of styles from both world-renowned designers and upcoming talents all thoughtfully curated by the owner, Rosalind Bown. Plus the shop is just moments away from St John’s College and right across the street from the gates of Magadalene, so it’s easy to fit a visit into the itinerary between tours.
For footwear, head to speciality shoestore Modish on Green Street to find a new favourite pair that you’ll want to try out straightaway on Cambridge’s historic cobbles. Meanwhile, shoppers seeking men’s clothes should go to Sevenwolves which stocks a variety of brands synonymous with quality, durability, and classic stylishness. Cambridge may not be known as the place to study fashion, but if you’re looking for the perfect piece to complete your look this Autumn, then there’s plenty to explore here.
For Your Next Chapter…Discover Heffers.
It’s hardly a shocking twist to find out that Cambridge boasts some excellent bookshops, from the famous Cambridge University Press, to tiny gem Sarah Key books (otherwise known as The Haunted Bookshop). Nevertheless, no bookworm’s trip to Cambridge can be considered complete without a trip to Heffers.
Found opposite the beautiful Trinity College, Heffers has been trading in Cambridge since 1876 and often entices passers-by due to how beautifully the latest titles are displayed in its windows. Inside, customers are dazzled by the expansive array of fiction and non-fiction on offer including fresh releases by bold new voices, exquisitely bound classics, and a magical ‘Children’s’ section. Long story short: for fans of that ‘new-book’ feeling, Heffers is a dream come true.
Here at Your Space Apartments, we love showing people unexpected and exciting sides to our city. Cambridge is a truly exceptional place to visit, live, learn, work and shop! So, if you’re planning a trip to the area, why not get in touch and see if one of our stylish, fully-furnished apartments could be the perfect home-from-home throughout your time here? And don’t forget to bring a big tote bag for all your wonderful purchases!